Prof. Nicola Robinson

Professor Nicola Robinson, Professor of TCM and Integrated Health

Professor of TCM and Integrated Health

  • Telephone:
    020 7815 7940
  • School/Division:
    Health and Social Care / Allied Health Sciences

Professor Nicola Robinson joined London South Bank University in March 2011 as Professor of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Integrated Health. Previously she was Professor of Complementary Medicine, University of West London. Professor Robinson's former posts include; Consultant Epidemiologist Brent and Harrow Health Authority, Senior lecturer in Primary Healthcare University College London, Lecturer at Charing Cross and Westminster Hospital Medical School and Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. 

She graduated from Leicester University with a BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences, and her PhD from Manchester University was in Immunology. She has been a registered acupuncturist since 1982. In 1985 Nicola was awarded an RD Lawrence Fellowship by Diabetes UK and in 1993 she was given an Honorary Membership of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine for her contribution to epidemiology and health services research. 

In 2004, Nicola was awarded a Winston Churchill Traveling Fellowship to visit China, to explore educational and research initiatives in Traditional Chinese Medicine at various universities and hospitals. Nicola has a keen interest in complementary medicine and its assimilation and integration into mainstream health care and has been involved in various research initiatives with professional groups. 

Nicola has written over 200 scientific articles in peer reviewed journals, prepared scientific reports and presented research at local, national and international conferences. She is the Editor in Chief of the European Journal of Integrative Medicine (Elsevier) as well as being on the editorial boards of other scientific journals. She has had considerable research experience in various aspects of public health that has covered a wide range of subject arenas including: complementary medicine, cancer, patient public engagement, mental health, diabetes, coronary heart disease, HIV, cystic fibrosis and psychosocial aspects of disease. She has various research links in China and has had successfully supervised both Chinese and UK PhD students.

Nicola currently supervises post graduate students in a number of topic areas which include muscular skeletal pain, integrated health, phantom limb pain, and osteoarthritis of the knee. Previous successful PhD supervision has included randomised trials in natural products (cinnamon, bromelain), acupuncture (schizophrenia, breast cancer, stress), traditional and complementary approaches to health for children, psychosocial factors in diabetes and modelling mental health service usage.

Nicola has an active research career publishing in epidemiology and health services research as well as in complementary medicine. Early in her career she received funding from the National Institutes of Health USA (two years) and Diabetes UK (eight years) to explore various projects in the area of psychosocial factors in diabetes (Life events and employment issues) which resulted in 20 publications. Part of this work included a Diabetes UK, RD Lawrence Fellowship which she held for two years. 

In 2007 she obtained a three year grant from the Kings Fund for a project to explore traditional and complementary approaches to health for children which had three separate phases which to date has generated 10 scientific articles in peer reviewed journals and one successful PhD. As a co-coordinator of two work packages of an EU Cost FP7 project, Good Practice in Traditional Chinese Medicine (GPTCM) various links were established with researchers in China which has led to co-supervision of PhD and postdoctoral students in China and joint research activity, publications and conference presentations. 

Prof. Robinson has  been involved with international collaborations on various  systematic review (SR); integrated medicine for low back pain, Chinese herbal medicine and tuberculosis, polcystic ovary disease,   chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy,infertility and acupuncture. A special  area of interest is Taichi. Having received funding from the Tracie Lawlor Trust for cystic fibrosis to explore feasibility of teaching taiji to people with cystic fibrosis and their carers, she workS with the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital Trust in London. This work has also now been supported by the CF Trust and further research is ongoing.  

Professor Robinson undertook commissioned work by the London Sexual Health Programme and the Department of Health which included; developing resources (a toolkit) for patient/public employment in sexual and reproductive health, evaluating sexual and reproductive health and HIV service delivery in terms of QIPP agenda and more recently she was involved in an evaluation of the impact on sexual health provision during the Olympics.

Her PhD student projects at LSBU have involved: a study of the feasibility of designing a study to evaluate complex interventions for people with musculo skeletal disease (the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine), the use of acupuncture for phantom limb pain (Guys and St Thomas’s Hospital Charitable Trust), a comparative effectiveness study of acupuncture vs warm needling for osteoarthritis of the knee and more recently the effectiveness of Senior playgrounds.

