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Professor C Heather Ashton
Professor C Heather Ashton, DM, FRCP
School of Neurology, Neurobiology and Psychiatry,
The Royal Victoria Infirmary, Queen Victoria Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP, England, UK
Professor Heather Ashton
Chrystal Heather Ashton DM, FRCP is Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychopharmacology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
Professor Ashton is a graduate of the University of Oxford and obtained a First Class Honours Degree (BA) in Physiology in 1951. She qualified in Medicine (BM, BCh, MA) in 1954 and gained a postgraduate Doctor of Medicine (DM) in 1956. She qualified as MRCP (Member of the Royal College of Physicians, London) in 1958 and was elected FRCP (Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London) in 1975. She also became National Health Service Consultant in Clinical Psychopharmacology in 1975 and National Health Service Consultant in Psychiatry in 1994.
She has worked at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne as researcher (Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader and Professor) and clinician since 1965, first in the Department of Pharmacology and latterly in the Department of Psychiatry. Her research has centred, and continues, on the effects of psychotropic drugs (nicotine, cannabis, benzodiazepines, antidepressants and others) on the brain and behaviour in man. Her main clinical work was in running a benzodiazepine withdrawal clinic for 12 years from 1982-1994.
At present she is involved with the North East Council for Addictions (NECA) of which she is former Vice-Chairman of the Executive Committee on which she still serves. She continues to give advice on benzodiazepine problems to counsellors and is patron of the Bristol & District Tranquilliser Project. She was generic expert in the UK benzodiazepine litigation in the 1980s and has been involved with the UK organisation Victims of Tranquillisers (VOT). She has submitted evidence about benzodiazepines to the House of Commons Health Select Committee.
Professor has published approximately 250 papers in professional journals, books and chapters in books on psychotropic drugs of which over 50 concern benzodiazepines. She has given evidence to various Government committees on tobacco smoking, cannabis and benzodiazepines and has given invited lectures on benzodiazepines in the UK, Australia, Sweden, Switzerland and other countries.