Catherine Friel

PhD title: Nutrition-related Foetal Programming and Mental Health Outcomes in Offspring: a Social Perspective
Office: MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow, Berkeley Square, 99 Berkeley Street, Glasgow, G3 7HR
Telephone: 0141 353 7500 
Funder: Medical Research Council


Catherine has worked in various NHS positions within acute and mental health services since 2006. From 2014, Catherine worked as a registered dietitian after attaining a first-class BSc (hons) in Human Nutrition and Dietetics at Glasgow Caledonian University. She was awarded the Queen’s College Fund award for the best overall student on the program. Latterly, Catherine has pursued research interests. She completed the Master of Public Health with distinction at the University of Glasgow, and was awarded the McKinlay prize for the best overall student on the program and a prize for the best project. Catherine also sits on the Society for Social Medicines’ early career researcher committee as the welfare officer. 

Research summary

Catherine's PhD project investigates inequalities in the relationship between maternal nutrition and the child’s risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder. This project triangulates causal approaches to enhance causal interpretation from a cohort study. The approaches used are inverse probability of treatment weights, Mendelian randomisation, cross-context comparison and sibling comparison analysis. The project uses data from the Avon longitudinal study of parents and children and the Norwegian mother father and child cohort study.  



Nutrition Related Foetal Programming and Autism Spectrum Disorder in Offspring: a Social Perspective
British Dietetic Association
2019 - 2021

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