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Air pollution, brain health and wellbeing in India

There is emerging evidence that air pollutants are strongly associated with cognitive impairment and are an independent risk factor for mental disorders. This poses a very significant problem for India, a country with several highly polluted cities, rapidly rising rates of dementia, and inadequate mental health care facilities for a large proportion of its people.

The overarching goal of this collaborative research project is to develop an effective and multidisciplinary scientific partnership between UK and Indian researchers to fully understand the nature and extent of the negative consequences of air pollution for brain health (cognitive functioning) and wellbeing (mental health) in North India.


Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Professor Veena Kumari - Professor Veena Kumari obtained a PhD in Psychology from Banaras Hindu University, India in 1993 prior to joining the Institute of Psychiatry, London for post-doctoral research. She became a Beit Memorial Research Fellow in 1999, a Wellcome Senior Fellow in Basic Biomedical Science in 2002, and a Full Professor in 2006 at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (formerly known as the Institute of Psychiatry), King’s College London, UK. She left King’s College London in 2016 to join the Sovereign Health Group (USA) as the Chief Scientific Officer and returned to the UK in 2018 to join Brunel University London as Professor of Psychology and the Director of the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience (CCN). Her research interests include the neurobiological effects of pharmacological and psychological treatments in psychosis, neurobiology of violence in mental illness, psychobiology of addiction, and personality and brain functioning. Prof Kumari has over 250 publications in reputed psychology, psychiatry and neuroscience journals and received various national and international awards for her research including the Young Investigator Award from the National Alliance of Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, USA (1999), research fellowship from BEIT Memorial Foundation (1999-2002), the BAP (British Association of Psychopharmacology) Clinical Psychopharmacology Prize (2002), Wellcome Senior Fellowship in Basic Biomedical Science (2002-2009), and most recently the prestigious Humboldt Research Award (2014). Professor Kumari has supervised a large number of post-graduate and doctoral students and served in editor or editorial board member roles for a number of psychology and psychiatry journals.

Related Research Group(s)

Cognitive Neuroscience

Cognitive Neuroscience - Fundamental and applied research into brain function using techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), electromyography (EMG), eye-tracking, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS), infrared thermography together with psychophysics and cognitive behavioural paradigms in health and disease.


Project last modified 28/06/2021