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Dr Ruth Hackett joined the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience as a Lecturer in Health Psychology in December 2019. Prior to her appointment, Ruth undertook post-doctoral work at the Department of Behavioural Science and Health, University College London (UCL). As a Research Fellow she combined an active research role with a leadership position on the MSc Health Psychology course at UCL.  

Her main research interest lies in understanding how psychological factors including stress influence biological functions relevant to cardiometabolic disease. Ruth is also interested in discrimination as a form of stress and as a risk factor for mental and physical illness. Her research has won awards from the American Psychosomatic Society, the Rosetrees Trust and the Canadian government.  

Ruth holds a PhD in Health Psychology and Epidemiology from UCL and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Ruth has delivered invited talks and lectures at City University of London, Imperial College London, University of Roehampton and St. George’s University of London.

Research Interests

  • Psychosocial stress factors  
  • Discrimination  
  • Stress-related biology 
  • Cardiometabolic disease 
  • Ageing 
  • Laboratory stress testing 
  • Longitudinal studies 


  • Health Psychology 
  • Research Methods 

Expertise and Public Engagement 

Ruth’s laboratory stress research has featured on BBC1, BBC World and Channel 4. Her work on stress and cardiometabolic disease has been included in British Heart Foundation and American Heart Association publications for lay audiences. She has provided expertise on stress to private companies and start-ups with a social mission.   

Her work on discrimination and health has featured on BBC Woman’s Hour, BBC Radio Scotland, and in newspapers including The Times, The Telegraph and The Independent. She has collaborated with the Young Women’s Trust to produce an infographic on the impact of sexism on young women’s mental health.