Dr Byron Creese
Senior Research Fellow
Place of work / study:
University of Exeter
Area of Research:
Neuropsychiatric Symptoms in Dementia
How is your work funded:
National Institutes of Health, Medical Research Council, National Institute of Health Research
Tell us a little about yourself:
I am research psychologist with an interest in neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia and cognitively normal older adults. I did my PhD with Clive Ballard at King’s College London and since then have worked closely with Clive as a post doc at KCL and since late 2016 at University of Exeter. Since starting at Exeter I have been lucky enough to be given the time to pursue an interest in in learning and applying genomic methods to understanding neuropsychiatric symptoms. This has involved me working in Prof Jon Mill and Katie Lunnon’s groups where we have started a number of projects, big and small, looking at everything from epigenomics of psychosis in Alzheimer’s through to investigating whether we can elucidate the harmful effects of antipsychotics using in-vitro assays.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
Embarrassingly, I have never listened to a podcast and am not even sure how I’d go about doing that!
Why did you choose to work in dementia?
Like most researchers, I have the ambition that my work will make a difference in the future, but that’s not the whole story if I’m honest as practical reasons had a lot to do with it! I worked in the oil industry for 3 years after my degree (2006-2009). I quit without having anything lined up because I always wanted to do a PhD, went abroad for a few months, came back, still nothing lined up, worked back in the oil industry for another few months, got offered the PhD with Clive (the only offer after applying for loads!!) and started a few months later. I had a preference for something dementia-related because of a relative with a diagnosis so I lucked out basically.
I continue to work in dementia because the work is varied, I get freedom and good support from my boss, and it is a complicated disease. I like my area specifically because relatively few people do so it’s relatively easy to carve out a niche!