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News Archive 2018

Sofia Cussotto – Psychotropics and the Chamber of Secrets … our gut!

8 Nov 2018

Congratulations to Ms Sofia Cussotto, finalist in 'Research Fest 2018', the annual PhD researcher pitch competition which is part of 'Inspirefest', Silicon Republic’s two day international festival of technology, science, design and the arts, which was held this year in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin on the 21st and 22nd June 2018. Sofia’s pitch looked at how psychotropic medication is used to manage mental disorders.

Having just three minutes to present her research work in plain English, Sofia used a Harry Potter analogy and some creative hand signs to explain how her research aims to investigate the influence of psychotropic drugs on the gut microbiota, and how this work has the potential to provide new insight into the mechanisms of action of these medications and may aid in furthering our understanding of the role of the gut microbiota in mental disorders.

Link here to Sofia’s three minute pitch:,

Research Fest Finalists 2018',  'Inspirefest'.

Sofia Cussotto is a PhD student in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience working with Prof John F. Cryan and Prof Ted Dinan in the Microbiome-Gut-Brain-Axis lab in APC Microbiome Ireland. From Verona, Italy, Sofia studied Pharmacy for 5 years in the University of Milan and graduated with a Master’s degree in 2016, in her final undergraduate year Sofia undertook a nine month Erasmus placement with Dr Olivia O’Leary and Prof John F. Cryan in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience.

Earlier this year Sofia was also selected as finalist in the UCC Science for All competition.  Sofia is very interested in bringing science to the public, making science and research accessible to a non-scientific audience, and encourages other young researchers to take part in such events.

Following success in the ‘UCC’s Science for All’ competition, Sofia’s work was profiled in an Evening Echo newspaper article 18th September 2018.

 Photo: C.Buckley

Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience

Anatamaíocht agus Néareolaíocht

Room 2.33, 2nd Floor, Western Gateway Building, University College, Cork, Ireland