Dr Clare Lawton

Dr Clare Lawton


I gained my BSc in Psychology from the University of Leeds (1987) where I also gained my PhD (1991).  

After completing my PhD, I began my research career in the Human Appetite Research Unit (HARU) which is based in the School of Psychology at the University of Leeds.

I was initally employed as a research assistant (1990 -1991) before being promoted to research fellow (1991 - 1998) and senior research fellow (1998 - 2013).

I began lecturing in the area of Nutrition and Behaviour in 2011 and was promoted to Associate Professor of BioPsychology in 2013.

I am a Section Editor (Nutrition & Behaviour; Regulation of Food Intake) for the European Journal of Nutrition.

Research interests

The Human Appetite Research Unit (HARU) conducts research which directly addresses major issues of concern to society, the impact of food on health in terms of cognitive function and wellbeing and also appetite/satiety, body weight control and obesity where I make a particular contribution. My research focuses on key concerns of the food industry and government, specifically the evaluation of food and food components and their effects on appetite control, cognitive function and wellbeing. There are few research groups in the world who are able to examine the effects of food on appetite control concurrently with glycaemic response and cognitive function. This places my research partnership with Professor Louise Dye in a unique position with clear knowledge transfer opportunities.

My research focuses on appetite and body weight control; risk factors for weight gain and predictors of weight loss; functional foods for satiety, cognitive function and wellbeing. I have more than 25 years experience of managing large scale research projects in the area of appetite, nutrition and body weight control, including several clinical trials of novel anti-obesity drugs (Fluoxetine, d-Fenfluramine, Xenical and Rimonabant) and 2 successive EU projects (FP5 and FP6). During the period 2001- 2018 I have been the PI or Co-I on a total of 28 research grants plus 3 Strategic Partnerships with a total value of almost £4 million; The Food Industry (18),  Florida State Department of Citrus (1), BBSRC (1), MRC (1),  ESRC/MRC fellowship (1), The Pharmaceutical Industry (2, clinical trials of Rimonabant and Xenical), European Commission (2, FP5, FP6), Knowledge Transfer Partnership (1), Food Standards Agency (1), Strategic Partnerhips (3). My research has resulted in >70 peer-reviewed publications in quality journals.

I have supervised 10 PhD students since 2004 (100% submission within 4 years) and 2 DClin students (2015 & 2018); I supervise 2 current PhD students (1 ESRC Collaborative Award; 1 ESRC AQM).



  • PhD - Role of serotonin receptor sub-types in carbohydrate intake
  • BSc Psychology

Student education

I contribute to student education via research led teaching at level 3, peronal tutoring and research project supervsion at undergraduate and masters level.

Research groups and institutes

  • Nutrition and behaviour
  • Successful ageing

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>