A/Prof Sarah Cohen-Woods

Flinders University
Research Field: Psychology, Neuroscience 

While we know that behaviours, including psychological disorders, are heritable, we know this is also not deterministic. Just because we have a genetic risk for depression does not mean we will become depressed. 

Associate Professor Cohen-Woods’ research works on understanding how nurture influences our nature by studying how environments can influence genetic predisposition and gene expression, influencing psychological outcomes. Sarah’s research investigates immunogenetic risks for depression moderated by childhood maltreatment, and epigenetic variation associated with chronic early-life adversity, and whether this mediates a relationship of poor mental health. 

Sarah’s extensive public engagement has spanned public talks across a range of groups, radio and television interviews, advocating for science at the Australian Parliament, and numerous visits to primary and secondary schools. Associate Professor Cohen-Woods was awarded her PhD from King’s College London in 2008, and is currently an Associate Professor at Flinders University.