Symon Kariuki among 5 MQ pioneering early-career scientists funded to take on mental illness

Symon Kariuki based at KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kilifi is among 5 pioneering early- career research scientists funded by MQ in 2017.


Symon’s project is among three of the awards which are co-funded, offering an exciting opportunity for collaboration to tackle the big questions in mental health across conditions and communities. His project will be on investigating the genetic risk factors in epilepsy and mental illness. His award is co-funded by The Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute. Symon will be working from his research site in Kenya


The 5 projects present a truly interdisplinary and international approach to tackling mental health, with new research ranging from understanding how the environment impacts mental health to developing new treatment and prevention strategies.


The other 2017 MQ Fellows are:  Clare Llewellyn at University College London will be looking at the impact of appetite and parental feeding practices in childhood on the development of eating disorders, so we can improve interventions and prevention strategies.  Petra Vértes at the University of Cambridge is exploring the biological processes of schizophrenia so we can create new targeted treatments. Teresa Tavassoli at the University of Reading is working to improve mental health in people with autism, looking at the impact of sensory symptoms on anxiety levels. Her award is co-funded by Autistica. Jessica Eccles at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, will developing a new therapy to treat anxiety in people who have hypermobility. Her award is co-funded with Arthritis Research UK.


Each Fellow will receive £225,000 of funding for their three-year project.