UCL Psychology and Language Sciences

Prof Sunjeev Kamboj

Prof Sunjeev Kamboj

Professor of Translational Clinical Psychology

Clinical, Edu & Hlth Psychology

Div of Psychology & Lang Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Mar 2005

Research summary

My team works at the interface between clinical psychology and neuroscience. We aim to develop novel psychological and pharmacological treatments (and their combination) for addiction, anxiety, depression and trauma-related disorders. We use a variety of experimental techniques, including pharmacological manipulation, EEG, eye-tracking and other psychophysiological techniques to study psychological change processes. Current projects are in the following broad themes:

Development of Novel Treatments for Addictions and Trauma-related Disorders

We have shown that even very well-rehearsed and chronologically old memories - such as those underlying addictive behaviours - can be modified by targeting a process called 'memory reconsolidation'. We are investigating a range of drugs that might interfere with reconsolidation, and hence reduce the influence of maladaptive memories on addictive behaviours and trauma-like symptoms. We are currently testing pharmacological strategies (e.g. NMDA receptor antagonists) and behavioural techniques for preventing the formation or retrieval of traumatic thoughts and memories. We are also testing whether nitrous oxide ('laughing gas') can be used to enhance certain psychotherapeutic strategies.

'Contemplative Psychopharmacology' and Addiction Science.

These studies investigate whether it is possible to enhance meditative practices using biological treatments that influence prosocial/ affiliative feelings or attention. In particular, we are are looking at whether we can use pharmacological treatments (e.g. psychedelic drugs or cognitive enhancers) or non-invasive neurostimulation to improve the effects of mindfulness training and compassion-focused techniques. We are also testing abbreviated treatments that involve meditative practices (e.g. yogic breathing or mindfulness meditation) and newer forms of cognitive therapy which aim to help people respond more adaptively to intense drug craving.

Understanding and raising awareness of uncommon anxiety conditions.

I have an ongoing interest in developing our understanding of bladder and bowel-control anxieties, in which people have a terror of having 'an accident' in public. This seems to be a common concern among patients with panic disorder, yet is poorly understood and possibly, sub-optimally treated.

Teaching summary


Module convenor for Topics in Clinical Psychology (PSYC0023).


General: Assessment and formulation; Terminating therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Generic and basic competencies

Seminars: First year academic seminars ; first year clinical seminars; first year reflective practice seminars (DClinPsy).



Departmental Graduate Tutor (CEHP)

Office hours for CEHP PhD students:



University of Aberdeen
Other higher degree, Master of Science | 2018
University College London
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), Postgraduate Diploma | 2007
University College London
Doctorate, Doctorate in Clinical Psychology | 2003
University of Sussex
Other higher degree, Master of Science | 1999
University College London
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 1995
University College London
First Degree, Bachelor of Science (Honours) | 1992


I completed my undergraduate degree and PhD (in neuropharmacology) at UCL, followed by a two-year Wellcome Trust international postdoctoral research fellowship in the neuroscience department at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. After returning to the UK and training in clinical psychology (again, at UCL), I worked fulltime in the National Health Service (NHS) for several years before returning to academia while continuing with an NHS appointment.

I am a HCPC registered clinical psychologist and BABCP accredited cognitive therapist and I supervise trainee CBT therapists on the IAPT programme. I have additional advanced training in clinical and applied hypnosis, and in mindfulness.