Dr Rachel Gow – biography

Dr Rachel GowI’m currently based London, UK, the city where I was born, having moved back here after many years in Bethesda, Maryland, US.

Between 2012 and 2016, I worked as a Guest Researcher at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, United States. During this role, I co-designed and managed the worlds first  clinical trial testing the role of omega-3 highly unsaturated fatty acids in reward-related processes using neuroimaging techniques in adults with ADHD. I am currently at the data-analysis and write-up phase of the trial. In addition to this, I’m writing a book on Nutritional Neuroscience with a focus on ADHD for parents and professionals, for publication in the near future.

I’m also a single mother to two wonderful children, who inspire and amaze me, and bring great joy, purpose and meaning into my life.

Clinical Trials

I’ve gained a great deal of experience and skill in the design, administration, management and life-cycle of clinical trials, from the initial design ideas to the subsequent stages of protocol writing, ethical approval, recruitment, management of trial activity, timelines and expenditure, and through to the final stages of completion, statistical analyses and write up.

My first experience in this area was in 2007, when I assisted in a phase III clinical trial testing the safety and efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids in children and adolescents with ADHD. The principle investigator of this trial was Professor Eric Taylor (Emeritus), who at the time was head of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, London. The clinical trial was named the Maudsley Adolescent ADHD Fatty Acid trial (MAAFA). It was the pioneering idea of Professor Taylor and a novel effort to combine the fields of psychiatry and nutrition.

During my PhD I was also based in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London. My role involved co-designing and managing a clinical study which assessed blood levels of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and Event Related Potentials recordings of brain function in children/adolescents with and without ADHD. In addition, I tested associations between specific fatty acid indices and clinical/co-morbid symptoms of ADHD and conduct disorder.

Education, Training & Event Organisation

I have provided education and training to a wide-range of audiences, from teachers to marketing teams to non-profit organisations. I have also played a key role in event organization, including the following conferences and symposiums:

  • Intervention Strategies to Challenge the Rise in Mental Ill Health – a 2-day event held at the London Metropolitan University, London. It was a day of scientific presentations from global leaders, followed by a speaker dinner. The second day was a series of educational/training workshops.
  • The DHA Celebration Meeting – held on May 26-27 2010 at the Royal Society of Medicine, London, and attended by approximately 250 professionals.
  • Working with Children and Teenagers Affected by ADHD – a staff training day held at Kid’s Company head office and attended by approximately 300 key workers and clinical staff.
  • During my role as Clinical Trials Manager at Vifor pharma, I provided scientific education and training to their global network of neutraceutical distributor companies.

Presentations

  • International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) in Kansas, US, 2008.
  • The Rude Health conference in Dublin, 2009.
  • The Great Meeting of Minds conference at The Royal College of Physicians, London, 2008.
  • Department Seminar, the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition, London Metropolitan University, 2008.
  • Fatty Acids and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Workshop (FAND 2009), Magdalen College, University of Oxford.
  • ISSFAL conference in Maastricht, the Netherlands, 2010.
  • Pavilion Conference: Book launch “Nutrition in Childhood”, Camden, London, 2011.
  • Eunethydis, Budapest, 2011.
  • ISSFAL: 2012 Vancouver.
  • Biological Psychiatry, San Francisco, US, 2013.
  • GOED Exchange conference, Salt Lake, Utah, US 2014.
  • Junk Food and the Modern Mind, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Boston, US, 2014.
  • ISSFAL conference in Stockholm, Sweden (poster), 2014.

Media Liaison

I have given interviews for both TV (GMTV/Sky News) and radio on the subject of ADHD. I provided behind-the-scenes consultancy to Betty TV during an episode of the Food Hospital on Channel 4, London; and worked behind the scenes for the BBC’s Trust Me, I’m a Doctor for a programme looking at the benefits of omega-3 (February 2017). I have previously assisted in the organization of various press conferences.

Publications

Peer-Reviewed Published Journal Articles:

Matsudaira T, Gow RV, Kelly J, Murphy C, Potts L, Sumich A, Ghebremeskel K, Crawford MA, Taylor E. Biochemical and Psychological Effects of Omega-3/6 Supplements in Male Adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Clinical Trial. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2015 Dec;25(10):775-82. doi: 10.1089/cap.2015.0052.

Meyer BJ, Byrne M, Parletta N, Gow R, Hibbeln JR. (2015). Fish Oil and Impulsive Aggressive Behavior, Journal of Child & Adolescent Psychopharmacology. 2015 Jul 28. doi:10.1089/cap.2015.0065.

Gow RV, Hibbeln, J.R., and Parletta. N. (2015). Current evidence and future directions for research with omega-3 fatty acids and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care.

