Sophie Carruthers

Pathway 1+3

Cohort 2016

1+3 Student

After completing my undergraduate degree in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, I spent 2 years working as a research assistant across a number of different research projects. This gave me a breadth of experience that informed my decisions of exactly what I wanted out of a PhD programme and project.

Ultimately, I chose to complete my PhD through the King’s MRC DTP because of the high calibre of research conducted at King’s, particularly in my field of interest of autism spectrum disorders across numerous different teams at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience. In view of that, I opted to do the 1+3 structure to take advantage of rotating between and learning from this wealth of different research strengths. In combination with the variety of skills-based workshops on offer, I have learned a range of new techniques and translational skills over the year that will directly benefit the next few years of my PhD and any future research positions.

During the first year of the DTP I’ve had the incredible opportunities to attend two international conferences on neurodevelopmental disorders: one on ADHD in Berlin, and one on ASD in San Francisco where I presented a poster on some of my research. As a part of the training for my PhD project, I have also spent a couple of weeks at the New York Presbyterian Hospital being trained on two observational measures of ASD. These experiences have been really valuable in supporting my research, developing collaborations and encouraging me to use the translational skills I’ve developed over the course of the year to consider relevant research from across different methodological approaches.

Rotation Projects:

1. Differential and overlapping performance monitoring in adult women with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorder
2. Identifying cultural differences and commonalities in autistic traits across the three different countries
3. Statistical and clinical validation of outcome measures in the Paediatric Autism Communication Trial- Generalised (PACT-G)