Anya Topiwala

Senior Clinical Researcher

I got interested in the effects of alcohol on the brain for two reasons. First, in my work as a psychiatrist assessing people with memory problems I was aware how frequently people were drinking. Second, the existing research in the area appeared to be contradictory. By that I mean that while really heavy drinking was known to damage the brain, small amounts were claimed protective. I could not understand that and wanted to look into it in more detail.

After school I went to the University of Oxford Medical School to train as a clinical doctor. During my time there I became increasing interested in the brain and decided to specialise in psychiatry. It was during my psychiatric training that I realised the huge opportunity for research in this area, and studied for a PhD, as we still understand relatively little about the brain and its functioning.