Brain Development and Mental Health in Children

Cover image for lecture: Brain Development and Mental Health in Children

Lecture Overview

This lecture looks at factors that can interrupt healthy brain development and considers the potential long-term impact of placental insufficiency, preterm birth, poor nutrition and alcohol on the developing foetus' brain.


Portrait of Angela Cumberland
Angela Cumberland

Dr Angela Cumberland received her PhD at the University of Newcastle in 2017. The focus of her thesis related to the role of pregnancy compromises, such as intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and prenatal stress, on the production of neurosteroids in foetal life, subsequent neurodevelopment, and long-term behavioural outcomes using animal models. Angela has since begun her first postdoctoral position at RMIT University, under Associate Professor Mary Tolcos, and is involved in numerous projects investigating the developmental origins of mental health disorders in both animal models and clinical cohorts. She currently has a collaborative project with Professor Peter Anderson and Associate Professor Deanne Thompson at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, investigating the neurodevelopmental timeline of the limbic system and developmental origins of mental health disorders in very preterm children. She is also involved in a preclinical model investigating the use of thyroid hormone analogues for improving the development of white matter following induction of IUGR in the prevention of cerebral palsy and the long-term behavioural profile using guinea pigs. See Educator Profile