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Melanie is a psychologist and neuroscientist whose research enquiry is at the intersection of design, systems thinking and cognitive neuroscience.

Melanie is the first appointed Associate Director of Research of The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design. Her role involves leading the growth and development of the Centre’s inclusive design and creative leadership research and knowledge exchange portfolios, as well as co-developing and launching the Centre’s first doctoral and Master's by research programmes (2022–3). She is the neuroscience lead on the Centre’s creative leadership project.

She has a strong focus on fostering and incorporating the Centre’s inclusive design methods in cross-disciplinary research, innovation and knowledge exchange programmes and projects, with the RCA’s four Schools and other Research Centres.

Before joining HHCD in 2021, Melanie founded (2009), and is the Director of MindRheo, an organisational development consultancy intersecting neuroscience, design and systems thinking to enhance human, organisational and business performance and experience. Prior to MindRheo, Melanie held clinical, senior academic and research leadership positions (2000–11) at Westminster University, Ministry of Defence (UK) and the UK government’s Trauma Response Unit. She has led global cross-disciplinary research in war-related PTSD and the role of brain plasticity in emotion regulation and processing. Her research exploration seeks new insights into the interplay between emotion and cognition.