Dr Shenaz Ahmed

Dr Shenaz Ahmed


I joined the Academic Unit of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences in 2001 as a Research Fellow.  In 2006, I was appointed as Lecturer in Public health at the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences and then Associate Professor in Public Health in 2013.


I obtained my PhD from the University of Leeds in 2001. My PhD explored Pakistani women’s perceptions of informed choice and experiences of antenatal screening for thalassaemia.


  • Co-Lead for Research Evaluation and Special Studies Year 1 Integrated Core Unit on the MBChB
  • Co-Lead for Individuals and Populations Year 2 Integrated Core Unit on the MBChB

Research interests

My research interests are in understanding the psychological, social and ethical aspects of genetic, genomic and prenatal testing.  My research focuses on how to facilitate autonomous decision-making, particularly in diverse cultural groups and settings, and mainly in low-middle income countries. My research includes exploration of attitudes towards prenatal/genetic screening tests and termination of pregnancy for various conditions; experiences of genetic conditions/disability (thalassaemia, Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis); the role of religious, cultural and social influences; and the development of training and educational materials for health professionals for antenatal screening.  I currently lead an international collaborative research network on the psychosocial aspect of genomic technologies (Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Pakistan).

I use various research methods and have expertise in qualitative methods using interviews, focus groups and Q-methodology.


  • PhD – University of Leeds (2001)
  • BSc Psychology (Hons, first class) – University of Leeds (1998)

Student education

I co-lead two Integrated Core Unit on the MBChB (undergraduate medical degree): Research Evaluation and Special Studies Year 1; Individuals and Populations Year 2. I lecture on qualitative research, promoting health and social inclusion in research on the MBChB, the Health Research Postgraduate Certificate programme and Level 3 Reproductive Psychology module for BSc Psychology.

I have lead modules on the Master in Public Health programme on ‘Promoting Health’ and ‘Culture, Ethnicity and Diversity’, and the on the Health Research Postgraduate Certificate programme on ‘Applied Qualitative Health Research’.

Research groups and institutes

  • Psychological and Social Medicine

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>