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, the Drug Control Centre at King's College London, the Analytical Toxicology Unit at St George's University of London and HfL Sports Science laboratory. We also work with a number of clinical, analytical 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, general practices, ambulance services, and other health care agencies. 

We've also developed a multidisciplinary 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), European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), UK Advisory Council on Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).

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 novel psychoactive substances in novel biological matrices (e.g. 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 novel 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.