Professor Shenaz Ahmed

Professor Shenaz Ahmed


I am a Professor of Global Health at the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences.
I am an advocate of equity of access to health services, committed to driving change for disadvantaged populations, particularly in the Global South.  My research interests are in the psychological, social and ethical aspects of prenatal and genetic testing; health inequalities, ethnicity and health; and the development of interventions to support healthcare decision-making.  Click here for my work on βeta-thalassaemia major in Pakistan.
My research expertise dovetails with my commitment to proactively promoting racial equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in the School of Medicine.  As the School’s Academic Lead for the BMA Charter on Racial Harassment, I have set the strategic direction for fostering anti-racism within the School.  I lead a programme of work to promote racial equality, and address barriers to racially minoritised staff and students’ sense of belonging – see BMA Charter Sway and Microaggressions Awareness Poster Campaign.


  • School of Medicine Lead for the BMA Charter on Racial Harassment
  • MBChB, Joint Head of Year 1

Research interests

My research interests are in understanding the psychological, social and ethical aspects of prenatal and genetic testing, and health inequalites.  My research focuses on facilitating 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 and genetic testing, and termination of pregnancy for various conditions; experiences of genetic conditions/disability (thalassaemia, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome); the role of religious, cultural and social influences; the development of interventions; and training and educational materials for healthcare professionals to support decision-making.

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

My current research includes the development of an intervention to support relatives of children with Beta-thalassemia major in Pakistan to make informed decision about cascade screening (GtR (  This research includes collaborators from the Punjab Thalassaemia Prevention Project ( and the Thalassaemia Society of Pakistan (  I also hold an Honorary Associate Professor research position at Fatima Jinnah Medical University, Lahore, Pakistan. (


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

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Student education

I lecture on qualitative research on the ‘Health Research Postgraduate Certificate’ programme.

I have co-led the ENQUIRE Year 1 module, an Integrated Core Unit on the MBChB (undergraduate medical degree), led the ‘Promoting Health’ and ‘Culture, Ethnicity and Diversity’ modules on the Master in Public Health programme, and led the ‘Applied Qualitative Health Research’ module on the Health Research Postgraduate Certificate programme.

Research groups and institutes

  • Psychological and Social Medicine
  • Health services research

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="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>