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Dr Michael Smith

Associate Professor

Department: Psychology

Dr Michael Smith completed his PhD in Psychobiology at the University of Western Australia in 2009, before undertaking postdoctoral work at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research and Curtin University in Perth Australia. Michael then joined the Department of Psychology at Northumbria University in 2010. He is currently the Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange for the Department of Psychology, Programme Leader of the MRes Psychology and Lead of the Psychobiology of Stress and Wellbeing Research Group. Michael leads undergraduate and postgraduate modules in Health Psychology, and contributes to research supervision of undergraduate, Masters and PhD students. He is also Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the Medical School at the University of Western Australia.

Michael’s current research programmes relate to the investigation of i) psychological functioning in Type 2 diabetes, ii) psychosocial predictors of sexual health, and iii) the interplay between personality, stress and physical health. More specifically, Michael is currently leading a programme of research (together with Professor Mark Wetherell) which is exploring the therapeutic benefits of expressive writing. His research employs both subjective (e.g. self-report) and objective (e.g. beat-to-beat cardiovascular reactivity and bioassay techniques) markers of health. 

Michael is actively involved in the activities of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and is currently a member of the BPS Research Board and the BPS Psychobiology Section Committee.

Michael Smith

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Effects of chewing gum on nitric oxide metabolism, markers of cardiovascular health and neurocognitive performance after a nitrate-rich meal, Ong, S., Bondonno, N., Downey, L., Scholey, A., Smith, M., Stough, C., Blekkenhorst, L., Woodman, R., Croft, K., Hodgson, J., Bondonno, C. 17 Feb 2022, In: Journal of the American College of Nutrition
  • Friendships, loneliness and psychological well-being in older adults: A limit to the benefit of the number of friends, Thompson, A., Smith, M., McNeill, A., Pollet, T. 4 May 2022, In: Ageing & Society
  • Positive expressive writing as a tool for alleviating burnout and enhancing wellbeing in teachers and other full-time workers, Round, E., Wetherell, M., Elsey, V., Smith, M. 6 Apr 2022, In: Cogent Psychology
  • Are context-specific measures of positive emotion regulation more predictive of mania risk and mood symptoms than trait measures?, McGrogan, C., Dodd, A., Smith, M. 1 Sep 2021, In: Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
  • Egocentric network characteristics of persons with Type 1 Diabetes and their relationships to perceived social support and well-being, Cheyne, T., Smith, M., Pollet, T. 2021, In: Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine
  • Elevated Levels of Hair Cortisol Concentrations in Professional Dementia Caregivers, Rippon, D., McDonnell, A., Bristow, M., Smith, M., McCreadie, M., Wetherell, M. 2 Nov 2021, In: Stress
  • Manipulating levels of socially evaluative threat and the impact on anticipatory stress reactivity, Craw, O., Smith, M., Wetherell, M. 22 Feb 2021, In: Frontiers in Psychology
  • The cardiovascular response to acute psychological stress is related to subjectively giving and receiving social support, Gallagher, S., O’Súilleabháin, P., Smith, M. 1 Jun 2021, In: International Journal of Psychophysiology
  • The sources of adversity in the delivery of mental healthcare in prisons, Rippon, D., Smith, M., Dyer, W. 2021, In: Wellbeing, Space and Society
  • Written benefit finding for improving psychological health during the Covid-19 pandemic first wave lockdown, Hansen, S., Wetherell, M., Smith, M. 15 Jun 2021, In: Psychology & Health

PGR Supervision

  • Sarah Chalhoub Healthy Ageing-Female Sexuality and Psychological Wellbeing Start Date: 21/12/2021
  • Nicola Jones Glucoregulation, Memory and the Ageing Brain: Exploring the Mechanisms Start Date: 01/02/2011 End Date: 23/04/2015
  • Lauren Hoult The Power of Positivity: Positive Expressive Writing and Wellbeing Start Date: 01/10/2020
  • Sarah Allen An investigation into the psychobiological mechanisms underpinning the relationship between Type D personality and physical health complaints in the general population Start Date: 01/10/2014 End Date: 26/03/2018


  • Psychology (Biology) PhD March 25 2010
  • Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol) British Psychological Society (BPS) 2013

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