Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care

Prof Lion Shahab

Prof Lion Shahab

Professor of Health Psychology

Behavioural Science and Health

Institute of Epidemiology & Health

Joined UCL
4th Jan 2005

Research summary

Current research interests and projects focus on:

Smoking-related biomarkers

- impact of biomarker feedback on cognitive antecedents of behaviour change

- feasibility of using biomarker feedback to motivate cessation

Smoking-related diseases

- detection of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases at population level

- inter-relationship between disease diagnosis and smoking status

Tobacco product regulation

- evaluation of smoke constituent testing regimes

- level of exposure of smokers of different tobacco products to carcinogens

- association between tobacco product design and smoke exposure

Tobacco control policy

- evaluation of legislative changes on use of nicotine replacement therapy

- assessment of attitudes in the general population towards new tobacco control strategies

Novel smoking cessation interventions

- development and testing of pharmacological and behavioural treatment for smoking cessation

- systematic meta-analytic evaluation of novel interventions

Smoking and mental health

- association of happiness with smoking and smoking cessation

- changes in mental health (anxiety, depression) as a function of changes in smoking status


- evaluation of smoking-related health education in the medical profession

- early changes in synaptic transmission and plasticity in Alzheimer's Disease

- classification of Behaviour Change Techniques (BCTs) in health behaviour interventions

Research activities involve a variety of techniques/methods used in both human (randomised controlled trials, epidemiological analysis, laboratory/experimental work) and animal studies (electrophysiology).

Teaching summary

I'm the programme lead for the UCL MSc Health Psychology course. This taught course (around 50 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, tobacco control). I'm also involved in supervising MSc as well as PhD students.


Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), ATQ07 - Holder of a PGCE in higher education, secondary edu, further edu, life long lear |
University College London
Doctorate, Professional degree in Psychology | 2012
University College London
Other higher degree, Master of Science | 2010
University College London
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education | 2008
University of London
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2008
King's College London
Other higher degree, Master of Science | 2004
University of Oxford
Other higher degree, Master of Arts | 2003


Lion Shahab is Professor of Health Psychology. After graduating from the University of Oxford in psychology, philosophy and physiology in 2003, he gained an MRC-funded masters in health psychology from the Institute of Psychiatry in 2004 and went on to complete an MRC-funded PhD in 2008 on the role of smoking-related biomarkers in smoking cessation under the supervision of Professor Robert West at UCL. While working as a research associate in the Health Behaviour Research Centre, he also completed a masters in neuroscience and gained his Stage II training qualification in health psychology at UCL under the supervision of Professor Susan Michie. In 2011 he took up a lectureship in health psychology and continues his research into different aspects of tobacco use, more recently expanding into other health behaviours and mouse models of Alzheimer's disease. He is Co-Director of the UCL Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group.