Dr Jessica Grisham
University of NSW
Dr Grisham’s research aims to better understand what causes obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), as well as the cognitive (thought) and emotional factors that maintain it. She has identified risk factors for OCD in a large community sample (followed from birth to age 40). Her research centres on hoarding behaviours – when people excessively collect and save things with minimal value, including household rubbish – aiming to combine what we know about the cognitive aspects of this disorder with the emotional component. By increasing our understanding of this interaction, we can hope to improve hoarding treatments.
In May 2012 Jessica established Nerd Nite Sydney – a monthly event to ‘bring in the nerds’ in the hope of ‘bringing out the inner nerds’ in the audience! Nerd Nite Sydney is a free event that is open to the general public – allowing scientists and academics to share their findings with the community in a relaxed, casual bar environment, interspersed with occasional stand-up comedy or nerdy trivia. She has also sought to communicate her science to the broader community by giving interviews to the mainstream media (e.g., Drive with Richard Glover, Radio National on ABC, Medical Observer, Australian Doctor), as well as via feature articles in Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Reader’s Digest and The Financial Times.