Maryanne Mufford – University of Cape Town, South Africa

I was born and raised in a small town called Clanwilliam, a few hours outside of Cape Town. I completed my Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Molecular Genetics and Human Physiology, at the University of Cape Town (UCT), in 2015. After that, I completed my honors and master’s degrees at the Division of Human Genetics at UCT. This research focused on the genetic underpinnings of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in South African cohorts, respectively. I am currently a doctoral candidate at the Division of Human Genetics at UCT, investigating the genetic architecture of amygdala nuclei volumes and the genetic overlap with anxiety and related disorders. This involves analyses, such as Genome-Wide Association Studies and cross-trait Linkage Disequilibrium Score Regression, using large-scale data sources, such as the UK Biobank. In five years, I would like to have completed a post-doctoral fellowship and have a faculty position. I have a keen interest in teaching the next generation of scientists and being at the forefront of neuropsychiatric genomics research. I spend most of my spare time with friends and family, hiking and exploring the beautiful surroundings of Cape Town, or reading a good book.