Maria Niarchou, PhD


Visiting Research Fellow , Division Genetic Medicine, Department of Medicine

Brief Description
Following a degree in psychology at the University of Athens (Greece), an MSc in Neuropsychology at the University of Bristol (UK), and a PhD at the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics at Cardiff University (UK), Dr. Niarchou was awarded a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship. During her four-year fellowship, Dr Niarchou worked as a research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania under the supervision of Prof. Raquel Gur, at the University of Queensland (Australia) under the supervision of Prof. Naomi Wray, and at VUMC under the supervision of Dr. Lea Davis, where she received advanced statistical training and immersed herself in projects using biobank data. Dr. Maria Niarchou’s research aims to establish the etiological mechanisms underlying risk for major neuropsychiatric disorders. She is especially interested in how the interaction of multiple genetic and environmental factors can contribute to the development of psychiatric symptomatology. She has used many different study designs including longitudinal epidemiological studies and genetic studies to elucidate these relationships. Dr Niarchou’s research focus during her PhD and postdoctoral work was on examining the role of Copy Number Variants (i.e., deletions and duplications of genetic material) in the development of psychiatric problems in children and adolescents. Dr. Niarchou’s research interests have now expanded also to examine how common genetic variation can explain risk for psychiatric disorders. Dr Niarchou is particularly intrigued by how polygenic risk, rare variant risk, and environment combine to contribute to major neuropsychiatric disorders.


PhD, Medicine, MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics, Cardiff University, UK
MSc, Neuropsychology, University of Bristol, UK
BSc, Psychology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece