Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care

Dr Abi Fisher

Dr Abi Fisher

Associate Professor

Behavioural Science and Health

Institute of Epidemiology & Health

Joined UCL
5th Jan 2009

Research summary

Abi's primary research interest is using behavioural science to support those living with and beyond cancer (LWBC), developing and trialling interventions that could be feasible for implementation in the NHS as part of cancer care. She co-leads the Cancer Research UK funded Advancing Survival Cancer Outcomes trial (ASCOT) with Dr Rebecca Beeken, University of Leeds. ASCOT is designed to test whether a habit-based intervention can positively impact health behaviours of breast, prostate and colorectal cancer patients. Abi is also leading the Yorkshire Cancer Research (YCR) funded APPROACH study exploring the potential of a mobile phone application to increase physical activity in Yorkshire cancer patients. In addition she has a stream of work developing and testing health behaviour interventions in teenage and young adult cancer patients.

She works closely with Professor Kwee Yong, Consultant Haemolologist and myeloma specialist (UCLH), exploring the potential of embedding appropriate exercise into cancer care for myeloma patients, firstly through the MASCOT trial of physiotherapist led exercise for patients in plateau phase, which then led to an NIHR funded clinical doctoral fellowship awarded to Orla McCourt, testing the feasibility of physio-led exercise for patients before and during stem cell transplant ('PERCEPT'). 

 Another strong interest is digital health and Abi leads the MRC funded vEngage study, an industry partnership exploring the potential of virtual reality to engage adolescents with physical activity. She also has an ongoing industry partnership project with Peak Brain training evaluation their new sleep mobile phone application as well.

Teaching summary

MSc in Health Psychology

Abi is a course convenor for UCL's MSc in Health Psychology. This taught course (around 45 students per year) seeks to educate and help students become well-rounded research practitioners with the majority of our post-graduates going on to higher research degrees or employment in the wider health sector. External as well as internal teaching encompasses a variety of topics focusing both on methodological as well as research content (meta-analyses, epidemiology, obesity prevention and management). Abi leads two modules, 'Effective Research Practice' and 'Healthcare and Intervention delivery'.

Other courses

BSc in Population Health Sciences; module lead for ‘Health and Behaviour’

MSc Cancer Behavioural Science module

 Abi has supervised 7 UCL behavioural science PhD students to completion on time, and currently supervises 5 in virtual reality and machine learning for physical activity promotion, using the COVID-19 pandemic as a natural experiment to explore social determinants of sustained physical activity and energy balance after cancer diagnosis. 




Abi Fisher is Associate Professor of Physical Activity and Health, and leader of the Energy Balance in Cancer Research group in the Department of Behavioural Science and Health, part of the Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care in the Faculty of Population Health Sciences. After graduating from the University of Glasgow with BSc (Hons) in Physiology then PhD in Developmental Medicine in 2009 she joined UCL as a postdoctoral researcher with the late Professor Jane Wardle. She took up her first tenured academic position as lecturer at UCL in 2015 then began an  Associate Professorship in 2018.