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Population and Behavioural Science Research Division

Research at the University of St Andrews School of Medicine


Population and Behavioural Science research in the School of Medicine is transforming health promotion, prevention, early detection, management of illness and communication locally, nationally and globally. We are a multidisciplinary team of researchers with expertise in health data science, epidemiology, trials and the design, delivery, and evaluation of theory-based psychological interventions.

We work in the primary care and community health domains, with specific interests in addiction medicine, child and adolescent health, long-term conditions and health behaviours. We are committed to public and patient involvement throughout our research and host the Fife Community Advisory Council who help guide our research. We employ patient co-design to improve both the delivery and understanding of our research.

researcher using eye tracking equipment
Head of Division: Prof Colin McCowan
Deputy Head of Division: Dr Gozde Ozakinci
Division Support: Katie MacLeod

Principal Investigators


Prof Alexander Baldacchino

Chair in Medicine


Ms Dorothy Currie

Senior Statistician


Dr Kathryn Cunningham

Loneliness; Isolation; Wellbeing; Mental Health; Public Health; Health Promotion; Health Behaviour Change; Healthcare Professional Behaviour Change; Social Prescribing; Intervention/Service Development, Implementation and Evaluation


Dr Virginia Hernandez Santiago


Dr Mara van Beusekom

Research Fellow

Health Communication; Patient Involvement; Co-Design; Visual Communication; Health Literacy


Prof Gerald Humphris


Prof Colin McCowan

Professor in Health Data Science

Heath Data Science, Health Informatics, Clinical epidemiology, Routinely collected health data


Dr Gozde Ozakinci

Senior Lecturer

Health psychology; Population and Behavioural Sciences; Cancer; Physical activity; Wellbeing; Sustainability; Health behaviours; Communication


Prof Francis Sullivan

Professor of Primary Care Medicine

General Practice; Primary Care; Clinical Trials; Health Data Science; Systematic Reviews


Dr Joanne Cecil



Dr Andrew Williams

Senior Lecturer in Public Health

Epidemiology; Evaluation; Complexity; Salutogenesis; Obesity; Child and adolescent health; Community health


Dr Amaya Azcoaga-Lorenzo


Dr Fay Crawford