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Human behaviour change

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Prof. Susan Michie (PI)

University College London

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Susan Michie is Director of the Centre for Behaviour Change and of the Health Psychology Research Group at UCL. She leads an extensive programme of research developing the science of behaviour change interventions and applying that science to intervention development and evaluation. This includes the MRC- funded Theory and Techniques project, the Wellcome Trust-funded Human Behaviour-Change Project, the NIHR funded UCL membership of the School for Public Health Research and a programme of digital research in collaboration with Professor Robert West. She works with a wide range of disciplines, practitioners and policy-makers, fostering interdisciplinary working and the translation of evidence into practice. To further these aims, she founded the Centre for Behaviour Change which has a rich programme of events, training and research.

Susan studied Experimental Psychology at Oxford University, followed by Clinical Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, London University and a DPhil in Developmental Psychology. She is a chartered clinical and health psychologist, and elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, the US Society of Behavioral Medicine, the US Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, the European Health Psychology Society and the British Psychological Society.


Prof. James Thomas

University College London - Institute of Education

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James Thomas is Professor of Social Research & Policy at the EPPI-Centre, UCL where he is Principal Investigator of the Department of Health Systematic Reviews Facility. This work involves conducting policy-relevant systematic reviews alongside the provision of training, national and international coordination work in evidence-based health promotion and public health, and the creation and maintenance of online evidence databases. James Thomas’s research career is centred on improving policy and decision-making through more creative use and appreciation of existing knowledge. It covers substantive disciplinary fields – such as health promotion, public health and education – and also the development of tools and methods that support this work conducted both within University College London (UCL) and in the wider community.

He has written extensively on research synthesis, including meta-analysis and methods for combining qualitative and quantitative research in ‘mixed method’ reviews; and also designed EPPI-Reviewer, software which manages data through all stages of a systematic review, which has recently been adopted by NICE and Cochrane to support evidence synthesis in these organisations. He is currently co-lead of the Cochrane ‘Project Transform’ which is implementing novel technologies and procecess (including machine learning and crowdsourcing) to improve the efficiency of systematic reviews and increase their responsiveness to user needs and timescales.


Prof. John Shawe-Taylor

University College London

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John Shawe-Taylor is Professor of Computer Science at UCL and has contributed to a number of fields ranging from graph theory through cryptography to statistical learning theory and its applications. However, his main contributions have been in the development of the analysis and subsequent algorithmic definition of principled machine learning algorithms founded in statistical learning theory. This work has helped to drive a fundamental rebirth in the field of machine learning with the introduction of kernel methods and support vector machines, including the mapping of these approaches onto novel domains including work in computer vision, document classification and brain scan analysis. More recently he has worked on interactive learning and reinforcement learning, both of which will be relevant to the current proposal.

He has also been instrumental in assembling a series of influential European Networks of Excellence (initially the NeuroCOLT projects and later the PASCAL networks). The scientific coordination of these projects has influenced a generation of researchers and promoted the widespread uptake of machine learning in both science and industry that we are currently witnessing.

He has published over 300 papers with an H index of 60 and over 42000 citations (Google scholar). Two books co-authored with Nello Cristianini have become standard monographs for the study of kernel methods and support vector machines and together have attracted 21000 citations.


Pol Aonghusa

IBM

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Pol Mac Aonghusa is a Senior Research Manager at the IBM Research Lab in Dublin responsible for research projects in Artificial Intelligence, Semantic Web Technologies and Data Privacy.

My research interests for the past 5 years have been in applying semantic web technologies to problems in machine learning and optimization. Our early work won prizes in the International Semantic Web Challenge in 2012 and 2013. More recently we have been investigating how to assist Social Care-workers and Care Teams make more informed decisions with incomplete and uncertain data. I am pleased that parts of this work are now in transition to our IBM Watson Health solution portfolio.

My personal research interests are in online privacy as a pragmatic tradeoff between perceptions of utility, risk and cost. Users are prepared to trade an acceptable amount of risk in return for utility gained. I'm currently looking at how users can actively detect, understand and adapt their privacy utility-risk-cost balance as they interact with systems.

