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Will_Lawn

Dr Will Lawn

Lecturer in Psychology

Biography

I started working as a Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at King's in June 2022. Previously, I worked in the Department of Addictions as a Research Fellow from 2021 to 2022, working on a project with Professor Sir John Strang and Dr Basak Tas about opioid overdose and wearable devices that may be able to detect overdose.

Previously, I worked as a post-doctoral research associate at the Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit at UCL between 2016 and 2021 on two different projects. From 2017 to 2021, I coordinated the ‘CannTeen’ project which investigated the acute and chronic effects of cannabis in adolescents. From 2016 to 2017, I coordinated a clinical trial which examined ketamine as a treatment for alcohol dependence (KARE). 

I received my PhD from UCL in 2016. My supervisors were Prof Val Curran and Prof Celia Morgan. The thesis was entitled ‘Drug and non-drug reward processing in cigarette and cannabis users’. I gained an undergraduate degree from Cambridge in 2012 in Natural Sciences with a specialism in Experimental Psychology.

Currently, I am actively researching acute and long-term impacts of cannabis, and devices that can detect opioid overdose. My areas of expertise are: cannabis, ketamine, psychedelics, addiction, psychopharmacology, opioid overdose, reward processing, and fMRI in addiction studies. 

Research Interests

  • Cannabis
  • Opioid overdose
  • Addiction
  • Ketamine as a treatment of addiction
  • Adolescent drug use
  • Reward processing
  • Using fMRI to understand addiction

Teaching

I run the 3rd year 'Addictions' Psychology BSc module and teach on the 2nd year 'Choices' Psychology BSc module. I also teach on the Addictions MSc course. 

Expertise & Public Engagement

I have delivered numerous assemblies to schools across London about the impact of cannabis on adolescent development and my research into cannabis has been featured in national newspapers.

    News

    Adolescents more vulnerable to cannabis addiction but not other mental health risks

    Adolescents are over three times more vulnerable to developing a cannabis addiction than adults, but may not be at increased risk of other mental health...

    addiction-therapy-meeting-hero

    Winners of the 2022 Addictions Clinical Academic Group Early Career Research Prize announced

    Dr Katie East, Dr Basak Tas, Alice Bowen, Eileen Brobbin, and Dr Will Lawn have been announced as Addictions Clinical Academic Group (CAG) Early Career...

    Academic CAG Early Career Research Prize Winners

    Cannabis users no less likely to be motivated or able to enjoy life's pleasure

    Adult and adolescent cannabis users are no more likely than non-users to lack motivation or be unable to enjoy life’s pleasure, new research has shown,...

    Group Square

    Features

    Cannabis Conversations at King's

    On Wednesday 24th May we ran Cannabis Conversations at King’s, a public engagement and science communication event. Around 75 people who regularly use...

    single-dose-of-main-psychoactive-component-of-cannabis-could-induce-short-lived-psychiatric-symptoms-Cropped-1903x558

      News

      Adolescents more vulnerable to cannabis addiction but not other mental health risks

      Adolescents are over three times more vulnerable to developing a cannabis addiction than adults, but may not be at increased risk of other mental health...

      addiction-therapy-meeting-hero

      Winners of the 2022 Addictions Clinical Academic Group Early Career Research Prize announced

      Dr Katie East, Dr Basak Tas, Alice Bowen, Eileen Brobbin, and Dr Will Lawn have been announced as Addictions Clinical Academic Group (CAG) Early Career...

      Academic CAG Early Career Research Prize Winners

      Cannabis users no less likely to be motivated or able to enjoy life's pleasure

      Adult and adolescent cannabis users are no more likely than non-users to lack motivation or be unable to enjoy life’s pleasure, new research has shown,...

      Group Square

      Features

      Cannabis Conversations at King's

      On Wednesday 24th May we ran Cannabis Conversations at King’s, a public engagement and science communication event. Around 75 people who regularly use...

      single-dose-of-main-psychoactive-component-of-cannabis-could-induce-short-lived-psychiatric-symptoms-Cropped-1903x558