Our People

Katrina Grasby

Dr | Postdoctoral Research Officer

Psychiatric Genetics

+61 7 3362 0299




Katrina is a postdoctoral researcher in the Psychiatric Genetics laboratory at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. She obtained her PhD in 2016 from the University of New England, Armidale for her work investigating behaviour genetic influences on literacy and numeracy in Australian school children. On completing her PhD she joined the Psychiatric Genetics lab, where her postdoctoral work is focused on identifying common genetic variants that influence brain morphology, human behaviour, and mental health.



2016-current: Research Officer at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute









Katrina is broadly interested in identifying, quantifying, and understanding the genetic and environmental influences on complex human behaviour, and she is a keen collaborator on projects exploring these influences. Recently, her principal endeavour has been to investigate genetic influence on the human cortex, and assess genetic overlap with psychiatric disorders. This work involved the collaboration of a large number of research groups from around the world who are part of the Enhancing Neuro Imaging Genomics through Meta-Analysis (ENIGMA) consortium.  She is extending her collaborative work on neuroimaging genetics to investigate sexual dimorphism in the genetic architecture influencing brain morphology, and to include genetic variants that are less frequently included in genome-wide association studies, such as structural variants and mitochondrial DNA. Her goal is to streamline and compile protocols to facilitate the inclusion of these types of variants into large-scale GWAS meta-analyses.



  • Grasby, K. L., et al. (2020). The genetic architecture of the human cerebral cortex. Science, 367 (6484)
  • Grasby, K. L. (2019). Estimating Classroom-level Influences on Literacy and Numeracy: A Twin Study. Journal of Educational Psychology. Advance online publication
  • Grasby, K. L., Coventry W. L., Byrne B, & Olson R. K. (2019). Little evidence that socioeconomic status modifies heritability of literacy and numeracy in Australia. Child Development, 90, 623–637
  • Demontis, D., et al. (2019). Discovery of the first genome-wide significant risk loci for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Nature Genetics, 51, 63–75
  • Savage, J. E., et al. (2018). Genome-wide association meta-analysis in 269,867 individuals identifies new genetic and functional links to intelligence. Nature Genetics, 50, 912–919.
  • Warrier, V., Grasby K. L., et al. (2018). Genome-wide meta-analysis of cognitive empathy: heritability, and correlates with sex, neuropsychiatric conditions and cognition. Molecular Psychiatry, 23, 1402¬–1409
  • Grasby, K. L. & Coventry W. L. (2016). Longitudinal stability and growth in literacy and numeracy in Australian school students. Behavior Genetics, 46, 649–664
  • Grasby, K. L., et al. (2016). Genetic and environmental influences on literacy and numeracy performance in Australian school children in Grades 3, 5, 7, and 9. Behavior Genetics, 46, 627–648



2019–current: Society for Mental Health Research

2016–current: Behavior Genetics Association

2014–2017: Society for the Scientific Study of Reading

2012, 2019–current: Australian Psychological Society



2020: National Health and Medical Research Institute Emerging Leadership Fellowship (Level 1)

2017: Reviewer’s Choice Poster Abstract, American Society of Human Genetics

2013: Australian Postgraduate Award

2012: University Medal, University of New England

2011: Australian Psychological Society Prize in Psychology for the University of New England

2011: David Phillips Scholarship, University of New England

2010: Shirley Barratt Memorial Prize, University of New England



2016: Doctor of Philosophy, University of New England, Australia

2012: Bachelor of Psychology with Honours, University of New England, Australia