In addition to applied research for IBM products Pol is also responsible for several EU funded research projects. These include ProAct (Assisted Independent Living for people with Multiple Co-morbidities) and PETRA (Multi-model Journey Planning).


Prof. Marie Johnston

University of Aberdeen

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Marie Johnston is Emeritus Professor of Health Psychology at the University of Aberdeen and a registered Health and Clinical Psychologist. Her research focusses on behaviour and behaviour change, including the importance of theory and measurement as well as the development and evaluation of interventions. She investigates behaviour in the context of health, illness and healthcare with much of this work on behaviour in disabling conditions including stroke and arthritis.  She has over 400 publications and her research has recently been supported by MRC, CRUK, CSO, Arthritis Research, NIHR and NIH.

Her awards include fellowships of the Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences, the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, the American Society of Behavioral Medicine and the European Health Psychology Society. She received the British Psychological Society (BPS) President’s Award and Honorary Fellowship.  She was the founder chair of Health Psychology within the BPS and second President of the European Health Psychology Society.

Her work has had impact on government policy, including the implementation of the Stroke Workbook to reduce disability and changes in the remuneration of dentists to increase evidence-based care for children's teeth. The Health Behaviour Change Competency Framework developed with Diane Dixon is used to develop NHS Scotland education strategy.


Prof. Mike Kelly

University of Cambridge

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Professor Mike Kelly is Senior Visiting Fellow in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the Institute of Public Health and a member of St John’s College at the University of Cambridge. He has an honorary chair at UCL. Between 2005 and 2014 he was Director of the Centre for Public Health at NICE. He was educated at the universities of York, Leicester and Dundee and had an academic career lasting twenty seven years before moving into the National Health Service to lead the Research Team at the Health Development Agency and then moving on to NICE. His research interest include health related behaviour change and health inequalities.

In 2010 he was awarded the Alwyn Smith Prize of the Faculty of Public Health in recognition of his work on cardiovascular disease and alcohol misuse prevention. Professor Kelly is Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health, Honorary Fellow Royal College of Physicians (his citation was for his work on occupational health) and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. In 2014 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of York for his contribution to evidence based policy.


Prof. Robert West

University College London

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Robert West is Professor of Health Psychology and Director of Tobacco Studies at the Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Centre, University College London, UK. Professor West completed his PhD in Psychology in 1983 at University College London and worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the area of smoking at the Institute of Psychiatry until 1985 when he took up a lecturing position at Royal Holloway, London University. He continued his research into smoking and also began researching traffic accident involvement. In 1991 Professor West joined St George's, University of London, where he was made professor in 1996. He took up his present position in 2003.

Professor West's research includes clinical trials of new smoking cessation treatments, studies of the acute effects of cigarette withdrawal and population studies of smoking patterns. He has published more than 500 scientific works and is co-author of the English National Smoking Cessation Guidelines that provided the blueprint for the UK-wide network of smoking cessation services. He is also Past-President of the Society for Research in Nicotine and Tobacco.

Professor West is a member of the Editorial Board of the Cochrane Collaboration Tobacco Review Group, and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Addiction. He is author of the books, Theory of Addiction, Models of Addiction, The SmokeFree Formula, and Fast Facts: Smoking Cessation.


Niccola Hutchinson-Pascal

University College London

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Niccola is the Project Manager at UCL ensuring the smooth running of this groundbreaking project. Previously she has worked for Sport England leading on a series of innovative customer focused behaviour change pilots working to ascertain the most effective methods of behaviour change in relation to increased physical activity. Niccola studied at both Brunel University and London Metropolitan University graduating with a BSC Sports Science and MA in Sport Management. Niccola has a wealth of experience in marketing, events management and project management across a wide variety of different sectors.


Project Consultants

Janna Hastings
Julian Everett, Datalanguage


Meet the Research Team working on this project