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Addictions Department Staff

Professor Michael T Lynskey

Professor of Addictions

BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD


Tel:  020 7848 5123


Michael T. Lynskey. Ph.D. is a Professor of Addictions in the National Addictions Centre with a focus on adolescence and young adulthood. He completed his training in New Zealand, working on the Christchurch Health and Development, a longitudinal study of 1265 children, and has held academic appointments at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales and in the Dept. of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, Missouri. Michael has published extensively in the field of longitudinal studies and developmental psychopathology, with a particular emphasis on issues relating to cannabis use and cannabis use disorders, including the epidemiology and etiology of cannabis use and dependence; the assessment of cannabis use disorders, the comorbidity between cannabis use and mental health, and the genetics of cannabis dependence. He has been the principal investigator on two recent NIDA funded R01 grants: a twin study of substance use and related phenotypes among a sample of young adult Australian twins and an extended family study of substance use among Missouri born twins and their full siblings. Additionally, he was Principal Investigator on Project 5 of the NIAAA funded Mid-Western Alcoholism Research Center which added a genetic research component to several existing longitudinal studies of alcohol and other drug use in adolescence and youth. 

Michael is a member of the Addictions Department’s Diversity & Inclusion Departmental Working Group.


Recent Publications

Verweij KJH, Agrawal A, Nat NO, Creemers HE, Huizink AC, Martin NG, Lynskey MT. A genetic perspective on the proposed inclusion of cannabis withdrawal in the DSM-5. Psychological Medicine, 2013;43(8):1713-1722.

Nelson EC, Lynskey MT, Heath AC, Wray N, Agrawal A, Shand FL, Henders AK, Wallace L, Todorov AA, Schrage AJ, Saccone NL, Madden PAF, Degenhardt L, Martin NG, Montgomery GW. ANKK1, TTC12, and NCAM1 Polymorphisms are Associated with Heroin Dependence – importance of considering drug exposure. Archives of General Psychiatry, 2013;70(3):325-33.

Lynskey MT, Agrawal A, Henders A, Nelson EC, Madden PAF, Martin NG. An Australian Twin Study of Cannabis and Other Illicit Drug Use and Misuse, and other psychopathology. Twin Research & Human Genetics, 2012;15:631-641.

Nelson EC, Lynskey MT, Heath AC, Wray N, Agrawal A, Shand FL, Henders AK, Wallace L, Todorov AA, Schrage AJ, Madden PA, Degenhardt L, Martin NG, Montgomery GW. Association of OPRD1 polymorphisms with heroin dependence in a large case-control series. Addiction Biology, 2014;19(1):111-21.  

Agrawal A, Nelson EC, Littlefield AK, Bucholz KK, Degenhardt L, Henders AK, Madden PAF, Martin NG, Montgomery GW, Pergadia ML, Sher KJ, Heath AC, Lynskey MT. The Cannabinoid receptor (CNR1) genotype moderates the effects of childhood physical abuse on anhedonia and anhedonic depression. Archives of General Psychiatry, 2012;69(7):732-40.

Agrawal A, Verweij KJH, Gillespie NA, Heath AC, Lessov-Schlaggar CN, Martin NG, Nelson EC, Slutske WS, Whitfield JB, Lynskey MT. The Genetics of Addiction. Translational Psychiatry, (2012) 2, e140.

Agrawal A, Budney J, Lynskey MT. The use and misuse of cannabis and tobacco: A review. Addiction, 2012;107:1221-1233.

Chassin L, Lee MR, Cho Y, Wang F, Agrawal A, Sher KJ, Lynskey MT. Testing Multiple Levels of Influence in the Intergenerational Transmission of Alcohol Disorders from a Developmental Perspective: The Example of Alcohol Use-Promoting Peers and Mu-Opioid Receptor (OPRM1). Development and Psychopathology, 2012;24:953-967.

Verweij KJH, Zietsch BP, Liu JZ, Medland SE, Lynskey MT, Madden PAF, Agrawal A, Montgomary GW, Heath AC, Martin NG. No association of candidate genes with cannabis use in a large sample of Australian twin families. Addiction Biology, 2012;17(3):687-690

Agrawal A, Lynskey MT. Cannabis controversies: how genetics can inform the study of comorbidity. Addiction, (In press)

Lynskey MT, Strang J. The global burden of drug use and mental disorders. Lancet. 2013;382(9904):1540-2.

Verweij KJ, Huizink AC, Agrawal A, Martin NG, Lynskey MT. Is the relationship between early-onset cannabis use and educational attainment causal or due to common liability? Drug Alcohol Depend. 2013;133(2):580-6.

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