We were very happy to welcome a long-term collaborator, Professor Rebecca Reynolds from the University of Edinburgh for a visit recently. Rebecca is an expert in the mechanisms that link prenatal development and pregnancy risk factors such as maternal obesity with offspring development across the life span. A specialist in endocrinology by background, Rebecca does both patient work and research including clinical trials, studies in the lab, and epidemiological research.
Our group first got to know Rebecca in person when she very kindly agreed to act as the official opponent for one of the PhD students in the group. Since then, we have been fortunate to work with Rebecca and her group on several projects. Most recently, this collaboration has produced articles such as those showing that
- Maternal overweight and obesity early on in pregnancy are associated with symptoms of depression during and after pregnancy (Kumpulainen et al., Psychological Medicine 2018)
- Maternal depressive symptoms during pregnancy and toddler psychiatric problems may be associated with alterations in the structure of the placenta (Lahti-Pulkkinen et al., Scientific Reports 2018)
- Maternal depressive symptoms throughout pregnancy are associated with increased symptoms of ADHD in the child (Wolford et al, Plos One 2017)
This was not the first time Rebecca visited us – and in return, members of the DePsy group have visited Edinburgh on several occasions, both for conferences and meetings and for longer research visits.
During this visit, Rebecca gave an interesting talk on the prenatal programming of the stress axis, held a journal club meeting, and worked on the several manuscripts that are being prepared together at the moment. And of course, visits like this aren’t only about the science itself: we also had the opportunity to take some time off to catch up and try some Finnish cheese and Scottish short-bread – which work together very well!