Michaela Pettie

Continuous prenatal exposure to Valproic Acid, as an animal model for Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Iwi Affiliations

Ngāti Pūkenga, Ngāti Maru

Profile

Michaela is interested in the underlying factors that contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders. Her research targets the gene and environmental interactions which underlie Autism Spectrum Disorders. Previous research has demonstrated that prenatal exposure to Valproic acid increases the risk for ASD, and changes in serotonin have been similarly implicated. As such, Michaela is examining the effects of continuous prenatal exposure of Valproic acid in animals which have reduced serotonin function. She will examine behavioural and immunohistochemical changes in offspring that are prenatally exposed to valproate. Michaela hopes to optimize animal models of ASD and contribute novel methods and measures to the field.

Qualifications

BSc Hons, BA in Psychology, and Dip in Business Management

Research Interests

Neuroscience, Behavioural Neuroscience, genetics, neurodevelopmental disorders, method development, ASD, animal models.

PhD Topic

Continuous prenatal exposure to Valproic Acid, as an animal model for Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Supervisor: