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Helena Zavos BSc MSc PhD

Helena Zavos



  • Lecturer in Psychology, King's College London (2015 to present)
  • Post-doctoral research worker (CoTaSS), SGDP Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London (2011-2015)
  • Ph.D., “Cognitive biases associated with anxiety and depression in adolescence”, Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, King’s College, London (2011)
  • Msc, Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, King’s College, London (2008)
  • Bsc Hons. Psychology (1st Class), University College London (2007)

Research overview

During my PhD I used genetically sensitive designs to investigate the relationship between cognitive biases and internalising problems in adolescents. I am currently working on the Colombo Twin and Singleton Study (CoTaSS), looking at the genetic and environmental overlap between depression and a number of key cardiovascular and metabolic risk markers in Sri Lanka.



Student bursary, British Psychological Society (2010)

Four year MSc + PhD scholarship from the U.K. Medical Research Council (2007-2011)


  1. Waszczuk, M.A., Zavos, H. M. S., Antonova, E., Haworth, C. M. A., Plomin, R., & Eley, T. C. (In press). A multivariate twin study of trait mindfulness, depressive symptoms and anxiety sensitivity. Depression and Anxiety.
  2. Waszczuk, M. A., Zavos, H. M. S., Gregory, A. M., & Eley, T. C. (2014). The phenotypic and etiological structure of depression and anxiety disorder symptoms in childhood, adolescence and young adulthood. JAMA Psychiatry, 71(8), 905 - 916. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.655.Link:
  3. McAdams, T. A., Gregory, A. M., Rowe, R., Zavos, H. M. S., Barclay, N. L., Lau, J. Y. F., Maughan, B., & Eley, T. C. (2013). The genesis 12-19 (G1219) study: A twin and sibling study of gene-environment interplay and adolescent development in the UK. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 16(1), 134-143. doi:10.1017/thg.2012.83.
  4. Brown, H., Trzaskowski., M., Zavos, H. M.S., Rijsdijk, F. V., Gregory, A.M., & Eley, T. C. (2012). Phenotypic and genetic structure of anxiety sensitivity over adolescence and early adulthood. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 26(6), 680-688. 
  5. Zavos, H.M.S.,* Kovas, Y.*, Ball, H.A., Ball, D., Siribaddana, S.H., Glozier, N., Sumathipala, A., McGuffin, P., Hotopf, M., & Rijsdijk, F. (2012). Genetic and environmental etiology of nicotine use in Sri Lankan male twins. Behavior Genetics, 42(5), 798-807. *Joint first Authors.
  6. Zavos, H. M.S., Rijsdijk, F. V., & Eley, T. C. (2012). A longitudinal, genetically informative, study of associations between anxiety sensitivity, anxiety and depression. Behavior Genetics, 42(4), 592-602. 
  7. Scaini, S., Ogliari, A., Eley, T.C., Zavos, H.M.S., Battaglia, M. (2012). Genetic and environmental contributions to separation anxiety: A meta-analytic approach to twin data. Depression and Anxiety, 29(9), 754–761.
  8. Zavos, H.M.S., Wong, C., Barclay, N.L., Keers, R., Mill, J., Gregory, A.M., & Eley, T.C. (2012). Anxiety sensitivity in adolescence and young adulthood: The role of stressful life events, 5HTTLPR and their interaction. Depression and Anxiety29, 400-408.
  9. Zavos, H. M. S., Gregory, A. M., & Eley, T. C. (2012). Longitudinal genetic analysis of anxiety sensitivity. Developmental Psychology, 48, 204-212.
  10. Stringaris, A.,* Zavos, H.M.S.,* Leibenluft, E., Maughan, B., & Eley, T.C. (2012). Adolescent Irritability: Phenotypic associations and genetic links with depressed mood. American Journal of Psychiatry, 169, 47-54 *Joint first Authors
  11. Eley, T.C.*, Hudson, J.L.*, Creswell, C., Tropeano, M., Lester, K.J., Cooper, P., Farmer, A., Lewis, C.M., Lyneham, H.J., Rapee, R.M., Uher, R., Zavos, H.M.S., & Collier, D.A. (2012). Therapygenetics: The 5HTTLPR and response to psychological therapy. Molecular Psychiatry17(3), 236-237. Recipient of a Macquarie University Research Excellence Award, 2011.
  12. Trzaskowski, M., Zavos, H.M.S., Haworth, C.M.A., Plomin, R., & Eley, T.C. (2012). Stable genetic influence on anxiety-related behaviors across middle childhood. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 40, 85-94.
  13. Barclay, N.L., Eley, T.C., Mill, J., Wong, C.C.Y., Zavos, H.M.S., Archer, A.N., & Gregory, A.M. (2011). Sleep quality and diurnal preference in a sample of young adults: Associations with 5HTTLPR, PER3 and CLOCK 3111. American Journal of Medical Genetics: Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 156, 681-690.
  14. Zavos, H. M. S., Rijsdijk, F. V., Gregory, A. M., & Eley, T. C. (2010). Genetic influences on the cognitive biases associated with anxiety and depression symptoms in adolescents. Journal of Affective Disorders124(1-2), 45-53.
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