The podcast team

Ayan Ahmed

Ayan Ahmed is a PhD Psychology candidate at the University of Surrey, researching drug use in minority and marginalized populations in the UK. The main aim of Ayan’s PhD is to explore the underlying neurobiological and cognitive consequences of khat (Catha edulis) by using behavioural tasks and brain imaging techniques.

Chloe Burke

Chloe Burke is undertaking an SSA funded PhD at the University of Bath, with cross-institutional supervision from researchers at the University of Bristol. Chloe’s project seeks to accurately understand the individual and combined roles of cannabis and tobacco in mental illness, through triangulation of cross-country data and different experimental and epidemiological techniques.

Carol-Ann Getty

Carol-Ann Getty is a PhD student at King’s College London, researching the feasibility of using telephones to deliver behaviour change in addiction treatment. The primary aims of Carol-Ann’s PhD are to assess what interventions are feasible and acceptable to deliver by telephone, how to encourage professionals and individuals who might benefit from this treatment to engage with telephone delivered interventions (TDI), and how to integrate these into routine treatment practice.

Merve Mollaahmetoglu

Merve Mollaahmetoglu is a third year PhD student within the Psychopharmacology and Addiction Research Centre at the University of Exeter. Merve’s PhD research focuses on the role of ruminative thinking in initiating and maintaining alcohol use disorders and exploring rumination as a target of psychological and pharmacological treatment approaches.

Jo-Anne Puddephat

Jo-Anne is a third year PhD student at the University of Liverpool. Her research focuses on understanding the patterning of alcohol use and mental health problems and how this pattern changes among different social groups. Jo-Anne’s PhD involves using mixed methods, such as managing large datasets and conducting qualitative interviews, to identify those at most risk of having a co-morbid alcohol and mental health problem.

Daniel Ranson

Daniel Ranson is an SSA funded PhD student at the University of East London, part of the Casalotti lab studying the molecular mechanisms of addiction like behaviours in the Drosophila melanogaster. Daniel’s current works focus on the GABA-B receptor and the modulatory role it has on the development of tolerance and preference when in the presence of alcohol.

Zoe Swithenbank

Zoe Swithenbank is a PhD student at Liverpool John Moores University, funded by the SSA. Her PhD is in the development of behavioural interventions for smoking cessation in substance use treatment services. She has previously worked in substance use services and currently volunteers with a mental health charity both locally and nationally.

Saba Ishrat

Saba Ishrat is an SSA-funded DPhil candidate in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford. Her research is centered on the study of alcohol-related brain damage and dementia risk integrating data from neuroimaging and genetics on the UK Biobank cohort. Her research method based on the Mendelian Randomization approach using genetic variants aims to infer a causal relationship between the modifiable risk factor and the health outcome. The study investigates cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis in mild, moderate, and heavy drinkers to explore pathologies associated with the microstructure properties of the brain as well as its functional connectivity.

Alice Bowen

I am an SSA funded PhD student at King’s College London. My project will utilise an interdisciplinary approach to explore the role of emotional regulation in adults with substance use disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder and experience of interpersonal violence. I will explore service user perspectives and experiences, through longitudinal qualitative interviews, with the aim of building knowledge in this area which can inform theoretical models and future interventions.