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Prof Andrew Steptoe
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
1-19 Torrington Place
  • British Heart Foundation Professor of Psychology
  • Epidemiology & Public Health
  • Institute of Epidemiology & Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

Andrew Steptoe is Director of the Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care in the Faculty of Population Health Sciences, and British Heart Foundation professor of psychology. He graduated from Cambridge in 1972, and completed his doctorate at Oxford University in 1975. He moved to St. George’s Hospital Medical School in 1977, becoming professor and chair of the Department in 1988, where he remained until his appointment in 2000 to UCL. He became Deputy Head of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at UCL in 2005 and subsequently Head of Department before being appointed Director of the Institute in 2011. He is a Past-President of the International Society of Behavioral Medicine and is a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, the British Psychological Society, Academia Europaea, and the Academy of Social Sciences. He was founding editor of the British Journal of Health Psychology, an associate editor of Psychophysiology, the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, the British Journal of Clinical Psychology, the International Journal of Rehabilitation and Health and the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, and is on the editorial boards of seven other journals. Andrew directs the Psychobiology Group (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychobiology) and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing research group at UCL (http://www.ifs.org.uk/ELSA). He has published more than 400 peer-reviewed articles and is author or editor of 18 books, most recently the Handbook of Behavioral Medicine (2010) and Stress and Cardiovascular Disease (2012).


Research Summary

1. Psychobiology of health and disease - The purpose of this programme is to understand the biological processes through which social status and other psychosocial factors influence disease risk. It involves laboratory studies of the influence of psychosocial factors on cardiovascular, neuroendocrine and immune function, and naturalistic studies of blood pressure, cortisol and other measures during everyday life. This research is carried out in collaboration with Professor Michael Marmot and the Whitehall II study 2. Psychophysiology of coronary heart disease - This theme concerns the influence of behaviour and emotional factors on patients with advanced coronary artery disease. The purpose is to understand the role of emotional factors in the triggering of coronary ischaemia and acute coronary syndromes, to understand the evolution of depression in patients following acute coronary syndromes, and to investigate the influence of psychosocial factors on long-term adjustment and quality of life in coronary heart disease. 3. Health behaviour change - Behaviours such as dietary choice, smoking and physical exercise are important determinants of health and disease risk. We are carrying out studies of the determinants of health behaviours, and work on the use of behavioural counselling to modify risk behaviours. 4. Biology and happiness -This research focuses on the potentially protective effect of positive affect in physical health. It involves population-based studies and investigations of associations between affect and biology in everyday life. 5. Ageing and health - I have taken responsibility joined for the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), and am helping to coordinate the research on this large population-based study http://www.ifs.org.uk/elsa/

Teaching Summary

I am course director of the UCL Health Psychology MSc.  I also supervise a number of PhD students in health psychology, psychobiology, and epidemiology

Academic Background
1995 DSC Doctor of Science University of London
1976 DPhil Doctor of Philosophy – Clinical Medicine University of Oxford
1976 MA Master of Arts University of Cambridge
1972 BA Bachelor of Arts – Natural Sciences University of Cambridge
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