J.R. Hibbeln and R.V. Gow. (2014). The Potential for Military Diets to Reduce Depression, Suicide and Impulsive Aggression: A Review of Current Evidence for Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids, Military Medicine, 179(11 Suppl):117-28.

R.V. Gow and J.R. Hibbeln, (2014). Omega-3 and treatment implications in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and associated behavioral symptoms, Feature Article, Lipid Technology, 26, (1), 7–10.

J.R. Hibbeln and R.V. Gow. (2014). Omega-3 Fatty Acid and Nutrient Deficits in Adverse Neurodevelopment and Childhood Behaviors, Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 23, (3), 555–590.

Brenna J.T., Burdge, G.C., Crawford, M.A., Clayton, P., Cunnane, S.C., Gow, R, Hibbeln, J.R., Sinclair, A.J., Stein, J, Willatts, P. (2014). RE: Plasma phospholipid fatty acids and prostate cancer risk in the SELECT trial. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 106(4).

R.V. Gow, A. Sumich, F. Vallee-Tourangeau, M.A. Crawford, K. Ghebremeskel, A.A. Bueno, J.R. Hibbeln, E. Taylor, and K. Rubia. (2013). Omega-3 Fatty Acids Are Related to Abnormal Emotion Processing in Adolescent Boys with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, 88(6):419-29.

R.V. Gow, F. Vallee-Tourangeau, M.A. Crawford, E. Taylor, K. Ghebremeskel, A.A Bueno, J.R. Hibbeln, A. Sumich, and K. Rubia. (2013). Omega-3 Fatty Acids Are Inversely Related to Callous and Unemotional Traits in Adolescent Boys with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, 88(6):411-8.

A.L Sumich, T. Matsudaira, B.C. Heasman, R.V. Gow, A. Ibrahimovic, K. Ghebremeskel, M. Crawford and E. Taylor. (2013). Fatty acid correlates of temperament in adolescent boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, 88(6):431-6.

R.V. Gow, K. Rubia, E. Taylor, F. Vallée- Tourangeau, T. Matsudaira, A. Ibrahimovic, and A. Sumich. (2012). Abnormal Centroparietal ERP Response in Predominantly Medication-Naive Adolescent Boys With ADHD During Both Response Inhibition and Execution. Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology, 29, (2): 181–189.

R.V. Gow, T. Matsudaira, E. Taylor, M. Crawford, K. Ghebremeskel, A. Ibrahimovic, F. Vallée- Tourangeau, L. M. Williams, and A. Sumich. (2009). Total Red Blood Cell Concentrations of ω -3 Fatty Acids Are Associated with Emotion Elicited Neural Activity in Adolescent Boys with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, 80, (2-3): 151-6.

Sumich, T. Matsudaira, R.V. Gow, K. Ghebremeskel, M. Crawford, A. Ibrahimovic, and E. Taylor. (2009). Resting state electroencephalographic correlates with red cell long-chain fatty acids, memory performance and age in adolescent boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Neuropharmacology, 57, (7-8): 708-14.

Book Chapters & Invited reviews:

R.V. Gow. (2011). Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Neurocognitive Development and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder In: The Omega-3 Fatty Acid Deficiency Syndrome: Opportunities for Disease Prevention, 15: 295-314 .

R.V. Gow, A. Sumich, F. Vallee-Tourangeau (2010). Children, Depression and Essential Fatty Acids. In F. Columbus (Ed.) Major Depression in Women. New York, NY: Nova Science Publications

R.V. Gow, A. Sumich, F. Vallee-Tourangeau. (2008). Women, Depression and Essential Fatty Acids. In F. Columbus (Ed.) Major Depression in Women. New York, NY: Nova Science Publications

Manuscripts in preparation:

Gow, R.V., Majchrzak-Hong, S., MS, Sewell, L., CRNP, Tomasi, D., PhD, Bjork, J., PhD, Shaw, P., MD, Momenan, R., PhD, Lin, Y., PhD, Ramsden, C., MD, Hibbeln, J.R., MD (2016, June). Neuroimaging omega-3 and reward in adults with ADHD (NORAA) trial.

Gow, R.V., Heron, J.., San-Giovanni, J.P., Davis, J and Hibbeln, J.R. (2016). Maternal fish consumption and smoking behavioral patterns, British Journal of Nutrition.

Gow, R.V., Heron, J., San-Giovanni, J.P., Davis, J. and Hibbeln, J.R. (2016). Does plasma fatty acid levels of 7 year old children predict severity of ADHD symptoms and the relationship between the risk of diagnosis and FADS variants.

Under Conference presentations:

I have actively engaged in public speaking and have presented my work at several national and international scientific conferences and symposiums, including the University of Oxford, the University of Georgetown and MIT, other examples are listed below.

