Dept of Psychological Sciences | Our staff | Professor Naz Derakhshan
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Professor Naz Derakhshan

- Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (FAPS)

- Director of the BRiC Centre (Birkbeck Integrative Centre for Building Resilience in Breast Cancer)

- Director of Postgraduate Taught Courses

- Head of the Departmental Research Committee


Contact details

Office: Room 517c, Department of Psychological Sciences
tel: +44 (0)20 7631 6538
fax: +44 (0)20 7631 6312

Twitter account: @ProfNDerakshan

Labs: MERLiN (Mace Experimental Research Laboratories in Neuroscience)

Publications listed on BIROn

News highlights

My story podcast: Professor Naz Derakhshan on PTSD

My piece in the Birkbeck Annual Review 2018: EMPOWERING

Birkbeck launches new resources for people with breast cancer [April, 2018]

At-home cognitive training shown to reduce anxiety in breast cancer survivors [News, April 2018]

Panning for Gold, BRiC's blog, wins second place for best UK breast cancer website. (July 2018)

Our recent publication in Psycho-oncology receives wide press recognition:

Professor Naz Derakhshan gave a lecture at our 2018 Science Week: How can cognitive neuroscience build resilience in breast cancer?

Research overview

  • Nazanin Derakhshan is a Professor of Experimental Psychopathology in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Birkbeck, University of London, and a former Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow in Experimental Psychopathology. She is Director of theĀ Birkbeck Research Centre for Building Resilience in Breast Cancer. She has conducted extensive research into understanding the neurocognitive mechanisms behind emotional vulnerability and the effects of anxiety and depression on cognitive performance, with a number of key papers including highly cited theoretical articles published. Her work shows how deficits in attentional control and processing efficiency can be improved by engaging and targeting working memory capacity, with direct implications in education and clinical health where enhancing processing efficiency can help not only remmediate but protect against the effects of anxiety and depression.
  • Naz studies how cognitive flexibility can pave the way towards resilience and a richer more meaningful life. Drawing from her recent personal experience of breast cancer, she studies how embracing the experience of emotions such as anxiety, sadness and fear especially in the face of trauma, can be adaptive and instrumental in enhancing the quality of our lives.
  • GOOGLE SCHOLAR Personal Webpage
  • Latest research blog:
  • Naz Derakshan in the Huffington Post

Career history

  • 2012 to date Professor of Experimental Psychopathology. Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck University of London.
  • 2013-2015 Visiting Professor. Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, UK.
  • 2012 - 2013, Visiting Research Associate at St John's College Research Centre, St John's College, University of Oxford.
  • 2009 - 2011, Reader in Psychology; Birkbeck, University of London (Maternity Leave 2010).
  • 2004-2008, Senior Lecturer in Psychology; Birkbeck, University of London.
  • 2004 - 2006, Lecturer in Psychology, Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London.
  • 2000 - 2004, Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow in Experimental Psychopathology, University of Leeds, UK (I was the second person to be awarded this prestigious award in Experimental Psychology)
  • 1999 - 2000 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
  • 1998-1999 Temporary Lecturer in Psychology, University of Sussex, UK.