Research interests

As a large and diverse group, TARG have a number of research interests. Here you can find out about each workstream and what we are studying.

TARG is structured around several interlinked workstreams

TARG Directors (Angela Attwood, Marcus Munafò, Olivia Maynard and Ian Penton-Voak)
Workstream 1: Epidemiology and Causal Inference (led by Hannah Sallis and Jasmine Khouja)
Workstream 2: Experimental Medicine and Mechanism (led by Maddy Dyer)
Workstream 3: Field Trials and Interventions (led by Jennifer Ferrar and Zoe Reed)
Workstream 4: Meta-Research (led by Robert Thibault and Jackie Thompson)
Data Capture (led by Andy Skinner)

Workstream 1: Epidemiology and Causal Inference

Workstream Leads: Hannah Sallis and Jasmine Khouja

The Epidemiology and Causal Inference workstream is broadly focused on the associations between health behaviours and mental health. We use secondary data sources including the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) and the UK Biobank. As well as classic epidemiology methods, we also use genetic epidemiology, and in particular Mendelian randomisation, to infer causality. 

Researchers and students

Gareth GriffithChloe SlaneySabrina Burton, Amy Campbell

Affiliate members and visitors

Lindsey HinesAnya SkatovaLiam MahedyEimear Foley, Elena Raffetti, Agnes Kessling

Collaborators

MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit

Workstream 2: Experimental Medicine and Mechanism

Workstream Leads: Maddy Dyer and Charlotte Horne

The Experimental Medicine and Mechanism workstream is broadly focused on data collection in controlled laboratory settings. We aim to: (a) identify mechanisms underlying mental and physical health, (b) develop/refine self-report, physiological, and behavioural measures, and (c) identify targets for intervention and assess their feasibility in the real world.

Researchers and students

Yasmin Sachdev, Thea HouseMaren Müller-Glodde, Sally Turner, Kimberley Beaumont, Kasia Wezowski, Rumeysa Kuruoglu

Affiliate members and visitors

Helen Bould, Megan Parry

Collaborators

Cambridge Cognition

Workstream 3: Field Trials and Interventions

Workstream Leads: Jennifer Ferrar and Zoe Reed

The Field Trials and Interventions workstream research and investigate the impact on behaviour of both targeted and population-level interventions. Data collection is conducted in a range of settings, including the Psychological Science research laboratories, local schools, nightclubs and festivals, and field studies examine interventions in naturalistic settings, including shops and bars. This research uses quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods.

Researchers and students

Katie De-loydeAnna Blackwell, Catherine Hall, Joe Matthews, Lilli Waples, Daniel Foster, Jana Lutus

Affiliate members and visitors

Amelia Thornton, Claire Brabocsz, Maddie Svenson, Claire Durant, Laura Brocklebank

Collaborators

Behaviour Change by Design – University of Cambridge

Workstream 4: Meta-Research

Workstream Leads: Robert Thibault and Jackie Thompson

The Meta-Research workstream focuses on improving the robustness, transparency, and efficiency of scientific research. Topics include Registered Reports, preregistration, prediction markets, incentives in academia, statistical practice, reporting standards, checklist and guidelines, open research and transparency, and research culture more broadly. We prioritise developing and testing solutions aimed at improving research outputs and the research ecosystem.

Researchers and students

Francesca SpigaMatt JaquieryEmma WilsonRobbie Clark, Katie Drax, Mark Gibson

Collaborators

The UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN)

Data Capture

Workstream Lead: Andy Skinner

Data Capture is a cross-cutting theme developing novel approaches to capturing the variety of data of interest to researchers in the IEU – everything from molecules to behaviours. It supports a wide and varied portfolio of research projects across the IEU, while at the same time horizon scanning and collaborating with other world leading teams to bring innovative data capture technologies and techniques into the Unit. The Theme’s research interests include sensing health behaviours using wearable digital devices, crowd-sourcing of cognitive and behavioural data collection, continuous bio-sensing, low energy sensing technologies, on-body video capture, novel dietary assessment and technologies for behaviour change interventions.

Researchers

Chris Stone

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