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Dr Julia Sinclair MB, BS, MRCPsych, MSc, DPhil

Associate Professor in Psychiatry, Honorary Consultant in Alcohol Liaison and Clinical Lead for Wessex Alcohol (AHSN)

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Dr Julia Sinclair is Associate Professor of Psychiatry within Medicine at the University of Southampton and Honorary Consultant in Alcohol Liaison in the NHS.

We still think about alcohol like we thought about smoking 30 years ago – we need to change that

Dr Sinclair was appointed as Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry and Honorary Consultant in Addiction Psychiatry in 2007. Having graduated from St George's Hospital Medical School, London in 1994, she trained in Psychiatry in the Wessex region and at Oxford. In 2002 she was awarded an MRC Training Fellowship in Health Services Research, during which time she completed an MSc in Health Services Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (2004) and a period of research leading to award of a D.Phil from Christ Church, Oxford (2006).

Dr Sinclair's primary research aim is to conduct clinically relevant research in patients with alcohol use disorders. Specifically, to investigate how biological, psychological and social mechanisms interact in this group, and their impact on clinical outcomes in terms of prevention, engagement and response to treatment.


B.Sc. (Hons), Psychology with Biomedical Sciences, University of London (1990)

M.B. B.S., St. George's Hospital Medical School, London (1994)

MRCPsych, Royal College of Psychiatrists, London (1999)

M.Sc., (Distinction), Health Services and Systems Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London (2004)

D.Phil., Christ Church, University of Oxford (2006)

PG Dip.LaTHE. University of Oxford (2006)

FHEA, Higher Education Academy (2008)

Appointments held

MRC Fellow in Health Services Research, University Department of Psychiatry and Institute of Health Sciences, Oxford (2004-2007)

Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry, University of Southampton 2007-2014

Associate Professor of Psychiatry  2014- present

Visiting Professor at Shandong University (Mental Health Centre), Jinan, China 2017- 2020

Honorary Consultant in Alcohol Liaison, University Hospital Southampton, NHS Foundation Trust.

Research interests

The aim of WARC is to:

  • encourage excellence in alcohol research across disciplines and clinical areas
  • improve the links among clinical services, public health, primary care, government agencies, policy makers and researchers in the field
  • encourage the involvement of lay experts in formulating the research agenda

Current WARC projects include:
 ‘Abreast of Health’ Exploring the teachable moment for alcohol reduction in breast clinics: Formative work to inform intervention design, development and process evaluation.  MRC PHIND funded. This cross-disciplinary study uses a range of methods to develop an acceptable and feasible digital intervention designed to engage women attending symptomatic breast clinics to determine accurately their alcohol risk level (a major modifiable risk factor for breast cancer).

The effectiveness of adjunctive Medication Management and Contingency Management to enhance adherence to medications for relapse prevention in alcohol dependence (ADAM) NIHR HTA funded.  This is a multi-centred RCT, recruiting patients with alcohol dependence who have recently become abstinent and are prescribed the relapse prevention drug acamprosate.

Brain network based stratification of reinforcement-related disorders (STRATIFY) ERC funded. This MRI study investigates brain network based stratification of reinforcement-related disorders (Alcohol use disorders, ADHD, and depression) in young adults.

A systematic review of physical activity for alcohol and substance use (PHASE): evidence synthesis with stakeholder engagement to formulate practical recommendations NIHR-RfPB funded.

Health Improvement interventions for offenders or ex-offenders under community supervision (STRENGTHEN) NIHR PHR funded. This development and feasibility study investigates the role of peer ‘health-trainers’ to help reduce the poor health outcomes in people within the criminal justice system outside of the prison system.

Exploring change: identity in recovery from problematic alcohol use. Wessex Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and Lundbeck A/S funded PhD studentship. (2015-2018). This PhD studentship is investigating the role of identity in people’s ability to sustain change in behaviour around their alcohol use.

Associative Learning and Relapse in Alcohol Dependence. Vice Chancellor and Society for the Study of Addiction joint funded PhD Studentship (2015-2018). An experimental psychology study investigating the role that context plays in learning and the application of this to understanding potential mechanisms of behaviour change around alcohol consumption.

WARC lay expert panel members contribute to Unversity Science and Engineering day
Encouraging Lay people in research
Alcohol c elegans
Alcohol c elegans
Test tube still section
Still section
WARC glass


Clinical and Experimental Sciences

Affiliate Department(s)

Founder Member of the Wessex Alcohol Research Collaborative (WARC)

PhD supervision

2010 Emma Richards: Understanding the mental health needs of offenders, (submitting 2018)

2015 Sophia Chambers: Exploring change: identity in recovery from problematic alcohol use, (submitting 2018)

2015 Carl Buckfield: Associative Learning and Relapse in Alcohol Dependence, (submitting 2018)


2008 -2012: David Bartrum: ‘Measuring the mental health of the veterinary profession: psychometric considerations’

Recognised by British Veterinary Association through Chiron award for outstanding services to veterinary profession (September 2013)

Faculty of Medicine

Alcohol and Addiction Subject lead, BM5 Programme 2008-

Chair of The Psychiatry Undergraduate Strategy Group 2013-

Deputy co-ordinator of the Scientific Basis of Medicine of Medicine module 2017-

University of Southampton

Founder member of the Wessex Alcohol Research Collaborative

2013 – 2018 Clinical Lead for the alcohol programme of the Wessex Academic Health Science Network

Medical Lead for the Alcohol Care Team, University Hospital Southampton, NHS Foundation Trust

National Responsibilities

Trustee of Society for the Study of Addictions

Chair of the Conference Committee of Society for the Study of Addictions

Editorial Board member of the British Journal of Psychiatry

General Medical Council Associate, providing health assessments and medical supervision for doctors in difficulty

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Book Chapters




Working Paper

  • Personal tutor (Years 0-5)
  • BMedSci and MMedSci project supervisor in alcohol related studies
  • GMC Fitness to Practice Panel Member
  • Deputy co-ordinator of the Scientific Basis of Medicine of Medicine module (since 2017).
  • Co-ordinator of the 'Alcohol and Addiction' subject, including the co-ordination and delivery of a week's teaching in Year 2 for 200+ students annually (since 2008).
  • Alcohol and Addiction subject Lead BM5: Responsible for ensuring that teaching on alcohol and addiction is embedded throughout the BM5 programme, and represent the University of Southampton in a DH funded project to develop the undergraduate curriculum in this area. Involved with direct clinical teaching in this area in years two, three and five as well as responsible for assessment and evaluation of the subject.
Dr Julia Sinclair
University Department of Psychiatry Academic Centre, College Keep 4-12 Terminus Terrace Southampton SO14 3DT Tel: +44 (0)23 8071 8520 Fax: +44 (0)23 8071 8533 Email:

Room Number: 123 Coll. Keep//N2

Telephone:(023) 8231 0779

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