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UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care
Research Department of Behavioural Science and Health

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About the Department

The Research Department of Behavioural Science and Health was established in January 2017 by the merging of UCL’s Health Behaviour Research Centre and Psychobiology group, both formerly part of UCL’s Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health. 

Mission 

The mission of the Research Department of Behavioural Science and Health is to apply the whole range of behavioural sciences (including health, social and cognitive psychology, aetiological and health care epidemiology, psychobiology, exercise science, behaviour genetics, dietetics, communication sciences, and health services research) to a better understanding of disease prevention, early detection, and prognosis.  

Vision

Our vision is to carry out cutting-edge research and provide high quality teaching into the impact of behavioural and emotional processes on disease aetiology and health outcomes, and to implement this knowledge to reduce disease risk and improve the health of the population.

History of the Department

The Health Behaviour Research Centre emerged from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Health Behaviour Unit, established by Professor Michael Russell at the Institute of Psychiatry. Professor Jane Wardle joined the Unit in 1991 and became Director in 1996. She moved the Unit to UCL and expanded its remit beyond its traditional focus on smoking to include other health behaviours relevant to illness, including diet and physical activity, and cancer screening and prevention. It was renamed the Health Behaviour Research Centre, which was led by Jane Wardle until her death in October 2015, and Professor Robert West from October 2015 to December 2016.  

The Psychobiology group was formed by Professor Andrew Steptoe when he moved to UCL in 2000. Funded primarily by the British Heart Foundation and the Medical Research Council, the aim of the group was to understand the biological processes through which psychosocial risk factors influence physical disease risk.

Structure of the Department

Management

 
Head of Department Professor Andrew Steptoe
Deputy Head of Department Professor Robert West

Research group leaders

 
Cancer Communication & Screening Dr Jo Waller & Dr Christian von Wagner
Energy Balance & Cancer Dr Becca Beeken & Dr Abigail Fisher
Epidemiology of Cancer Healthcare & Outcomes Dr Yoryos Lyratzopoulos
Obesity Dr Clare Llewellyn & Dr Helen Croker
Psychobiology Prof Andrew Steptoe
UCL Tobacco & Alcohol Research Group Prof Robert West

Administrative staff

 
Departmental manager Ms Lucy Brown
Research administrator Ms Emily Cheng 

Teaching

 
MSc Health Psychology programme administrator Ms Madiha Sajid
Postgraduate taught tutor Dr Lion Shahab
Postgraduate research tutors Dr Abigail Fisher and Dr Christian von Wagner

The department sits within the Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care and the Faculty of Population Health Sciences.  The Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care holds an Athena SWAN Charter Silver Award in recognition of its commitment to advancing women's careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in academia.  

Job Vacancies

Research Assistant: Cancer Survivorship (deadline 31st May 2017)

Research Assistant: Energy Balance and Cancer (deadline 31st May 2017)

Research Assistant/ Research Associate in Medical Statistics/ Healthcare Epidemiology (deadline 31st May 2017)