Thalia Eley
  • Phone80863
  • SE5 8AF

    United Kingdom

  • 15259

Personal profile

Research interests

Thalia C. Eley is Professor of Developmental Behavioural Genetics at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London. She directs the Emotional Development, Intervention and Treatment (EDIT) lab, and her work focuses on the interplay between genetic and environmental factors in the development and treatment of anxiety and depression.

Her work is highly interdisciplinary using both the twin design and molecular genetic approaches, and drawing on cognitive, clinical and developmental psychology. She has written over 120 empirical papers and received numerous awards including the Spearman Medal from the British Psychological Society, the Lilly-Molecular Psychiatry Award, and most recently the James Shields Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for Twin Studies. She is one of the Chairs of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Anxiety Group and is Deputy Director of the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS).

She is particularly interested in finding ways in which genetic approaches can inform psychological practise as well as theory. Using molecular genetics she is exploring the role of specific genetic markers in the development of anxiety and depression, and as predictors of psychological therapies response for these conditions. With her close colleague Dr Gerome Breen, head of the NIHR Maudsley BioResource centre she is leading the new Genetics Links to Anxiety and Depression (GLAD) Study. You can watch the two of them describing the purpose of this study here, and can watch an animation about the study here. She is particularly excited about this area of work as it has the potential to be useful in making clinical decisions.


Research interests (short)

I run the Emotional Development Intervention and Treatment Lab (EDIT Lab) at KCL. I am interested in the reasons why people differ in how they respond to life's experiences. I am especially curious about how genetic factors are involved in the development of emotional symptoms. At present we are exploring two major themes within the group.

First, we are recruiting very large samples in order to explore genetic influences on anxiety, depression and treatment outcomes. With my close colleague Dr Gerome Breen I have just launched a major new initiative called the Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression (GLAD) study, which forms part of the National BioResource for Mental Health. You can hear us talking about the study here, and can watch an animation about the study here.  

Second, I am really interested in why anxiety and depression tend to run in families, and whether this is due to sharing home life or whether it is due to sharing genes. I am Deputy Director and Director Elect of the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS), which is the largest longitudinal twin birth cohort in the UK. As our twins reach their mid-twenties we are particualrly excited about recruiting the next generation into the Children of TEDS (CoTEDS) Study.  

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Aetiology of emotional symptoms in childhood and adolescence: depression and anxiety in twins, UCL University College London

Award Date: 1 Jan 1996

Bachelor of Arts, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 1 Jan 1992


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