Connecting European Neuroscience

Barry Everitt

Past President (2018-2020)
President (2016-2018)

Curriculum Vitae

Professional and Academic Career

2013   Director of Research, Dept Psychology, University of Cambridge

2013   Provost, Gates Cambridge Trust

2003-2013  Master, Downing College, Cambridge

1997-2013  Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience, Dept Psychology, Univ. Cambridge

1994-1997   Reader in Neuroscience, Dept Experimental Psychology, Univ. Cambridge

1991-1994   Reader in Neuroscience, Dept Anatomy, University of Cambridge

1982-1983   Ciba-Geigy Senior Research Fellow, Karolinska  Institutet, Stockholm,

1974-1991   University Lecturer, Dept Anatomy, University of Cambridge

1973-1974  M.R.C. Travelling Research Fellow, Karolinska Institutet, Dept of Histology & Neurobiology, Stockholm, Sweden

1970-1973   Research Fellow, Dept Anatomy, University of Birmingham Medical School.

Honours & Awards

Fondation Ipsen Neuronal Plasticity Prize, 2014

Member of European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), elected 2014

British Association for Psychopharmacology ‘Lifetime Achievement’ Award, 2012

FENS-EJN Award 2012

American Psychological Association ‘Distinguished Scientific Contribution’ Award, 2011

European Behavioural Pharmacology Society ‘Distinguished Achievement’ Award, 2011

D.Sc. honoris causa, University of Birmingham, 2010

D.Sc. honoris causa, University of Hull, 2009

Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, elected 2008

Fellow of the Royal Society, elected 2007

Sc.D., University of Cambridge 2004


Administrative & Organisational Experience

Master (CEO) Downing College, Cambridge (2003-2013)

Provost (CEO) of the Gates Cambridge Trust (2013-2018)

President, European Behavioural Pharmacology Society (2003-2005)

President, European Brain and Behaviour Society (1998-2000)

President, British Association for Psychopharmacology (1992-1994)

Editor-in-Chief, European Journal of Neuroscience (1997-2008)

Reviewing Editor Science (2005- present)


Research Interests

My research has always been concerned with understanding the neural mechanisms of motivation, reward, learning and memory.  A major focus is the neural and psychological mechanisms underlying the seeking and taking of addictive drugs such as cocaine, heroin and alcohol. Among our findings, we have defined the function of amygdala-nucleus accumbens interactions in mediating pavlovian influences on drug seeking, demonstrated the dopamine-dependent shifts in the locus of control over drug seeking from ventral to dorsal striatum over a long history of drug taking, and shown that behavioural impulsivity is a key vulnerability trait that predicts future compulsive cocaine use.   We have a major interest in the neural basis of memory reconsolidation, and demonstrated the key role of the immediate-early gene zif268 and NMDA receptors in the amygdala in the reconsolidation of fear and drug memories.  A longer-term, translational goal is to target reconsolidation in a clinical setting as a novel treatment for addiction by diminishing the impact of drug-associated stimuli that elicit craving or precipitate relapse to drug seeking, thereby promoting abstinence.


Selected Publications

  • Merlo E, Milton AL, Goozee Z, Theobald D, Everitt BJ (2014) Reconsolidation and extinction are dissociable and mutually exclusive processes: behavioural and molecular evidence. J Neuroscience 34:2422-31.
  • Jonkman S, Pelloux Y & Everitt BJ (2012) Drug intake is sufficient, but conditioning is not necessary for the emergence of compulsive cocaine seeking after extended self-administration. Neuropsychopharmacology, 37: 1612-1619.
  • Belin D, Mar AC, Dalley JW, Robbins TW & Everitt BJ (2008). Impulsivity predicts the switch to compulsive cocaine seeking. Science, 320(5881):1352-1355.
  • Belin, D. & Everitt, BJ (2008) Cocaine seeking habits depend upon dopamine-dependent serial connectivity linking the ventral with the dorsal striatum. Neuron, 57 (3): 432-441
  • Everitt BJ, Robbins TW (2005). Neural systems of reinforcement for drug addiction: from actions to habits to compulsion.  Nature Neuroscience, 8: 1481-1489
  • Lee JLC, Di Ciano P, Thomas KL,  & Everitt BJ.  (2005) Disrupting reconsolidation of drug memories reduces cocaine seeking behaviour. Neuron, 47: 795-801.
  • Vanderschuren LJMJ, Everitt BJ (2004) Drug-seeking becomes compulsive after prolonged cocaine self-administration. Science, 305:1017-1019.
  • Cardinal RN, Pennicott DR, Sugathapala CL, Robbins TW, Everitt BJ. (2001) Impulsive choice induced in rats by lesions of the nucleus accumbens core, but not of anterior cingulate or medial prefrontal cortex. Science, 292: 2499-2501.
  • Hall J, Thomas KL and Everitt BJ.  (2000) Rapid and selective induction of BDNF expression in the hippocampus during contextual fear conditioning.  Nature Neuroscience, 3: 533-535.
  • Killcross, S., Robbins, T.W. & Everitt, B.J.  (1997) Different types of fear-conditioned behaviour mediated by separate nuclei within the amygdala.  Nature, 388: 377-380.


Barry Everitt

Professor Barry J Everitt Sc.D., F.R.S., F.Med.Sci.
Department of Psychology & Behavioural
and Clinical Neuroscience Institute
University of Cambridge
Cambridge CB2 3EB
United Kingdom