PhD, Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology, University of Sydney, Conferred December 2005.
BA (Hons I) in Psychology, University of Sydney, 2000.
Associate Professor Justine Gatt is Director of the Centre for Wellbeing, Resilience and Recovery, and Head of the Gatt Resilience Group at Neuroscience Research Australia and the School of Psychology UNSW. She leads a research program that focuses on understanding the neuroscience of wellbeing and resilience to stress and trauma, and ways wellbeing and resilience can be promoted via various intervention platforms.
A/Prof Gatt received her PhD in Psychology at the University of Sydney in December 2005 (conferred May, 2006). She took up a postdoctoral research position at the Brain Dynamics Centre based within the Westmead Millennium Institute, with a focus on the genetic and brain markers of risk for mental health. Her work focused specifically on the neurobiological predictors of risk for depression and anxiety; in particular, genetic markers of risk, and integrating these genes with core brain and body measures including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), electroencephalography (EEG), and electrocardiography (ECG). From this research, A/Prof Gatt pioneered new ways to statistically model these relationships, including the application of structural equation modeling, which has led to new ways to understand the mediating and moderating relationships in pathways to mental illness. A/Prof Gatt has since shifted her focus to understanding resilience to trauma and stress, and the neurobiological mechanisms that underpin mental wellbeing and positive mental health. She has been successful in obtaining several competitive fellowships and grants to support diverse projects that span neuroscience to clinical translation. She is also working with several industry partners to test out different e-health tools to evaluate optimal ways to promote wellbeing and resilience in the general population.
Some of A/Prof Gatt's current projects include: (a) a longitudinal study of healthy adult twins from her TWIN-E Emotional Wellbeing Study followed after 10 and 12 years to determine changes in brain structure/function, neurocognitive performance and mental health outcomes over time that predict a risk versus resilience trajectory; (b) a project focusing on the impact of Instagram use on mental health and wellbeing in adolescents and young adults; (c) a project focusing on the impact of stuttering and its treatment on the wellbeing of children and their parents; (d) several clinical studies focusing on the impact of mental health treatment on wellbeing in youth and adults undergoing treatment; (e) the development of wellbeing programs in the workplace including healthcare workers; (f) online smartphone wellness technologies; and (g) wellbeing in children.
Together, this work has resulted in multiple peer-reviewed publications in leading national and international journals including Molecular Psychiatry and Biological Psychiatry. A/Prof Gatt has also received a number of prizes and awards for her research including the Worldwide University Network (WUN) Success Story awarded to her WUN Resilience Research Group for ‘Exceptional Levels of Achievement’ (2019), the Commonwealth Health Minister's Award for Excellence in Medical Research (2014), the NHMRC Excellence Award for top-ranked CDF fellowship (2014), the Westmead Millennium Institute Science Prizes (2009 and 2010), and several other national/international travel awards from foremost professional societies.
A/Prof Justine Gatt leads a research program focusing on the neuroscience and genetics of wellbeing and resilience to trauma and stress, and then translating these outcomes to wellbeing interventions. Her work includes a focus on healthy populations (both singleton and twin cohorts) and clinical populations at various ages and with varying levels of exposure to stress and trauma. Study designs include cross-sectional, prospective studies and irandomised controlled trials. Apart from measures of DNA and life experiences, her team has collected a wide suite of neurocognitive performance assessments, as well as neuroimaging measures (e.g., MRI, fMRI, DTI), neurophysiological measures (e.g., EEG, ERP) and measures of autonomic functioning. She is also developing various online wellbeing programs including Thrive for healthcare workers, and ReNeuWell, a new wellbeing app for the general public.
Additional Professional Roles:
Chair, NeuRA Invited Seminar Series Committee (2018-)
Chief Scientific Advisor, MAP for Wellbeing Corp. Pte Ltd (2013-)
Editorial Board Member, Psychiatry Journal (2018-)
Review Editor, Frontiers in Psychology (2013-)
My Research Supervision
Janine Lam (PhD, 2020-current) - University of New South Wales
Jesse McCrindle (Masters intern, 2023) - Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Rebecca Alexander (Clinical Masters, 2020-2023) - The Australian National University
Nitharsaa Ambalavanar (Honours, 2022) - University of New South Wales
Arthur Montalto (PhD, 2018-2022) - University of New South Wales
Javad Jamshidi (PhD, 2018-2022) - University of New South Wales
Miranda Chilver (PhD, 2018-2021) - University of New South Wales (*Awarded Dean's Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis, within top 10% of theses)
Jack Anderson (Honours, 2021) - University of New South Wales
Wenny Qu (Honours, 2021) - University of New South Wales
Malithi Silva (Honours, 2021) - University of New South Wales
Sandy Wong (Honours, 2018) - University of New South Wales
Kylie Routledge (PhD, 2013-2018) - University of Sydney
Denise Chu (PhD, 2009-2017) - University of Sydney
Karen Burton (PhD, 2011-2016) - University of Sydney