Anne Lingford-Hughes

Professor Lingford-Hughes is Professor of Addiction Biology and Head, Division of Psychiatry, Imperial College. She is Consultant Psychiatrist at Central North-West London NHS Foundation Trust. She is Addiction Mission Chair, Office of Life Sciences. She graduated in medicine from Oxford University, her PhD at Cambridge University, post-doc at NIMH and trained in psychiatry at The Bethlem and Maudsley Hospitals and Institute of Psychiatry. Her research has focused on characterising the neurobiology of addiction to improve treatment. She has contributed to clinical guidance from NICE, PHE/OHID and BAP. She leads an MRC-funded PhD programme to produce future clinical addiction academic leaders.

Addiction Mission: Future opportunities for researchers and developing the ecosystem

Professor Anne Lingford-Hughes was named as the Chair of the Addiction Missionled by the Office for Life Sciences in May 2023. She will describe how the Mission will enhance the UK-wide research environment and incentivise the development and testing of innovative and effective new treatments, technologies, and approaches to support recovery, and reduce the harm and deaths addictions cause.

Developing from the Black report, opioids and cocaine addictions were early areas of focus for the Mission, however, polydrug and alcohol use, and parallel mental and physical health issues, are recognised as vital areas where support for innovative research is needed. The Mission has launched two funding calls: The Reducing Drug Deaths Innovation Challenge, and the NIHR i4i Innovation for Treatment and Recovery awards.

The Mission is now focused on enhancing the research ecosystem within both third sector and NHS settings, by ensuring tailored support is offered for addiction research design and delivery, creating training pathways to nurture academic and clinical researchers in the field and strengthen workforce capabilities, bolstering UK data assets in addiction to catalyse research, increasing collaborations and investment with industry, and horizon scanning to attract global innovation to meet the UK’s needs.