Gow, R.V., (2016, June). Neuroimaging omega-3 and reward in adults with ADHD (NORAA) trial. Oral presentation at ISSFAL, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Gow, R.V., (2016, July). The Role of Nutrition in Adolescent Mental-Health. Oral Presentation to the CEO and Chief Medical Officer of St Andrew’s private mental-health care trust at a closed meeting held at Magdalen College, University of Oxford.

Gow, R.V., (2016, May). The Role of Omega-3 Fats in Neurodevelopment: Implications for ADHD and Comorbid Behavioral Disorders. Oral Presentation at the Burlingame Center for Psychiatric Research and Education, The Institute of Living, Hartford, CT.

Gow, R.V., (2016, May). The Role of Omega-3 Fats in Neurodevelopment: Implications for ADHD and Comorbid Behavioral Disorders. Oral Presentation at the American Oil Chemists Society, Salt Lake, Utah.

Gow, R.V., (2016, March). Nutritional Neuroscience: Thinking Twice About the Food that Feed Your Brain. Oral Presentation at the American Geriatric Society, Washington DC.

Gow, R.V., (2015, October). Nutritional Neuroscience: Thinking Twice About the Food that Feed Your Brain. Oral Presentation at the DC Neuroleadership (closed) Group, Bethesda, MD.

Gow, R.V., (2015, May). The Role of Omega-3 Fats in Neurodevelopment: Implications for ADHD and Comorbid Behavioral Disorders. Oral presentation at the Department of Psychology, Georgetown University.

Gow, R.V., (2015, April ). The Role of Omega-3 Fats in Neurodevelopment: Implications for Learning, Behavioral and Mental-Health Outcomes. Oral presentation at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Wake Forest School of Medicine.

Gow, R.V., et al. (2015, March). Current evidence and future directions for research with omega-3 fatty acids and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Oral presentation (Travel Awardee) at the Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics, Los Angeles.

Gow, R.V., (2014, June). Neuroimaging omega-3 and reward in adults with ADHD (NORAA) trial. Poster presentation at ISSFAL, Stockholm, Sweden.

Gow, R.V., (2014, April). ADHD and Risk Factors for Criminality: How Important is Nutrition? Oral presentation at the Junk Food and the Modern Mind, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Boston.

Gow, R.V., (2014, February). The role of omega-3 fats during neurodevelopment and potential impact on public health. Oral presentation at the GOED Exchange conference, Salt Lake, Utah, US.

Gow, R.V., et al. (2013, April). (i) Omega-3 fatty acids are related to abnormal emotion processing in adolescent boys with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and (ii) Omega-3 fatty acids are inversely related to callous and unemotional traits in adolescent boys with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Poster presentation at Biological Psychiatry, San Francisco, US.

Gow, R.V., (2012, May). An investigation into LC‐PUFA, event related potential (ERPs) assessments of brain function and behavioural measures in children and adolescents with ADHD and healthy matched controls. Oral presentation (New Investigator Award) at ISSFAL, Vancouver.

Gow, R.V., (2012, June). The role of omega-3/6 fatty acids in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Oral presentation at St Andrew’s NHS Mental-Health Trust, Northampton, UK.

Gow, R.V., (2011, September). An investigation into LC-PUFA, event related potential (ERPs) assessments of brain function and behavioural measures in children and adolescents with ADHD and healthy matched controls. Oral presentation at Eunethydis, Budapest.

Gow, R.V., (2011, January). Brain development and disorders: ADHD and ω 3/6 fatty acids. Oral presentation at the Pavilion Conference: Book launch “Nutrition in Childhood”, Camden, London.

Gow, R.V., (2010, May). Evaluating the relationship between measures of depression, anxiety, anger, disruptive behaviour and self-concept and blood levels ω 3/6 fatty acids in adolescents with ADHD and Healthy Controls. Oral presentation at the ISSFAL conference in Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Gow, R.V., (2009, September). Clinical treatment trials – design and meothodology: what questions can we answer? Oral presentation at the Fatty Acids and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Workshop (FAND), Magdalen College, University of Oxford, England.

Gow, R.V., (2009, September). Fatty Acids and Brain Health. Oral presentation at the Rude Health conference in Dublin.

Gow, R.V., (2008, July). Oral presentation at the Department Seminar, the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition, London Metropolitan University.

Gow, R.V., (2008, June). Essential Fatty Acids and Attention Deficit Hyepractivity Disorder. Oral presentation at The Great Meeting of Minds conference, Royal College of Physicians, London.

Gow, R.V., (2008, May). Total red blood cell concentrations of ω -3 fatty acids are associated with emotion elicited neural activity in adolescent boys with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Oral presentation at the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) in Kansas, US.