Professor Vivette Glover
Visiting Professor of Perinatal Psychobiology, Imperial College London
Professor Vivette Glover is Visiting Professor of Perinatal Psychobiology at Imperial College London, UK, having previously been a Professor there for many years. Originally, she studied biochemistry at Oxford University and then moved to London to obtain her PhD in neurochemistry at University College London. Vivette developed a keen interest in perinatal psychiatry and established a multidisciplinary research group with expertise in basic science, psychology, psychiatry, obstetrics and paediatrics. This group has established fruitful collaborations with others around the world, including in Australia, USA, Canada, Belgium, The Gambia, India and South Africa.
Her research has shown the effects of the emotional state of the mother during pregnancy on the developing foetus and longer term on the child, especially on neurodevelopment. If the woman is in the top 15% for symptoms of anxiety or depression during pregnancy, her child has double the risk of a probable mental health disorder at age 13 years, after allowing for a wide range of confounders. Her group have also studied the biological mechanisms that may underlie such fetal programming. They have shown alterations in the function of the placenta in response to prenatal stress, in a way that allows more cortisol to pass from mother to foetus, and can alter the development of the fetal brain. Vivette has published over 450 papers, with over 320 in peer reviewed journals and has been invited to give lectures around the world. She has been awarded the International Marcé Society medal, the John Cox medal, and the PIPUK award for Research into Pregnancy and Infant Mental Health. Her work is contributing to changes in UK government policy, and the findings of the effects of prenatal maternal mental ill health on the child has helped to lead to increased government spending in this area.