Dr Will Lawn

Post-doctoral Research Associate

Research Area

I am currently a Research Fellow at the National Addiction Centre at King’s College London. I’m working with Dr Basak Tas and Professor Sir John Strang on opioid overdose and wearable devices. Previously I was a post-doctoral research associate at the Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit at University College London. I ran the CannTeen project which investigated if, how and why teenagers are more vulnerable than adults to the short and long-term effects of cannabis.

Biography

Background

I studied Natural Sciences (Experimental Psychology) at the University of Cambridge and then completed a PhD at University College London, supervised by Professor Val Curran and Professor Celia Morgan. My PhD examined reward processing perturbations in nicotine and cannabis addictions. I then worked as a post-doctoral research associate on the KARE clinical trial investigating ketamine as a treatment for alcohol dependence. Subsequently I ran a 4-year MRI-funded project about adolescent cannabis use – CannTeen. I still work one day/week at UCL and we hope to publish our results from CannTeen in the coming years. I have also worked with Professor Adam Winstock on his Global Drug Survey data and with Dr Gill Bedi at Columbia University’s Psychiatric Institute in New York.

Current work

I currently work as a Research Fellow at the National Addiction Centre at King’s College London. I’m working with Dr Basak Tas and Professor Sir John Strang on opioid overdose and wearable devices, with the aims of further understanding respiratory depression during overdose and testing remote detection of overdose.

Areas of particular interest

My main interests are opioid overdose and adolescent cannabis addiction. I am also interested in the neural substrates of drug-related decision-making; theories of addiction; reward processing in addiction; and the application of ketamine in treating addiction.

Future work

I would like to continue work in both the opioid and cannabis fields, specifically taking wearable devices forward and investigating the reasons behind teenagers’ greater vulnerability to developing cannabis dependence.