Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Medicine

Research Associate



+44 (0)20 7594 7028l.paterson




E514Burlington DanesHammersmith Campus





I am a Research Associate in the Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology. Our research is focused on investigating the brain mechanisms and neuropharmacology of addiction through experimental medicine and clinical trials. We study the impact of addiction and other mental health disorders on brain function and its modulation by medications using state of the art brain imaging techniques, with the aim of understanding the brain pathways to addiction and relapse, in order to develop better treatments.

Current studies include the ICCAM platform study, a multi-centre fMRI study of the neuropharmacology of addiction, which is investigating the effects of opioid, dopamine and NK1 receptor antagonism on brain pathways involved in reward, inhibitory control and stress/emotional processing. We are also investigating the effect of baclofen- a GABA-B agonist- on these same brain pathways in alcoholism (IMBAC study).

I also have an interest in sleep, and have previously been involved in studies of sleep architecture in healthy subjects, insomnia, depression and deep brain stimulation.

None of our research can be done without the support of our research volunteers. If you are interested in our research and would like to be involved in a study, either as a healthy volunteer, or as someone who suffers with drug and/or alcohol problems, please get in touch at



Morris LS, Baek K, Tait R, et al., 2018, Naltrexone ameliorates functional network abnormalities in alcohol-dependent individuals., Addict Biol, Vol:23, Pages:425-436

Savulich G, Riccelli R, Passamonti L, et al., 2017, Effects of naltrexone are influenced by childhood adversity during negative emotional processing in addiction recovery, Translational Psychiatry, Vol:7, ISSN:2158-3188

Nestor LJ, Murphy A, McGonigle J, et al., 2017, Acute naltrexone does not remediate fronto-striatal disturbances in alcoholic and alcoholic polysubstance-dependent populations during a monetary incentive delay task, Addiction Biology, Vol:22, ISSN:1355-6215, Pages:1576-1589

Murphy A, Nestor LJ, McGonigle J, et al., 2017, Acute D3 antagonist GSK598809 selectively enhances neural response during monetary reward anticipation in drug and alcohol dependence, Neuropsychopharmacology, Vol:42, ISSN:1740-634X, Pages:1049-1057

McGonigle J, Murphy A, Paterson LM, et al., 2017, The ICCAM platform study: An experimental medicine platform for evaluating new drugs for relapse prevention in addiction. Part B: fMRI description, Journal of Psychopharmacology, Vol:31, ISSN:0269-8811, Pages:3-16

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