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Professor  Julia Sinclair MB, BS, FRCPsych, MSc, DPhil, FHEA

Professor of Addiction Psychiatry, Honorary Consultant in Alcohol Liaison in the NHS

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Julia Sinclair is Professor of Addiction 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

Professor 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 was awarded a distinction for an MSc in Health Services Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (2004) and a D.Phil from Christ Church, Oxford (2006).

Professor Sinclair's primary research aim is to conduct clinically relevant research in the harms of alcohol use. Specifically, to investigate how biological, psychological and social mechanisms interact, 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- 2018

Professor of Addiction Psychiatry 2018 – present

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

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

National Specialty Advisor for Alcohol Dependence NHS England & NHS Improvement

Research interests

Current Research projects include:

  • Effects of baclofen on anxiety in patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD):  A systematic review and Meta-analysis
  • ‘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.
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Encouraging Lay people in research
Alcohol c elegans
Alcohol c elegans
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Clinical and Experimental Sciences

Postgraduate student supervision


  • Aimee O’Neill 2019- 2021 Centre for Workforce wellbeing (C4WW)
  • Gema Simons 2019-2021  Centre for workforce Wellbeing (C4WW)

C4WW website



  • Emma Richards (PhD): Understanding the mental health needs of offenders.
  • Sophia Chambers (PhD): Exploring change: identity in recovery from problematic alcohol use.
  • Carl Buckfield (PhD): Associative Learning and Relapse in Alcohol Dependence.
  • David Bartrum (MPhil): '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-
  • BMedSci and MMedSci project supervisor in alcohol related studies
  • GMC Fitness to Practice Panel Member
  • Personal tutor (Years 0-5)

University of Southampton

National Responsibilities

  • Chair of the Addictions Faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists 2018-2022
  • National Specialty Advisor for Alcohol Dependence NHS England & NHS Improvement
  • Member of the Clinical Guideline Group for Alcohol Dependence (Public Health England)
  • Member of the Alcohol Advisory Board for Public Health England
  • Trustee of Society for the Study of Addictions
  • Chair of the Conference Committee of Society for the Study of Addictions
  • General Medical Council Associate, providing health assessments and medical supervision for doctors in difficulty

International Responsibilities

  • Member of Programme Committee of Lisbon Addiction 2019
  • 2018 - Editorial Board member for Alcohol and Alcoholism
  • 2017- 2020 Visiting Professor at Shandong University (Mental Health Centre), Jinan, China
  • 2015- 2020 Editorial Board member of the British Journal of Psychiatry
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Book Chapters




Working Papers

  • Personal tutor (Years 0-5)
  • BMedSci and MmedSci project supervisor in alcohol related studies
  • GMC Fitness to Practice Panel Member
  • 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).
  • Deputy co-ordinator of the Scientific Basis of Medicine of Medicine module (since 2017).
Professor Julia Sinclair
University Department of Psychiatry Academic Centre, College Keep 4-12 Terminus Terrace Southampton SO14 3DT Tel: + 44 2382310764 Fax: + 44 2382310766 Email:

Room Number: 123 Coll. Keep//N2

Telephone:(023) 8231 0764

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