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Georgina Wren   MSc AFHEA BSc (Hons) GMBPsS

Miss Georgina Wren MSc AFHEA BSc (Hons) GMBPsS

Research student

School of Psychology

Tower Building, Room 2.05, 70 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT


I am a PhD student working within the Behavioural Genetics Group in the School of Psychology at Cardiff University.  I am interested in understanding the psychosocial impact of long-term dermatological conditons, to support the development of future clinical interventions. My research is specifically focused on X-linked icthyosis, a rare, congenital skin disorder, caused by a defieincy in the enzyme steroid sulfatase (STS). I am using a mixed-methods approach to better understand this condition, specifically employing survey-based methods, content anlalysis, and online cognitive testing. 

If you are interested in finding out more about our research, or you would like to take part in our work, please get in touch via or via my primary supervisor, William Davies, at

My other research interests are focused around the application of Health Psychology, to better understand patient decision-making and treatment choices for those with complex conditions. I also have a keen research interest in translational research with a healthcare setting.






I am interested in researching the psychological effects of living with visible skin conditions, and my current work is focused on those affected by X-linked ichthyosis. This project is three-fold:

  • Study 1: Investigating mood and neurodevelopmental disorder-associated traits in XLI, ichthyosis vulgaris and psoriasis
  • Study 2: Investigating heart-related symptoms and attitudes towards heart screening in XLI
  • Study 3: Investigating memory, cognitive function and mood in ichthyosis

I am conducting a mixed-methods project to investigate these aspects of XLI, as well as using qualitative data to explore the impact of these factors. I am also interested in further understanding the experiences of XLI-patients and clinicians, with particular reference to their experiences in a primary care, and specialist healthcare setting.

If you are interested in getting involved in our research, or hearing more about the project, please click here to get in touch. 

Research Output

1. Investigating mood and neurodevelopmental disorder-associated traits in XLI, ichthyosis vulgaris and psoriasis

Mood symptoms and neurodevelopmental traits, and their contributory factors in X-linked ichthyosis, ichthyosis vulgaris and psoriasis: Wren et al. (2022) Clinical and Experimental Dermatology doi:10.1111/ced.15116 

I presented our study at ESDAP in July 2021 - 'An investigation into mood and neurodevelopmental disorder associated traits in X-linked ichthyosis, Ichthyosis Vulgaris and psoriasis'.

- If you are interested in viewing this presentation, please click here.

2. Investigating heart-related symptoms and attitudes towards heart screening in XLI

Wren, G., & Davies, W. (2022). Sex-linked genetic mechanisms and atrial fibrillation risk. European Journal of Medical Genetics, 104459.

Brcic, L., Wren, G. H., Underwood, J. F., Kirov, G., & Davies, W. (2022). Comorbid medical issues in X-linked ichthyosis. JID Innovations2(3).

I recently disseminated this work through an oral presentation at the Cardiff University Speaking of Science Confernce in May 2022, and I presented a poster at the European Conference on Rare Diseases in June 22. 

3. Investigating memory, cognitive functin and mood in ichthyosis

We have recently finished analysing preliminary data for our next project, investigating the relationship between STS deficiency and memory, mood and cogntivie functioning.

4. Young women's experiences of endometriosis

My previous postgraduate research investigated young women’s experiences of an endometriosis diagnosis and subsequent support, exploring how clinical practices can be improved and the role of complex care structures within this journey.

Dismissal, distrust and dismay: A phenemenological exploration of young women's diagnostic experiences with endometriosis and subsequent support: Wren & Mercer (2021) Journal of Health Psychology: doi: 13591053211059387


Psychological issues in congenital skin disorders


Graduate Teaching Assistant – School of Psychology

Cardiff University




Undergraduate Education

BSc Psychology (First Class Hons) Cardiff Metropolitan University 2016-2019

Postgraduate Education

MSc Health Psychology (Distinction) Cardiff Metropolitan University 2019-2020

Honours and awards

In June 2022, I was awarded the British Psychological Society and Psychology Postgraduate Affairs Group 'Rising Researcher' award for my 'outstanding' early PhD work and contributions to the research field.

Cardiff University Enriching Student Life Awards PGR Graduate Tutor - Winner (2022), Shortlisted (2021), Nominated (2023).

Speaking engagements

Widening Access 

As a first-gen, LGBTQ+ researcher, I beleive it is really important to promote and encourage accesible Higher Education opportunities to potential students from all backgrounds. I am committed to various roles of academic service and volnuteer to ensure accessibility and equity  play a pivotal role in decision making within entry level academia and beyond.

'A rare skin disorder, impaired memory abilities and depression - what's the (x) link?' (Cardiff University PGR Medicine Symposium - March 2023)

'Investigating heart-related symptoms and attitudes towards heart screening in XLI' (Cardiff University Speaking of Science Confernce - May 2022; European Conference on Rare Diseases - June 22)

PsyPAG Quarterly Journal - 'How I changed my approach to failure' (Issue 122) (June 22)

'An investigation into mood and neurodevelopmental disorder associated traits in X-linked ichthyosis, Ichthyosis Vulgaris and psoriasis' (ESDAP - July 2021)

EY Gibraltar - International Women's Day Office Talks Series - 'What is endometriois?' (April 22)

STEM Learning - Ambassador (2021-Current)

'Young women's experiences of endometriosis' (Health Psychology Symposium, City Unity College, Athens: Oral Presentation - Jan 21; European Health Psychology Society Conference 2021 - June 21).

Committees and reviewing

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Committe at Cardiff University - Postgraduate representative (2021)

Division of Academics, Researchers and Teachers of Psychology - PsyPAG Representative (2021-2023)

CAWR (Cardiff Metropolitan University) Early Career Community - Steering Group member (Feb 21-Current)

SkinCare Cymru - Volunteer (Feb 21 - Current)

Cardiff University’s Wellcome Trust Institutional Translation Partnership Award (ITPA) Management Group - ECR representative (Nov 2020 - May 20


Journal of Health Psychology - Reviewer (July 2021-Current)

Journal of Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain Disorders - Reviewer (October 2022-Current)

Psychology, Health & Medicine - Reviewer (January 2021-Current)


William Davies

William Davies

Senior Lecturer, Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences

Research themes


  • Epigenetics
  • Clinical and health psychology
  • Dermatology
  • Biological psychology
  • Health psychology