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Professor Marcus Munafo

Genetic and cognitive influences on addictive behaviour

Professor Munafò’s research focuses on understanding pathways into, and the consequences of, health behaviours and mental health, with a particular focus on tobacco and alcohol use. This work incudes: 1) observational and genetic epidemiology, and the use of a range of methods that enable stronger causal inference from observational data, such as negative control and Mendelian randomization methods; 2) the laboratory study of cognitive and neurobiological mechanistic pathways that underpin exposure-outcome relationships; and 3) the development of novel individual- and population-level interventions that target these mechanisms, including choice architecture interventions. This work has informed ongoing policy debates, such as the introduction of standardised (“plain”) packaging for tobacco products. He also has interests in the role of incentive structures in science, and the extent to which these shape the robustness and reproducibility of scientific research.

Research keywords

  • Addiction
  • Nicotine
  • Alcohol