Dr Nicola Paine

BSc (Hons), PhD

Pronouns: She/her
  • Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology

Dr Nicola Paine completed her BSc (Hons) and PhD in Sport and Exercise Sciences at the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Birmingham between 2006-2013. After this, she completed postdoctoral training in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Science at Duke University and secured renowned postdoctoral fellowships to undertake further training in Montreal in the Department of Exercise Science at Concordia University and the Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre, within the Research Centre in the Hôpital du Sacré Coeur de Montréal.

Dr Paine then joined the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences as part of the Excellence 100 scheme. She was awarded a prestigious Springboard Fellowship from the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2021.

Dr Paine’s research examines the impact of psychological stress on the development of non-communicable chronic diseases, with a particular interest in cardiovascular and respiratory disease development and outcomes.

She has specific interests in understanding the role of, and interactions between, health behaviours (e.g., physical activity and exercise, diet, smoking) on how we physiologically respond to acute psychological stress, and measures this across a range of physiological systems including the cardiovascular, inflammatory and neuroendocrine systems.

She is also interested in how long-term psychological distress can increase our risk of poor health behaviours and lead to poorer physical health via these physiological mechanisms, and ultimately the development of chronic diseases.

Her work utilises an inter-disciplinary approach encompassing experimental laboratory-based acute stress testing (both exercise stress and mental stress), epidemiology, and interventions to investigate these interests.

Dr Paine is a current Springboard Fellowship awardee from the Academy of Medical Sciences, and a core investigator in the Lifestyle Theme of the £11.6 million National Institute of Health Research-funded Leicester Biomedical Research Centre. She is also a co-investigator on grants from the Canadian Institute of Health Research, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC). She has also held previous postdoctoral fellowships and grants from the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) and the Fonds de recherché Quebec –Santé (FRQ-S).

Dr Paine is a Deputy (Associate) Editor for ‘Stress and Health’, with responsibility for manuscript submissions in the area of Psychophysiological Processes of Stress and Neurobiology of Stress. She is also an editorial board member for the International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity and is an Early Career Editorial Board member for Psychosomatic Medicine. She regularly reviews papers for leading scientific journals in her field, has served as a member of conference scientific committees, and is a member of the Executive Working Group for guideline update for the Canadian Association for Cardiac Rehabilitation and Prevention.

Dr Paine also presents her work at international conferences, for which she has received a variety of awards including an Early Career Award from the International Society of Behavioural Medicine (2021). She is a member of a variety of professional organisations and regularly reviews for both national and international funding organisations.

