Dr Justine M Gatt

TEAM LEADER PROFILE

Group Leader and Senior Research Scientist, NeuRA NHMRC CDF Research Fellow, School of Psychology, UNSW
Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Discipline of Psychiatry, University of Sydney

+612 9399 1812


Dr Gatt completed her PhD in Psychology at the University of Sydney in 2006. She completed three years postdoctoral training in genetics and neuroimaging at the Brain Dynamics Centre, Westmead Hospital and University of Sydney (2006-2009). She has since been successful in obtaining two competitive national research fellowships; the first an ARC Linkage Postdoctoral Fellowship (2008-2011) in emotional wellbeing in twins (the TWIN-E study); the second, a NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (2014-2017) in the neuroscience and genetics of resilience. In 2014, she moved to the School of Psychology at the University of New South Wales with a conjoint position at NeuRA. In 2016, Dr Gatt was promoted to Group Leader and Senior Research Scientist at NeuRA as well as Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales, where she currently leads several national and international projects in resilience and wellbeing. Dr Gatt has an outstanding track record in publication and her work has been recognised by multiple awards including the Commonwealth Health Minister’s Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research, and the NHMRC Excellence Award for Top Ranked CDF Applicant (2014).

Projects Dr Justine M Gatt is currently involved with

CURRENT PROJECTS

Genetics and neuroscience of resilience and wellbeing

Mental health and wellbeing is not simply the absence of mental illness, yet we know very little about its underlying mechanisms in relative comparison. Dr Justine Gatt and Prof Peter Schofield, together with Prof Leanne Williams (Stanford University) are studying the genetics and neuroscience of resilience and wellbeing in a prospective cohort of 1,600 healthy adult twins. They have recently developed a new 26-item composite scale of wellbeing called COMPAS-W (Gatt et al., 2014, Psychiatry Res), with genetic modelling demonstrating a heritability estimate of 48% for total wellbeing. Multivariate modelling further suggested common genetic factors contributed to wellbeing and its subcomponents of composure, own-worth, mastery, positivity, achievement and satisfaction. Now they are aiming to understand the neuroscience of wellbeing and resilience, how different genes and environments modulate pathways to mental health, and how e-health tools can promote resilience against life stressors.

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Genetics and neuroscience of resilience and wellbeing

E-health intervention studies in resilience and wellbeing

In a series of independent studies, the Gatt Group are investigating potential e-health interventions that can be used to promote resilience and wellbeing in collaboration with industry partners.

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E-health intervention studies in resilience and wellbeing

Mechanisms of reward and reward sensitivity in resilience

Identifying the precise role of reward in the resilience process; in particular the role of reward sensitivity and different paradigms of measurement in young adults.

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Mechanisms of reward and reward sensitivity in resilience

The international youth resilience study

Understanding youth resilience and ways to promote it across different cultural groups

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The international youth resilience study

The TWIN-E study in emotion and cognition

The overall goal of this project is to establish the role of genetics versus environment for each measure of emotion and cognition, as well as resting state function, using twin modelling.

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The TWIN-E study in emotion and cognition

Genetics of normal brain function and links to anxiety and depression symptoms

Using various cognitive, psychological and neuroimaging measures, they have investigated the role of several genes known to be involved in brain disorders.

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Genetics of normal brain function and links to anxiety and depression symptoms

UNSW PROFILE

RESEARCH TEAM

Sicong Tu

SICONG TU Research Assistant

Karen Burton

KAREN BURTON Research assistant

Rebecca Alexander

REBECCA ALEXANDER PhD Student