Toxicology research


We're actively involved in research to improve the management of poisoned patients and to prevent poisoning.

We work with colleagues in the Biomedical Research Centre, as well as a number of clinical, analytic and academic collaborators not only in the UK, but also elsewhere in Europe, Australasia, North America and the Far East.

In addition, research is often conducted in collaboration with clinical colleagues at the Trust, local hospitals, ambulance services, and other healthcare agencies. 

We've also developed a network of key stakeholders involved in the pre-hospital care of those with recreational drug toxicity, which includes clinical and analytical toxicologists, nightclub owners/promoters/first aid providers, drug and alcohol outreach services, the London Ambulance Service and the Metropolitan Police Service.

The consultants have close links with national and international collaborators and work with organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and the Advisory Council on Misuse of Drugs (ACMD).

Current research interests pursued by the clinical toxicology service include:

  • epidemiology and patterns of use of novel psychoactive substances (NPS) and emerging recreational drugs
  • improvement in the pre-hospital care of individuals with recreational drug toxicity
  • epidemiology and clinical features of recreational drug toxicity
  • detection of classical recreational drugs and new psychoactive substances in novel biological matrices (eg hair, sweat, saliva)
  • development of analysis of anonymous pooled urine collections as a novel strategy for detecting and monitoring the use of classical recreational drugs and new psychoactive substances
  • epidemiology of local poisoning, and implementation of strategies to improve the care of poisoned patients in the local area
  • epidemiology of misuse of prescription and over-the-counter medication in the UK
  • heavy metal poisoning
  • paracetamol poisoning
  • development and use of adsorbents.