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David Nutt, DM, FRCP, FRCPsych, FSB, FMedSci

Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology, Division of Brain Sciences, Hammersmith Hospital, London, and Imperial College London, UK

David Nutt won an Open Scholarship to Downing College Cambridge, and completed his clinical medical training at Guy’s Hospital London, UK. He became a member of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP) after studying neurology, then took up a research position in psychiatry at the MRC Clinical Pharmacology Unit in Oxford, UK, where he obtained his MD. His extensive professional and research career encompassed posts as lecturer and Wellcome Senior Fellow in Psychiatry in Oxford, and at the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda, MD, USA. He is currently the Edmund J. Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and Head of the Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology in the Division of Brain Sciences at Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College, London, UK.

Professor Nutt’s research interests include brain imaging, especially PET, and interdisciplinary research groups spanning psychiatry and pharmacology. His professional life has included membership and leadership of a wide number of committees and associations. He is currently President of the British Neuroscience Association; Chair of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs; Vice-President of the European Brain Council; UK Director of the European Certificate and Masters in Affective Disorders Courses; and a member of the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy. He has edited the Journal of Psychopharmacology for more than 15 years, acts as the psychiatry drugs advisor to the British National Formulary, and has published more than 400 original research papers, a similar number of reviews and book chapters, 8 government reports on drugs, and 27 books.

Professor Nutt broadcasts and lectures widely to the general public and to the scientific and medical communities; highlights included the UK Channel 4 documentary ‘Drugs Live – The Ecstasy Trial’. He is in great demand for public-affairs programmes on the harms and classification of therapeutic and illicit drugs. Professor Nutt has presented at the Cheltenham Science Festival and taken part in the grass-roots public scientific initiative ‘Café Scientifique’ on several occasions. In 2010 The Times’ science magazine Eureka voted him one of the 100 most important figures in British science: the only psychiatrist on the list. 

Lectures & interviews

  • Imaging brain structure

    Extremely powerful imaging techniques now enable us to show and measure structural changes in the brain caused by alcohol.
  • Functional imaging

    Using functional imaging technology we can visualize how certain brain circuits are activated and measure brain networks like the default...
  • Dopamine, GABA-alpha and other receptors

    Activity and dysregulation of receptors involved in addiction, sedation, ataxia, inhibition and loss of control can now be visualized using...
  • PET and MEG imaging

    Opioid receptors involved in craving can be measured with PET, and with this technique we can now show how alcohol...
  • Burden in terms of increasing mortality rates

    Among other chilling statistics presented, the number of premature deaths attributable to alcohol per year is at least 3 million,...
  • The most harmful drug in Europe

    The myth of health benefits of alcohol dispelled - in young people under the age of 45 there is a...
  • Interaction of different factors, and scope for intervention

    The spectrum of alcohol problems is determined by a combination of environmental factors, the amount of alcohol consumption and genetic...
  • Prof. David Nutt

    David Nutt, Professor of Psychiatry, Imperial College London The Resource Centre will provide information for all HCPs in first and...