Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Bianca Serwinski

Research Interests 

  • Psychoneuroendocrinology 
  • Psychobiology
  • Cortisol
  • Stress

Current Research

Bianca's PhD is funded by the MRC. Her research area is Psychoneuroendocrinology. Specifically, she investigates the effects of psychological and psychosocial factors in relation to the hormone cortisol and well-being. Cortisol can be assayed from different specimens and Bianca uses saliva and hair as sources of cortisol concentration, and thus tries to further validate hair as a measure of chronic stress. To do this she has conducted two research studies in the Psychobiology group, the Daytracker Follow-up Study and the Academic Stress Study.

Teaching Summary

  • Lecturer in Health Psychology and Psychosomatics at BCOM and at CIEE
  • Teaching on the MSc Health Psychology course, UCL
  • Visiting lecturer for the BSc Behavioural Medicine at St George's Medical School
  • MSc Supervision


  • 2017 PhD Doctorate - Health Psychology (University College London)
  • 2012 MSc Master of Science - Health Psychology (University College London)
  • 2011 BSc Bachelor of Science - Psychology (University of Kent)

Publications and conferences 

  1. Serwinski B., et al. (2016). Associations between hair cortisol concentration, income, income dynamics and status incongruity in healthy middle-aged women. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 67, 182-188.
  2. Steptoe A., Serwinski B. (2016). Cortisol awakening response. Book: Stress Concepts and Cognition, Emotion, and Behavior. 
  3. Serwinski B. (2015). Stress, negative mood, and salivary cortisol output. Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society, Savannah.
  4. Serwinski B. (2015). Associations between hair and salivary cortisol - a study of temporal 
  5. relationships. Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society, Savannah.
  6. Serwinski B. (2015). Coping as a stress-buffer during academic stress - findings from hair and salivary cortisol. Young Investigator Colloquium Award, Scientific Meeting of the American psychosomatic Society, Savannah.
  7. Serwinski B. (2014). Hair cortisol as a biomarker of stress: strong associations between cortisol in hair and salivary cortisol. Iberoamerican Congress of Health Psychology, Spain. 
  8. Serwinski B. (2014). Lower heart rate variability over the working day is associated with elevated hair cortisol levels. International Congress of Behavioural Medicine, Netherlands.