Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Energy Balance & Cancer

Our research aims to establish the roles of health behaviours (predominantly physical activity and diet) across the cancer continuum, from primary prevention of cancer to improving outcomes after a cancer diagnosis. The programme of research we conduct involves both large epidemiological surveys, randomised controlled trials and pilot/feasibility studies. 


This group is led by Dr Abi Fisher (abigail.fisher@ucl.ac.uk)

Group Members 

Research staff (UCL): 

Dr Abi Fisher
Dr Phillippa Lally
Joanna Land
Sara Esser
Dr Rana Conway

Research staff (external):

Rebecca Beeken
Fiona Kennedy
Charlene Martin

Doctoral students: 

Verity Hailey
I am a PhD student with the Soc-B programme, and my project is looking at ‘The role of social factors in physical activity during COVID-19 pandemic’. My main supervisor is Dr Abi Fisher.

Laetitia Firmenich
I am a first year PhD student supervised by Pippa Lally, Abi Fisher, Becca Beeken and Rana Conway. We are currently working on two research projects with ASCOT and APPROACH. Our first project is a qualitative interview study where we aim to explore the experiences relating to weight of cancer survivors affected by obesity. In this study we aim to interview participants from both ASCOT and APPROACH to compare the experiences of participants with a broad range of time since their initial cancer diagnosis. The second study is a quantitative analysis using the baseline ASCOT data to explore the demographics, clinical factors, and health behaviours associated with BMI in people living with and beyond breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer. 

Orla McCourt
Project title: Exercise during haematological cancer treatment- exploring the feasibility of embedding exercise within a clinical pathway in multiple myeloma.
I am supervised by Prof Kwee Yong (UCL Cancer Institute), Dr Abi Fisher and Dr Gita Ramdharry (UCL Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases). My PhD is funded by a Health Education England (HEE)/National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Integrated Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship.

Caroline Buck
I am working at Department of Behaviour Science and Health, supervised by Dr Abi Fisher, as part of a doctoral programme at Liverpool John Moores University. I have a background in qualitative research, and am currently involved in the ASCOT study. I have just completed a qualitative project on the impact of the pandemic on the health behaviours of people living with and beyond breast, colorectal and prostate cancer. I am also working on the APPROACH trial, delivering an intervention that examines whether an app encouraging more physical activity improves the physical and psychosocial wellbeing of people living with cancer. Next year I plan to conduct a mixed methods study on the impact of perimenopause/menopause on the health behaviours of women.


Ongoing projects

Completed PhD projects

Completed projects

Publications - Abi Fisher