Leading health behaviour change psychologist joins Manchester

  Belinda Borrelli

Belinda Borrelli

10 Jul 2013

A leading clinical and health psychologist who specialises in motivating health behaviour change - including treatments to help smokers give up - has accepted a role of Chair at The University of Manchester.

Professor Belinda Borrelli, a Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Program in Nicotine and Tobacco Research at Brown Medical School and The Miriam Hospital in the USA and will work in the University’s School of Psychological Sciences as a Visiting Professor.

Professor Borrelli has made significant contributions to the field of Health Psychology. Her work includes developing and testing treatments to motivate smoking cessation, well as treatments that encourage patients to take their medication, and follow medical plans and treatments in chronic diseases (like asthma, cystic fibrosis and sleep apnea), and increase oral health and dietary behaviours. Moreover, Professor Borrelli is known for conducting high quality, longitudinal research in inner city, low income and understudied populations.

Professor Borrelli has been nominated for numerous teaching awards and has provided mentorship to many psychology students and postdoctoral fellows over the past 18 years, many of whom are now conducting their own research in smoking cessation and health behaviour change. She has also trained scores of of health care workers in motivational ing to help patients change their behaviours and improve their health, both in the United States and internationally.

The University of Manchester posting will see Professor Borrelli give lectures and work with researchers on a part-time basis in addition to her current roles in the US. Professor Borrelli said she was very excited about working at Manchester. “I am honoured to be offered the opportunity to work at such an esteemed university, under leadership with creative vision, and with colleagues who are doing cutting-edge, state of the art research and teaching.”

Professor Rachel Calam, Head of the School of Psychological Sciences, said: “We are delighted that Belinda has agreed to become a Visiting Professor in the School of Psychological Sciences. Her research is exciting and important, offering the potential to tackle some major health issues which are very significant in improving the health of the nation and will be of great interest to our students and research staff.”

Professor Ian Jacobs, Dean of the University’s Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, said: “I am delighted that we have recruited Professor Borrelli, a truly outstanding academic and world leader in the field of health behaviour. Her recruitment reflects the importance we attach to this area which will link across all the Schools and Institutes in the Faculty and with the work of our NHS partners in Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC). Belinda will join with three other newly recruited professors in an exciting initiative to create the ’Manchester Centre for Health Psychology’ which is directed by Professor Alison Wearden.”

Professor Borrelli has published over 75 peer-reviewed academic research articles, has given over 65 invited talks and keynotes on her research, has been a member of various grant review panels, and is currently Associate Editor of two internationally acclaimed journals, Health Psychology and Addiction.

The other new recruits to the University’s Manchester Centre for Health Psychology are Professor David French, Professor Chris Armitage and Professor Suzanne Skevington.