Michael Ussher is Professor of Behavioural Medicine in the Population Health Research Institute. His research focuses on both smoking cessation and physical activity promotion. Current research includes:
• Randomised controlled trials of novel ways of helping smokers to quit, with a focus on helping women who smoke in pregnancy.
• Trials of physical activity interventions, especially among those who smoke or have mental health issues.
• National surveys and cohort studies of smoking behaviour.
• Qualitative studies on the process of smoking cessation and of exercise adherence.
• Laboratory studies of interventions for managing cigarette withdrawal symptoms and for managing chronic pain.
Professor Ussher joined St George's in 1999 as a Research Fellow and PhD student. On completion of his PhD (2001), Professor Ussher was appointed as a Lecturer. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2006, Reader in Health Psychology in 2010 and received his Chair in Behavioural Medicine in 2013. In 2013, Professor Ussher was also awarded the Hamid Ghodse Foundation Chair in Addiction, in recognition of his research on smoking cessation. In 2015 Professor Ussher was appointed as Associate Dean for Widening Participation.
Professor Ussher acts as a consultant for the Department of Health (DoH) and is a member of the DoH funded UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, acting as co-lead for the Pregnancy and Smoking Research Theme.
Professor Ussher is a Senior Editor for the journal Addiction, and is a member of the UK Population Health Working Group and the Tobacco Advisory Group of Cancer Research UK.
Harris TJ, Kerry SM, Limb E, Victor CR, Iliffe S, Shah SM, Ussher M, Whincup PH, Ekelund U, Fox-Rushby J, Furness C, Anokye N, Ibison J, DeWilde S, David L, Howard E, Dale R, Smith J, Cook DG. (in press) Increasing walking in 45-75 year olds: the primary care Pedometer And Consultation Evaluation (PACE-UP) cluster randomised controlled trial. PLoS Medicine.
Ussher M, Hajek P, Kakar G, West R. (2016) Dependence and motivation to stop smoking as predictors of success of a quit attempt among smokers seeking help to quit. Addictive Behaviors, 53, 175-180.
Riaz M, Lewis S, Coleman T, Aveyard P, West R, Naughton F, Ussher M (2016) Which measures of cigarette dependence are predictors of smoking cessation during pregnancy? Analysis of data from a randomised controlled trial. Addiction, 111, 1656-65.
Ussher M, Lewis S, Aveyard P, Manyonda I, West R, Lewis B, Marcus B, Riaz M, Taylor A, Daley A, Coleman T (2015). Physical activity for smoking cessation in pregnancy: randomised controlled trial. BMJ May 14;350:h2145.
Ussher M, Lewis S, Aveyard P, Manyonda I, West R, Lewis B, Marcus B, Riaz M, Taylor AH, Barton P, Daley A, Essex H, Esliger D, Coleman T (2015) The London Exercise And Pregnant (LEAP) smokers trial: A randomised controlled trial of physical activity for smoking cessation in pregnancy with an economic evaluation. Health Technology Assessment, 19, 1-135.
Ussher MH, Taylor AH, Faulkner GE (2014) Exercise interventions for smoking cessation. Tobacco Addiction Module of the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 8, Oxford, The Cochrane Collaboration, Update Software, CD002295.
Ussher M, Brown J, Rajamanoharan A, West R (2014) How do factors prompting attempts to quit smoking relate to method of quitting and quit success? Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 47, 358-68.
Ussher M, Beard E, Abikoye G, Hajek P, West R (2013) Urge to smoke over 52 weeks of abstinence. Psychopharmacology, 226, 83-89.
Muhammad Riaz (Smoking cessation and pregnancy)
Ana Howarth (Mindfulness interventions for chronic pain)
Christine Goodair (Substance misuse)
Dr Tess Harris (St George’s, University of London)
Dr Steve Gillard (St George’s, University of London)
Dr. Angela Donin (St. George's, University of London)
Dr. Peter Holt (St. George's, University of London)
Dr. Alexis Bailey (St. George's, University of London)
Professor Adrian Taylor (Plymouth)
Professor Tim Coleman(Nottingham University)
Dr Sue Cooper (University of Nottingham)
Dr Caitlin Notley (University of East Anglia)
Professor Deborah Bick (Kings College London)
Professor Peter Hajek (Queen Mary, University of London)
Dr David Williams(Brown University, USA)
As Principal Investigator
Attitudes to electronic cigarettes: A qualitative study of women who are pregnant or have recently given birth.
Funder: CRUK, £64,000
Improving effectiveness of nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation in pregnancy through better adherence and adequate dosing
PI: Prof Tim Coleman, Nottingham University.
Funder: NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research
A multi-centred Trial of physical Activity assisted Reduction of Smoking (TARS)
PI: Prof Adrian Taylor, University of Plymouth
Helping pregnant smokers quit: Multi-centre RCT of electronic cigarettes vs usual care.
PI: Prof Peter Hajek, Queen Mary University of London
The MiQuit study: RCT and meta-analysis testing effectiveness and cost effectiveness of a tailored text message programme for smoking cessation in pregnancy
PI: Prof. Tim Coleman, Nottingham University.
2015 - 2019
Enhanced discharge from inpatient to community mental health care (ENRICH): a programme of applied research to manualise, pilot and trial a Peer Worker intervention
PI: Dr Steve Gillard, St George's, University of London
Funder: NIHR, HTA
Attitudes to and use of electronic cigarettes: a multi-centre longitudinal cohort survey of smokers and recent ex-smokers during pregnancy and postpartum.
PI: Dr Sue Cooper, University of Nottingham
Developing a nutritional intervention to increase cereal fibre intakes in UK South Asian children.
PI: Dr. Angela Donin, St. George's University of London
Funder: Welcome Trust
2015 - 2017
A two arm feasibility trial of lifestyle information and Slimming World groups to promote weight management and positive lifestyle behaviour in postnatal women from an ethnically diverse inner city population.
PI: Professor Debra Bick, Kings College
Funder: NIHR Public Health Research Programme
2010 - 2017
Improving the effectiveness and reach of NHS support for smoking cessation in pregnancy
PI: Professor Tim Coleman, Nottingham University. Professor Ussher is the Lead Investigator on one of the work streams and a co-investigator on the other three work streams.
Funder: NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research
2015 - 2016
Enhancing use of nicotine replacement therapy for stopping smoking in pregnancy and minimising relapse to smoking afterwards
PI: Professor Tim Coleman, University of Nottingham
Funder: NIHR Research Capability Funding
Efficacy of brisk walking as a smoking cessation treatment adjunct among women.
PI: Dr David Williams, Brown University, USA
Funder: National Cancer Institute (NCI), US National Institute of Health (NIH)
Professor Ussher's teaching focusses on provided lectures on behavioural medicine to undergraduate medical students, including the topics of smoking cessation, physical activity promotion, obesity and chronic illness. He supervises BSc research projects in behavioural medicine, he lectures on various masters courses and currently supervises two PhD students.