Research Update: Francesca Serra

My name is Francesca Serra and I am from Sardinia, Italy. I was delighted to work initially with BDRN during my PhD, when I joined the University of Worcester as a visiting academic for six months and worked closely with Professor Lisa Jones and her research group. I was very impressed by the fantastic, ongoing support provided by thousands of participants to the research into mood disorders and as a result, the high quality research being conducted by BDRN. After completing my PhD in Padova, Italy, I was really excited to return to BDRN in May 2018 to work as a Research Fellow.

During my time with BDRN, I have been investigating mixed mood episodes in individuals with bipolar disorder and other symptoms and features of illnesses that may be related to these episodes. I am extremely grateful for the contribution of participants, which is so essential in achieving reliable research findings that will hopefully have important implications in the future for clinical practice. My current work involves exploring mood fluctuations that some women with bipolar disorder may experience in relation to hormone sensitivity, particularly during the premenstrual phase of the menstrual cycle. I would like to thank the many women who have shared information with us about their mood and menstrual cycle by completing our postal questionnaires or online through True Colours. We hope that with the help of many more women using True Colours, we will be able to investigate this relationship further in the future.

I really enjoy working within BDRN and am excited to continue my collaboration with this great network once I return to Italy. I am also looking forward to many future visits to the UK to continue my work with BDRN. Once again a massive thank you to all our participants; your inputs facilitate some magnificent research and I look forward to updating you all about my research findings.