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Professor Nicola Robinson, Professor of TCM and Integrated Health

Prof. Nicola Robinson

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 Travelling 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, polycystic 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.

View my publications at

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.