Dr Chris Alford

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  • Qualifications:PhD, MSc, BSc, PGCHE
  • Position:Associate Professor in Applied Psychology
  • Department:HAS - Health and Social Sciences
  • Telephone:+4411732 82191
  • Email:Chris.Alford@uwe.ac.uk

About me

 Chris Alford, BSc, MSc, PhD, PGCHE graduated as a biologist but converted to Psychology through an MSc in Applied Psychology from Aston University, and later completing a PhD in Psychology at Leeds University.  He has held a number of academic positions at Aston and other Universities (e.g. Leeds, Surrey), and collaborative research with groups at Bristol, Loughborough and Oxford investigating sleep and fatigue in transport operations for the civil Aviation Authority, BAE Systems and the Ford Motor Company.  He set up the sleep laboratory at Leeds University after training at Henry Ford Hospital Detroit in Sleep Disorders Medicine, undertaking research for the pharmaceutical industry which he continued as Senior Research Fellow at Surrey University, before moving to UWE Bristol in 1992 where he is an Associate Professor in Applied Psychology.  A founding member of the British Sleep Society and an invited expert on the European research initiative - concerted action on methodology for analysis of the sleep-wakefulness continuum, the British Association for Psychopharmacology sleep disorders treatment guidelines panel, and the UK Committee On Toxicity/Food Standards Agency (alcohol and caffeine containing beverages), who has been successful in obtaining research funding from industry, public bodies and research councils, including Innovate UK 2015-2018 £14M (UWE £1.3M) in collaborative autonomous vehicle projects with other members of UWE.  He was a leading contributor to UWE's REF 2014 UoA for Professions Allied to Medicine ranked within the top 30% nationally.  He contributes to international research including gaining competitive presentations and chairing sessions at international conferences both abroad and in the UK.

Chris first worked in psychopharmacological research studying the effects of beta blockers on sleep.  Evaluating drug effects on waking function including driving when he joined the Human Psychopharmacology Research Unit at Leeds, continuing through both independent and collaborative work with academic colleagues in the UK, Europe and Australia, as well as independent research. 

He has worked as a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry and a legal adviser and expert witness for sleep, drugs and driving related cases.  As a scientific adviser to industry he has made representations to government representatives on 3 continents.  The author of over 200 published outputs, and an invited speaker at both national and international conferences.  He continues in driving, sleep, performance and drug research, with current work on human interaction with driverless cars, and investigating the effects of alcohol hangover and sleep loss, extended performance, sleep disorders, stress, complementary medicine and neutraceuticals or functional foods, as well as improving performance with caffeine based drinks.  Past collaborations include working with members of Bath, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Exeter, Oxford Universities and current collaborations with Swinburne University, Melbourne and Utrecht Universities.  Media appearances include the Open University, All in the Mind, and the Today programme, and he regularly contributes to national science communication and media events, speaking at major venues including Arnolfini, Bristol, Cheltenham Science Festival, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. Pint of Science International Festival, Bristol.

Area of expertise

Sleep; Psychopharmacology; Performance; Sleep loss and fatigue; Driving; Natural products and Functional foods; Social drugs; psychophysiological measures including actimetry and EEG.


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