This session will be presented by Assistant Professor Robyn McQuaid, from the Department of Neuroscience.

Despite the prevalence and burden of depression, effective treatments lag behind that of many physical conditions owing, in part, to the complexity of this disorder. Depressive symptoms can be very different from one individual to the next and often present together with other disorders such as anxiety and PTSD. In order to develop more effective and personalized treatments for complex disorders such as depression, we need to take a comprehensive approach. This includes looking not just at biological mechanisms but also how social determinants, such as trauma histories and social relationships, impact our biology and in turn, depression. This talk will focus on applying a biopsychosocial approach to understanding the complexity of depression.

About the Researcher

Dr. Robyn McQuaid completed her PhD in Neuroscience at Carleton University. Afterwards, she worked outside of academia as a Research & Policy Analyst at the Canadian Centre on Substance Use (CCSA), where she gained experience in research that informs policy and knowledge translation expertise. Then she worked at the Royal’s Institute of Mental Health Research, receiving this position through an international research competition called the Emerging Research Innovators in Mental Health. The McQuaid Lab aims to understand the impacts of stressors and early-life trauma on mental health, specifically depression and other stress-related disorders. This includes a strong emphasis on considering the role of both peripheral biomarkers (genetic, epigenetics, or inflammation) and psychosocial determinants in the stress-depression link. To conduct their research, they work with different populations, such as university students in distress, clinical populations, and marginalized groups in Canada.

Mental Health Speaker Series

This session is part of the Healthy Workplace Mental Health Speaker Series 2020/2021. Find out more.