Most recent publications

Liu, J-P and Robinson, N and Liang, N and Liang, S and Yan, Y and Sun, Y Evaluation of outcomes reported in randomized controlled trials for herbal remedies for adults with chronic hepatitis C. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medical Sciences, DOI 10.1016/j.jtcms.2019.03.002

Yu, D and Liao, X and Robinson, N and Cui, R and Zhao, J and Zhao, H 12 kinds of Chinese medicine injections for acute cerebral infarction: protocol for a systematic review and network meta-analysis. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 27. 75-80. DOI 10.1016/j.eujim.2019.02.012

Zanardelli, I and Robinson, N Factors that influence patients’ decisions to discontinue with an acupuncture service—A qualitative study. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 25. 92-99. DOI 10.1016/j.eujim.2018.12.004

Zhang, X and Lee, MS and Smith, CA and Robinson, N and Zhou, Y and Wu, Y and Mao, Y-Y and Qu, F Effects of acupuncture during in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 23. 14-25. DOI 10.1016/j.eujim.2018.09.001

Watt, FE and Corp, N and Kingsbury, SR and Frobell, R and Englund, M and Felson, DT and Levesque, M and Majumdar, S and Wilson, C and Beard, DJ and Lohmander, LS and Kraus, VB and Roemer, F and Conaghan, PG and Mason, DJ and Adams, J and Blank, M and Batt, M and Biggs, P and Busse-Morris, M and Button, K and Calder, J and Cook, J and Edwards, C and Fisheleva, E and Hamilton, DF and Harrison, H and Holt, C and Jones, M and Jones, R and Kluzek, S and Knight, T and Nuki, G and Parekh, S and Peat, G and Pothet, C and Rainer, T and Robinson, N and Sawle, L and Vincent, T and Williams, A and Wise, E and Zhang, W and Bierma-Zeinstra, S Towards prevention of post-traumatic osteoarthritis: report from an international expert working group on considerations for the design and conduct of interventional studies following acute knee injury. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 27. 23-33. DOI 10.1016/j.joca.2018.08.001

Xing, L-F and Wu, Y and Wang, F-F and Zhu, Y-H and Ma, C-M and Yan, Y-Y and Sun, S-J and Pan, J-X and Robinson, N and Hardiman, P and Qu, F Transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation alleviates the anxiety levels of IVF: a prospective, randomized and controlled study. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 20. 126-130. DOI 10.1016/j.eujim.2018.05.003

Qu, F and Wang, F-F and Wu, Y and Zhou, J and Robinson, N and Hardiman, P and Pan, J-X and He, Y-J and Zhu, Y-H and Wang, H-Z and Ye, X-Q and He, K-L and Cui, L and Zhao, H-L and Ye, Y-H TRANSCUTANEOUS ELECTRICAL ACUPOINT STIMULATION IMPROVES THE OUTCOMES OF IN VITRO FERTILIZATION: A PROSPECTIVE, RANDOMIZED AND CONTROLLED STUDY. Explore: The Journal of Science & Healing, DOI 10.1016/j.explore.2017.06.004

Birch, S and Lee, MS and Robinson, N and Alraek, T The U.K. NICE 2014 guidelines for osteoarthritis of the knee: lessons learned in a narrative review addressing inadvertent limitations and bias. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 23. 1-5. DOI 10.1089/acm.2016.0385

Qu, F and Wang, FF and Robinson, N and Hardiman, P Women’s health and Chinese integrative medicine. Journal of Zhejiang University: Science B, 18. 183-185. DOI 10.1631/jzus.B17ed001

Bonde, LO and Robinson, N If music be the food of life – play on ?. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 9.

More publications at LSBU Research Open

Nicola is Chair and Trustee of the Research Council for Complementary Medicine Research (RCCM) and a member of the board of directors for Good Practice in Traditional Chinese Medicine (GP TCM) Research Association. 

Other appointments include; member of Research Advisory Group for the British Acupuncture Council, and member of the Institutional review panel for Advertising and Borderline Products (MHRA). 

She has been involved in various initiatives within the acupuncture profession and a member of various professional committees; Chair of the British Acupuncture Council Research Committee, Chair and Trustee of the Research Council for Complementary Medicine Research (RCCM) member of the Institutional review panel for Advertising and Borderline Products (MHRA). 

She is Editor in Chief of the European Journal of Integrated Health, a member of the International Advisory Board for Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. Previously she was an associate editor of the NHS evidence-CAM Specialist Collection (now part of NICE), and a member of the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Complementary Therapies Clinical Studies Development Group.

Nicola was also made a Fellow of the British Acupuncture Council in 2008, and was a Foundation Fellow of the Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health 2009 - 2010, and is a member of the Science Council for the College of Medicine.

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