Mrs Sharon Hollins is currently a PhD Candidate in Molecular Neurobiology at the University of Newcastle under the supervision of Conjoint Associate Professor Murray Cairns. Her current area of research investigates the role of post-transcriptional gene silencing in the mammalian brain's response to environmental stress during development and aging. In particular, focusing on the role of short, non-coding microRNA that are involved in the stability and translation of mRNA. Recent evidence suggests that these dynamic and influential molecules play an important role in both brain development and the cellular response to stress. Given the close relationship between miRNA, environmental stress and brain development, it is plausible that miRNA have a significant position at the molecular crossroads between neural development and the neurodevelopmental response to environmental stress.