Degrees Obtained including University attended and award classification
- BA in Psychology, First Class Honours with a minor in visual arts, Boston University, USA
- MSc Neuroscience, Trinity College, Dublin
Your Country of Origin: Louisiana, USA
Research Cluster: Maternal and Child Health
Research Title: Three-year follow-up of children with intrauterine growth restriction
Description/summary of project
Research indicates that children who experienced intrauterine growth restriction are at an increased risk of neurodevelopmental delay, increased academic difficulties, health complications, and reduced physical growth. However, very few early childhood follow-up studies have been conducted to measure the specific developmental profile of growth-restricted children. The PANDA study (PORTO-Associated NeuroDevelopmental Assessment study) is a large-scale multi-centre observational prospective neurodevelopmental follow-up study of growth-restricted children at three years of age following their involvement in the initial PORTO study (Prospective Observational Trial to Optimise Paediatric Health in IUGR). The PORTO study was conducted from 2010 to 2012 in seven maternity hospitals across the island of Ireland, recruiting approximately 1,100 women.
A set of detailed ultrasound measurements were taken at biweekly intervals, and the baby’s medical status and condition following delivery were recorded. Now that these children are turning three, we are conducting neurodevelopmental follow-up, primarily with the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition (BSID-III), and the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ). The study will also use several other child development and quality of life measures to assess the well-being of these growth-restricted children and their caregivers, and will examine the potentially mediating influences of antenatal maternal stress on fetal growth and early neurodevelopment.
Your experience of studying at QUB
My decision to complete postgraduate studies abroad is one of the best and most important decisions I’ve ever made. When I decided to move to Ireland to pursue my master’s, I had never travelled to Europe and had very little idea of what to expect when I arrived. At first the move was a small shock to the system, but navigating the sometimes very subtle social, cultural, and linguistic differences has been an incredible learning experience that has afforded me significant personal growth. Postgraduate study is challenging enough, but completing it abroad has helped make me a more confident, independent researcher.
Studying at Queen’s University Belfast is a wonderful experience that I would enthusiastically recommend to anyone. The faculty, staff, and students in the School of Nursing and Midwifery are some of the most friendly, welcoming, accomplished, and supportive people I’ve had the fortune to meet, and I am very glad to be a part of a major university with a diverse community of students and a broad range of research opportunities and resources.