Our Research

Our translational research aims to build resilience in women who've been diagnosed with primary as well as secondary breast cancer. 

Using a range of neuroscientific and cognitive methods, BRiC conducts cutting edge research to reduce the psychological impact of diagnosis and treatment and boost resilience in women who've been diagnosed with breast cancer. Based on evidence that impairments in cognitive flexibility and attentional control can enhance emotional vulnerability to anxiety and depression, BRiC's research attempts to underpin neurocognitive mechanisms behind emotional vulnerability in breast cancer. Capitalising on recent advances in affective neuroscience, our research targets those mechanisms through reliable adaptive cognitive control training interventions, to boost resilience, enhance brain function and processing efficiency, and improve cognitive and emotional health. It is amongst BRiC's missions to examine how neurocognitive training interventions can aid in the efficacy of treatments such as mindfulness and CBT that rely on processing efficiency.

News!! Check out our recent publication, "Training Cognitive Control to Reduce Emotional Vulnerability in Breast Cancer" in Psycho-oncology. Huge and heart-felt thanks to all those participants who took part in the intervention and for helping us build our research programme on resilience.  Here’s a preview, and the full text will be available on line soon so watch this space! 

The BRiC research team:

Professor Nazanin Derakshan (Head of the team) specialises in neurocognitive markers of anxiety and depressive vulnerability to develop neurocognitive interventions that promote cognitive efficiency, psychological flexibility and resilience

Professor Beth Grunfeld specialises in psycho-social oncology and the psychosocial outcomes following diagnosis and treatment (mainly among patients with benign and non-benign lesions) and on the development of interventions to support patients.

Dr Anne Miles specialises in patient preferences for cancer testing and cancertreatment, and examines diagnostic and treatment pathways that may adversely affect longer-term emotional and physical outcomes. She also conductes research into cancer screening and the public understanding of cancer.  

Professor Jonathan Smith is an international pioneer and founder of interpretive nomenological analysis (IPA) as a particular experiential qualitative approach in psychology and its application to a range of areas in health, social and clinical psychology.

Professor Jason Moser is a clinical neuroscientist and specialises in the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying our ability to regulate cognition, emotion and behaviour, and their clinical significance in terms of their roles in the development, maintenance, and treatment of anxiety and depression. 

Jessica Swainston: is a PhD student funded by the ESRC. She investigates the neurocognitive markers of cognitive function and emotional vulnerability in breast cancer as well as the efficacy of neurocognitive interventions in reducing emotional vulnerability in breast cancer, independently and in combination with other more traditional methods of psychotherapy such as expressive writing and mindfulness meditation.

Bethany Chapman: is a PhD student. She is pursuing research into the neurocognitive mechanisms of processing efficiency in breast cancer and is assessing the efficacy of neurocognitive interventions in helping survivors of breast cancer return to work and sustain performance efficiency and effectiveness in the work place.

Samantha Shulman: is an ex-lawyer MSc (to-be-PhD) student who is examining the efficacy of neurocognitive interventions on everyday memory, attention and cognitive function in women with breast cancer.

Narges Azizi: is an MSc student investigating the nature of intrusions in women with a history of breast cancer and their effects on everyday attention and memory.