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Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco conference

30 September 2014

Last week, TARG’s Marcus Munafò, Olivia Maynard, Amy Taylor, Jen Ware and Meryem Grabski all attended the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT-E) 2014 conference in Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

Marcus, Amy and Jen hosted a pre-conference workshop entitled ‘Genetics of nicotine dependence’ where Jen discussed the importance of phenotype refinement in genetics research, and Amy discussed how a Mendelian randomisation approach can be used to infer causality in smoking research. Both Jen and Amy also gave talks in a symposium later in the conference, entitled ‘Biomarkers of nicotine intake and metabolism – better phenotypes provide better precision for studying smoking behaviour’, where Jen reported the results of her genome-wide meta-analysis for the genetic basis of cotinine levels in daily smokers, whilst Amy discussed how she has used Mendelian randomisation to investigate the causal effect of smoking on anxiety and depression. Olivia gave a talk in a symposium entitled ‘The Tobacco Products Directive: Packaging and Labelling’ and discussed the results of her randomised controlled trial investigating the impact of plain cigarette packages on smokers’ attitudes and behaviours. Finally, Meryem presented a poster entitled ‘A systematic review of cognitive tasks sensitive to acute abstinence and predictive of smoking cessation outcome in smokers’.

Olivia was also announced as Communications Officer on the SRNT Europe Board, a position she will hold for the next three years. In addition to a stimulating conference programme, the venue was beautiful and the group were able to enjoy the local food and drink and watch the hundreds of hikers arriving into the city who had made the pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. 

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