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Celebrating International Women’s Day ♀️

8 March 2022
a diverse group of women of mixed ages stand in a group laughing

Today is International Women’s Day, a global day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women around the world.

The Wolfson Centre for Young People’s Mental Health is fortunate to have a diverse and inclusive team of fantastic women working across the research centre.

This International Women’s Day, we wanted to shine a spotlight on some of the wonderful women based here at the Wolfson Centre and highlight how women are supporting the Centre to flourish.

World-leading experts

Four of the Wolfson Centre’s six research workstreams are led by female academics who are internationally recognised experts in their fields.

Professor Frances Rice is the co-director of the Wolfson Centre and her work focuses on studying the origins and development of depression and anxiety in young people. As well as being a Principal Investigator for the research centre, Frances also leads the centre’s workstream which seeks to develop interventions to support young people whose parent suffers from depression.

🎥 Watch Frances’s most recent public talk on interventions that work well for young people in school settings.


Professor Anita Thapar is a highly esteemed clinician-scientist who leads the Wolfson Centre’s genetics research workstream. Anita also heads the academic Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Section in the Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences at Cardiff University.

Anita’s research focuses on adolescent depression, attention hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and additional neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g. autism spectrum disorder) from 0 to 25 years, addressing questions that have clinical relevance.

👀 Catch up on Anita’s public lecture during the Wolfson Centre’s virtual launch where she was a keynote speaker.


Professor Ann John works on the Wolfson Centre’s population and patient e-data cohort research workstream. Ann’s research team, based in Swansea University, use information uniquely available in Wales to better understand the long-term outcomes of those young people who experience anxiety and depression.

Ann, a public health trained former GP, is a Professor of Public Health and Psychiatry at Swansea University Medical School and is Principal Investigator and Co-Director of DATAMIND,  Health Data Research Hub for Mental Health. Her research interests also focus on suicide and self-harm prevention.

🎬 Watch Ann’s keynote speech with MQ Mental Health Research, focusing on underserved and underrepresented groups in mental health data science.


Supporting researchers

Female academics, researchers and clinicians are embedded across the inter-disciplinary research centre, one of the Wolfson Centre’s key strengths. Supporting the development of researchers at various levels of their careers is vitally important.

The original content below, created in partnership with the women academics who feature, showcases just some of the inspiring women the Wolfson Centre is lucky enough to support and help develop.

Dr Yulia Shenderovich and Dr Lucy Riglin co-lead the Centre’s overarching workstream which focuses on ensuring our teams are well-trained in research methods and open science practices.

As part of this work, Yulia and Lucy are also setting up the Wolfson Centre’s own public lecture series which will be launching in April of this year- more details on the series will be coming very soon!

Yulia was recently featured in a Meet the Researcher blog post where you can learn more about her research interests.

Our Learn in 5 video series has also featured research associates based at the Wolfson Centre and again offers the opportunity to highlight the work women researchers are undertaking in their respective fields. Learn in 5 aims to introduce key findings from an area of youth mental health research or study in under five minutes

Wolfson Centre Learn in 5 video

Working behind the scenes

A research centre the size and breadth of the Wolfson Centre needs a strong support team working behind the scenes to support the wide-reaching activity taking place.

The Centre is supported by the work of an all-female Professional Services team.

Angharad Jones is Centre Manager, Emma Meilak is Administration Officer and I, Becs, disseminate and promote the Wolfson Centre’s research in my role as Communications Officer.

The three of us support the day-to-day running of the Wolfson Centre, supporting, organising, planning, facilitating and promoting a new, busy inter-disciplinary research centre.

A graphic showing the Wolfson Professional Services team

Youth voices

An integral part of the Wolfson Centre’s ethos is ensuring the voices of young people are at the heart of the work we do.

Since the inaugural meeting of our Youth Advisory Groups in September 2021, we have had the pleasure of working closely with young people themselves who inform and guide the Centre’s research aims and priorities.

Empowering young people, particularly young women, to make their voices heard is really important to us. We are thrilled with how our Youth Advisors have brought their passion, creativity and honesty in sharing their lived experiences and thoughts with us.

Their wonderful work can be seen clearly in the work we have created together, most recently for Children’s Mental Health Week.

We are excited to continue our collaboration with the young people over the coming months.

Have a wonderful International Women’s Day however you are celebrating and we hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the fantastic women working in the Wolfson Centre.