University of Leeds

University of Leeds, UK

University Of LeedsLead contact: Dr Graham Finlayson



The Institute of Psychological Sciences at the University of Leeds was ranked 11th among 76 Psychology Departments in the UK 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, which reported "particular distinction ... in the area of psychobiology". The Biopsychology Group, working in the Human Appetite Research Unit (HARU) has a major interest in mechanisms of human appetite control and is a recognised leader in the field. The research programme is designed to advance understanding of the expression of appetite and to help combat disorders of appetite and body weight. The HARU has 8 dedicated experimental cubicles capable of monitoring food intake behaviours and their psychological correlates with precision and sensitivity. The laboratory kitchen caters for all aspects of food development and preparation from micronutrient manipulations to total daily energy intake. The biochemistry room is fully equipped and staffed for venepuncture, cannulation and the preparation and storage of plasma for hormonal assay. We are experienced in measuring resting metabolism, body composition, substrate oxidation and maximal aerobic fitness.

Short profile of the staff members who will be undertaking the work:

Graham Finlayson is a biopsychologist with interests in the interaction of hedonic and homeostatic systems that underpin human eating behaviour. He is experienced in monitoring behavioural issues concerned with appetite control, including hedonic processes driving food choice and food preference.

John Blundell is director of the Human Appetite Research Unit and has over 15 years experience of managing large scale research projects in the area of psychobiology of appetite control, energy balance, physical activity, nutrition and drugs as a Principle Investigator.

Phillipa Caudwell is an exercise physiologist interested in the effects of exercise on appetite and energy balance. She is experienced in managing long term physical activity interventions, monitoring energy expenditure and metabolism.

Catherine Gibbons is an exercise physiologist with a Masters in Sports Nutrition. Her PhD concerns the effects of exercise on the role gastrointestinal hormones play in eating behaviour and energy balance.

Mark Hopkins is an exercise physiologist interested in the effects of exercise on appetite control and energy balance. His PhD concerns the role that substrate metabolism plays in the control of appetite and food intake.

Marion Hetherington is the Biological Psychology Research leader at Institute of Psychological Sciences with specific interests in appetite regulation across the lifespan. She is known for her work on short term influences on food intake, and has more recently investigated gene-environment interactions in the development of childhood obesity.

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