UCL News


Spotlight on... Naaheed Mukadam

2 November 2023

This week we meet Naaheed Mukadam, Associate Professor at the UCL Division of Psychiatry, who chats to us about her work focusing on ethnic inequalities in dementia, incorporating dance and music into her research and her favourite scenic spot on Lake Malawi.

Naaheed Mukadam

What is your role and what does it involve? 

I am Associate Professor at UCL where my research is focused on ethnic inequalities in dementia from prevention through to diagnosis and post-diagnostic support. The other half of my job is as a Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist with the UCLH Mental Health Liaison team. In this role, I assess and treat people with mental health conditions who are admitted to UCLH. 

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role? 

I started at UCL in 2008 when I did my Master's in Psychiatric Research. At that time, I was working full-time clinically as a psychiatry trainee and did the MSc part-time. I enjoyed my experience of research so went on to get a clinical fellow job and then a doctoral training fellowship which allowed me to do my PhD at UCL. 

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of? 

I worked with a dance organisation and professional musician to explore experiences in the South Asian community with regards to dementia and we created a music and dance show which we performed at the Bloomsbury theatre this year. The project was unlike anything I had previously worked on as it was using a creative lens to capture experiences rather than focusing on research questions and hypotheses and it was a lot of fun. 

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list 

I am working with psychiatrists in Malawi to tackle stigma around mental illness and dementia. 

What is your favourite album, film and novel? 

I don’t really have favourites as it very much depends on what I feel like at the time. However, anything composed by A.R.Rahman is always great and I’m currently enjoying the book Rage of Dragons, particularly as it uses African words and references which reminds me of home. 

What is your favourite joke? 

I can’t think of one, but I generally favour cheesy jokes that eight year olds find amusing. 

Who would be your dream dinner guests? 

My parents – they have led very interesting lives and I don’t get to spend enough time with them because of work. 

What advice would you give your younger self? 

Learn to accept failure as part of life. 

What would it surprise people to know about you? 

I like to write backwards as a way of relaxing. It’s my form of doodling I suppose. 

What is your favourite place? 

Mangochi, on Lake Malawi, ideally with an ice-cold drink, looking at the sunset.