Featured publications

  • Chauntry A.J.,Bishop N.C., Hamer M. Paine N.J. (2023) Sedentary behaviour, but not moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, is associated with respiratory responses to acute psychological stress. Biological Psychology, 177:108510. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2023.108510
  • Guest A,Clemes S.A., King J.A.,Chen Y-L.,Ruettger K.,Sayyah M., Sherry A., Varela-Mato V.,Paine N.J (2023) Attenuated cardiovascular reactivity to acute psychological stress predicts future fatigue symptoms in truck drivers. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 65 (3): 228-234 DOI: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000002715
  • Chauntry A.J.,Bishop N.C., Hamer M. Paine N.J. (2022) Frequently interrupting prolonged sitting with light body-weighted resistance activity alters psychobiological responses to acute psychological stress: A randomized crossover trial. Annals of Behavioural Medicine, 2022:kaac055. DOI: 10.1093/abm/kaac055
  • Chauntry A.J.,Bishop N.C., Hamer M., Paine N.J. (2022) The Impact of Sedentary Behaviour and Physical Activity on Multisystem Physiological Reactivity to Acute Psychological Stress: A Systematic Review. Biological Psychology, 172, 108374. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2022.108374
  • Chauntry A.J., Bishop N.C., Hamer M., Kingsnorth A.P., Chen Y-L., Paine N.J. (2022) Sedentary behaviour is associated with heightened cardiovascular, inflammatory and cortisol reactivity to acute psychological stress. Psychoneuroendocrinology; 141, 105756. DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2022.105756
  • Clemes S.A., Varela-Mato V., Bodicoat D.H., Brookes C.L., Chen Y.L., Edwardson C.L, Gray L.J., Guest A.J., Johnson V., Munir F., Paine N.J., Richardson G., Ruettger K., Sayyah M., Sherry A., Di Paola A.S., Troughton J.,Yates T., King J. (2022) The effectiveness of the Structured Health Intervention For Truckers (SHIFT): A cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT). BMC medicine, 20, 195. DOI: 10.1186/s12916-022-02372-7
  • Guest A., Clemes S.A., King J.A.,Chen Y-L.,Ruettger K.,Sayyah M., Sherry A., Varela-Mato V., Paine N.J. (2021). Blunted Cardiovascular Reactivity is Related to Higher Depression, Anxiety and Persistent Fatigue Symptoms in Truck Drivers. Psychophysiology, 58:e13872. DOI: 10.1111/psyp.13872
  • Guest A.J., Chen Y-L., Pearson N., King J.A., Paine N.J., Clemes S.A. (2020) Cardiometabolic Risk Factors and Mental Health Status Among Truck Drivers: A Systematic Review. BMJ Open, 0:e038993. DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2020-038993
  • Paine N.J., Bacon S.L., Bourbeau J., Tan W.C., Lavoie K.L. for the CanCOLD Study Investigators (2019). Psychological distress is related to poor health behaviours in COPD and non-COPD patients: evidence from the CanCOLD study. Respiratory Medicine, 146, 1-9, DOI: 10.1016/j.rmed.2018.11.006
  • Lavoie K.L., Paine N.J., Pelletier R., Arsenault A., Diodati J.G., Campbell T.S., Pilote L. & Bacon S.L. (2018) Prospective impact of antidepressant medication on 8.8 year risk for major adverse cardiovascular events in patients with and without cardiovascular disease: does sex matter? Health Psychology, 37(11): 989–999, DOI: 10.1037/hea0000602
  • Sherwood A., Hill L.K., Blumenthal J.A., Adams K.F., Paine N.J., Koch G.G., O'Connor C.M., Johnson K.S., & Hinderliter A.L. (2017). Blood Pressure Reactivity to Psychological Stress is Associated with Clinical Outcomes in Patients with Heart Failure. American Heart Journal, 191, 82-90, DOI: 10.1016/j.ahj.2017.07.003
  • Paine N.J., Hinderliter A.L., Blumenthal J.A., Adams Jr. K.F., Sueta C. Chang P.P., O’Connor C.M., & Sherwood A. (2016). Reactive Hyperemia is Associated with Adverse Clinical Outcomes in Heart Failure. American Heart Journal, 178: 108-114, DOI: 10.1016/j.ahj.2016.05.008
  • Paine N.J., Watkins, L.L., Blumenthal, J.A., Kuhn, C.M., & Sherwood, A. (2015). The associations between depression and anxiety symptoms and 24 hour urinary catecholamine excretion Psychosomatic Medicine, 77(2):136-44. DOI: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000144.
  • Paine N.J., Ring C., Bosch J.A., Aldred, S., Drayson M.T., & Veldhuijzen van Zanten J.J.C.S. (2014). Vaccine-induced inflammation attenuates the vascular responses to mental stress. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 93(3):340-348. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2014.06.016.
  • Paine N.J., Ring C., Bosch J.A., Drayson M.T., & Veldhuijzen van Zanten J.J.C.S. (2013). The time course of the inflammatory response to Salmonella typhi vaccination. Brain, Behavior and Immunity, 30, 73-79. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2013.01.004
  • Paine N.J., Ring C., Bosch J.A., Aldred, S., Wadley A.J., & Veldhuijzen van Zanten J.J.C.S. (2013). Eccentric-exercise induced inflammation attenuates the vascular responses to mental stress. Brain, Behavior and Immunity, 30, 133-142. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2013.01.082