David Nutt is currently the Edmond J Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and director of the Neuropsychopharmacology Unit in the Division of Brain Sciences.
David studied for his undergraduate degree at Downing College Cambridge and then completed his medical training at Guy's Hospital London, continuing in neurology to MRCP. After completing his psychiatric training in Oxford, he continued there as a lecturer and then later as a Wellcome Senior Fellow in psychiatry. He then spent two years as Chief of the Section of Clinical Science in the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in NIH, Bethesda, USA. On returning to England in 1988 he set up the Psychopharmacology Unit in Bristol University, an interdisciplinary research grouping spanning the departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology before moving to Imperial College London in December 2008 where he leads a similar group with a particular focus on brain imaging especially PET.
He is currently Chair of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD) and Vice-President of the European Brain Council. previoously he has been President of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP), the British Neuroscience Association and British Association of Psychopharmacology. In addition he is a Fellow of the Royal Colleges of Physicians and of Psychiatrists and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He is also the UK Director of the European Certificate and Masters in Affective Disorders Courses and a member of the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy. He has edited the Journal of Psychopharmacology for over two decades and acts as the psychiatry drugs advisor to the British National Formulary. He has published over 400 original research papers, a similar number of reviews and books chapters, eight government reports on drugs and 27 books.
Previously he has been member and Chair of the Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD – 1998-2009), member of the HEFCE/NHS Senior Lecturer Selection Panel and member of the MRC Neuroscience Board. Other previous national contributions include serving as the medical expert on the Independent Inquiry into the Misuse of Drugs Act (2000 Runciman report), and membership of the Committee on Safety of Medicines, the Committee on NHS drugs and the Ministry of Defence Science Advisory Board. He was the clinical scientific lead on the 2004/5 UK Government Foresight initiative “Brain science, addiction and drugs” that provided a 25-year vision for this area of science and public policy and in 2006 he was Director of Bristol Neuroscience.
He broadcasts widely to the general public both on radio and television including BBC science and public affairs programmes on therapeutic as well as illicit drugs, their harms and their classification. He also lecturers widely to the public as well as to the scientific and medical communities; for instance has presented three time at the Cheltenham Science Festival and several times for Café Scientifiques. In 2010 The Times Eureka science magazine included him in the 100 most important figures in British Science, and the only psychiatrist.