Dr Gemma Taylor from the Department of Psychology, has received the Early Career Award from the UK Society for Behavioural Medicine (UKSBM). The award was presented to her at the 14th Annual UKSBM Scientific Meeting.

Early Career Awards recognise and reward promising early career researchers in behavioural medicine. The award specifically recognises Dr Taylor's work on evidencing the benefits of smoking cessation for improved mental health that is used internationally to frame smoking cessation treatment guidelines.

Gemma is a behavioural scientist, with expertise in the treatment and epidemiology of smoking and mental health. To date, she has been involved in successful research grants with a combined value of over £1 million. She uses epidemiological findings to find and explore intervention targets, and then interpret the results using behavioural and psychological theory for use in mental health and addiction treatment settings.

She completed her PhD in epidemiology in 2014 at the University of Birmingham. Her PhD work found that stopping smoking is associated with mental health benefits that are potentially as large as taking anti-depressants. This work was awarded BMJ’s Best Research Paper Award.

Gemma also holds a Population Researcher post-doctoral fellowship award from Cancer Research UK. Her fellowship work applies her PhD findings to design a smoking cessation intervention for people with depression/anxiety and then test the intervention in NHS mental health services (IAPT) in a pilot and feasibility study. View an animation summarising this research.

Having recently started her position as Assistant Professor in Clinical Psychology at the University of Bath, Gemma aims to expand her research expertise. She says: “My ten-year plan is to broaden my research agenda to treatment development for people with other comorbid addiction and mental health problems, and potentially obesity.” Since starting at the University, she has co-founded the Addiction and Mental Health Group, alongside colleagues Dr Sally Adams, Dr Tom Freeman and Dr Emma Griffith in which they co-direct.

Professor Greg Maio, Head of the Department of Psychology at the University, took the news in stride: “I am delighted, but can’t say I am surprised by this great news. When we offered Dr Taylor a post this year, it was obvious that she is leading exciting and important research, with high importance for health and well-being. We’re very pleased that she has made our Department home to her talent and initiative.”

You can follow Gemma on Twitter @GemmaMJTaylor.