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Professor Marcus Munafo

Professor Marcus Munafo

Professor Marcus Munafo
MA(Oxon), MSc, PhD(Soton)

Professor of Biological Psychology

Area of research

Genetic and cognitive influences on addictive behaviour

Office 5D03
The Priory Road Complex,
Priory Road, Clifton BS8 1TU
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 954 6841


My interests are in the role of molecular genetic influences on addictive behaviour and the use of social drugs (primarily nicotine and alcohol), in particular the behavioural, cognitive and neural mechanisms that mediate these relationships. Candidate genes associated with dopaminergic and serotonergic neurotransmission are of particular interest, as these have been shown to be related to addictive behaviour, and may influence the development of learning pathways implicated in addiction in psychological models of addiction.

Recent and current grants

  • Aveyard, P.N. (P.I.), Morcom, A.R., Coleman, T., McRobbie, H., Lindson, N., Munafò, M.R., Parrott, S., Hajek, P., Bathers, S., Lewis, S., McEwen, A. A randomised trial of nicotine patch preloading for smoking cessation. NIHR (2012-2015).
  • Munafò, M.R. (P.I.), Bauld, L., Leonards, U., Hammond, D. Effects of plain packaging on neural response to health warnings. Action on Smoking and Health (2011-2013).
  • Van den Bree, M. (P.I.), Shelton, K., Heron, J., Munafo, M.R., Hickman, M., Maughan, B. Peer group influences on the relationship between depressive symptoms and alcohol misuse in adolescence. European Research Advisory Board (2011-2013).
  • Munafò, M.R. (P.I.), Attwood, A.S., McClernon F.J. Effects of varenicline and cognitive bias modification on neural response to smoking related cues. Pfizer Investigator Initiated Research (2010-2012).
  • Attwood, A.S. (P.I.), Munafò, M.R., Williams, T. A placebo-controlled study of the effectiveness of D-cycloserine in reducing cue reactivity during cue-exposure therapy in daily cigarette smokers. Global Research Awards for Nicotine Dependence 2010 (2010-2012).
  • Middeldorp, C.M. (P.I.), Boer, F., Boomsma, D.I., Erkut, Z.A., Glaser, B., Hudziak, J.J., Lubke, G.H., Maughan, B., Munafò, M.R., van Eijk, J.A. Genetic influences on stability and change in psychopathology from childhood to young adulthood. Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (2010-2015).
  • Schumann, G. (P.I.), Conrod, P., Lourdusamy, A., Munafò, M.R., Struve, M. Developmental pathways into adolescent substance abuse: neurophysiologic, genetic and environmental determinants. Medical Research Council (2010-2015).
  • Burgess, S.M. (PI), Munafò, M.R., Brunstrom, J., Crick, R.D., Gregg, P., Howard-Jones, P., Rogers, P., Smith, S., Washbrook, E, Taylor, A. Centre for Understanding Behaviour Change. DCSF (2010-2014).
  • Britton, J. (P.I.), McNeill, A., Amos, A., Aveyard, P., Bauld, L., Coleman, T., Hajek, P., Hastings, G., Lewis, S., West, R., Godfrey, C., Munafò, M.R. UKCRC Centre of Public Health Excellence in Tobacco Control (2008-2013).
  • Munafò, M.R. (P.I.), Day, I.N.M., Davey Smith, G. Characterising patterns and determinants of smoking initiation in adolescence. Wellcome Trust (2009-2012).
  • Lewis, G. (P.I.), Araya, R., Nutt, D.J., Jones, P., Sahakian, B.J., Munafò, M.R., Ramachandi, P., Thapar, P., Fernyhough, C., Stansfeld, S., Hickman, M., Macleod, J., Wiles, N., Joinson, C., Stein, A., Evans, J., Wolke, D., Bentall, R.P., Harold, G.T., Davies, S.J.C., Murray, L., Flint, J., Crawley, E., Davey-Smith, G., O’Connor, T., Cooper, P., Oldehinkel, A.J., Croudace, T.J., Heron, J., Peters, T.J., Maughan, B., Skapinakis, P. Depression at 17: ALSPAC. Wellcome Trust (2008-2012).


  • Professor of Biological Psychology, School of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol (2010-present)
  • Reader in Biological Psychology, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol (2007-2010)
  • Lecturer, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol (2005-2007)
  • Visiting Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania (2004-2005)
  • Research Fellow, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Oxford (1999-2005)

Video of Professor Marcus Munafo.


Experimental Psychology B.Sc.

  • Individual Differences, Year 2


  • Transport Research Laboratory
  • Servier Ltd
  • World Health Organisation

Current PhD students

  • Olivia Maynard: "Visual Search and Tobacco Packaging"
  • Jennifer Ware: "Molecular Genetics of Nicotine Addiction" (University of Cardiff)
  • Michael Anderson: "Translational Model of Depression"
  • Kate Button: "Cognitive Processes in Social Anxiety"
  • Suzi Gage: "Cannabis Use and Psychosis"


  • Addiction
  • Nicotine
  • Alcohol


Current research is in the area of the genetic determinants of addictive behaviours, in particular alcohol and nicotine use, and in the role of human personality in explaining the association between genetic variation and addictive behaviours.

  • addiction
  • nicotine
  • alcohol
  • genetics
  • Recent publications

    View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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