Dr Cullen completed her PhD at the IoPPN where she has spent the past 15 years contributing to a longitudinal study of children at elevated risk for developing psychosis. Her work has shown that these children present neuroanatomical, cognitive, and HPA-axis abnormalities that are similar (although less marked) to those observed in individuals with established psychosis.
Funded by the UK Wellcome Trust, she established the Stress, Inflammation and Psychosis (SIP) study to examine biological markers of stress and inflammation across the clinical stages of psychosis (ranging from at-risk children to adults with chronic illness). Collaborating with colleagues at Emory University, Atlanta, she has worked on the NAPLS-2 dataset, investigating the relationship between psychosocial stressors and HPA axis abnormalities, and co-authored a revision of the neural diathesis-stress model of schizophrenia. Her current NARSAD Young Investigator Grant builds on this work and examines stress-biomarker signatures across the psychosis spectrum. At the Karolinska Institutet, she is involved in an international study examining refugees with psychosis in Sweden and Denmark.