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Amy Kao

B.Sc. (Hons.), M.Sc.

DPhil Student

Under the mentorship of Dr. Phil Burnet and Dr. Belinda Lennox, my doctoral research will investigate the effect of prebiotic intervention in an in vivo rat model as well as in schizophrenia patients receiving clozapine/olanzapine. More specifically, we will investigate the effect of Bimuno (B-GOS) prebiotic on various metabolic (e.g. weight, visceral fat, insulin levels etc.), inflammatory (e.g. IL-6, C-reactive protein etc.), and cognitive (e.g. mood, memory, learning, stress response) measures in schizophrenia patients with metabolic syndrome receiving clozapine or olanzapine in an open-label intervention study. Preliminarily studies in animals will document the expression level of various immune (e.g., C-reactive protein, inflammatory cytokines) and metabolic (e.g., insulin, glucagon, glucose) markers as well as central and peripheral neuroendocrine hormones and central glutamate receptor levels. 

I grew up in Toronto, Canada where I completed my undergraduate degree in Cell & Molecular Biology and MSc in Pharmaceutical Science at the University of Toronto. I am currently supported by the Clarendon Scholarship. On the daily, I love having challenging discussions and brainstorming sessions, both over a fantastic cup of coffee, of course! I also enjoy spending time in the great outdoors, scenic and urban photography, as well as a good game of tennis. Lastly, I am a wanderlust with a never-ending passion to travel the world, seeking new adventures and meeting people from all walks of life! 

Recent publications

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