Professor Wayne Hall

Research Interests

Over the past 20 years I have worked in the fields of addiction, mental health and public health, addressing socially important and intellectually challenging scientific and policy questions that lie at the intersection between human biology and history. In 2001, I moved to the University of Queensland to work on the public policy and ethics of new biotechnologies arising from the sequencing of the human genome. I now work on the social and ethical implications of research in genetics and neuroscience on addiction and mental disorders. My work involves asking the following type of questions:

  • What are the potential uses that can be made of evidence that there is a genetic basis for the likelihood of developing drug dependence?
  • Should we screen the entire Australian population for genetic susceptibility to addiction?
  • Should we use genetic tests or neuroimaging to match addicted persons to treatments that give them the best chance of quitting?
  • Should we vaccinate children and adolescents to prevent cocaine, nicotine and other types of addiction?
  • Should we use consider neurosurgical treatments for intractable addiction?
  • Should we allow the courts to legally coerce addicted persons to undergo treatments that involve the implantation of long-acting drugs to block the effects of addictive drugs?
  • Should we allow adults to use pharmaceutical drugs to enhance their normal cognitive functioning?

The award of an NHMRC Australia Fellowship in 2009 enabled me to assemble a team of bright young researchers to critically examine the most promising applications of neurobiological research on addiction and present our analyses in ways that will inform public policy debates about these applications.

In The Media

Research Projects

Among our recent and current research projects are:

  • Assessing the global prevalence of illicit drug use and the contribution of harms related to their use to the global burden of disease;
  • The ethical and social implications of drug-induced compulsive behaviour in patients with Parkinsons' Disease treated with dopamine agonists;
  • The effects of neurobiological understandings of cigarette smoking on smokers’ beliefs about quitting;
  • The ethical implications of proposals to treat addiction using deep brain stimulation;
  • The ethical and social implications of using drugs to enhance human cognitive performance ("neuroenhancement").


Key Publications

Morphett K, Lucke J, Gartner C, Carter A, Meurk C, Hall WD: Public attitudes toward the treatment of nicotine addiction. Nicotine and Tobacco Research 2013: March 18.

Meurk CS, Carter A, Hall WD, Lucke J: Public understandings of addiction: Where do neurobiological explanations fit? Neuroethics 2013, February 15: doi: 10.1007/s12152-013-9180-1.

Carter A, Hall WD: Ethical implications of research on craving. Addictive Behaviors 2013, 38: 1593-9.

Lai FY, Bruno R, Hall WD, Gartner C, Ort C, Kirkbride P, Prichard J, Thai PK, Carter S, Mueller JF: Profiles of illicit drug use during annual key holiday and control periods in Australia: wastewater analysis in an urban, a semi-rural and a vacation area. Addiction 2013, 108: 556-65.

Hall WD, Carter A. How may neuroscience affect the way that the criminal courts deal with addicted offenders? In: Vincent N, ed. Neuroscience and legal responsibility, 1st edn. London: Oxford University Press, 2013: 279-302.

Hall WD, Carter A: Anticipating possible policy uses of addiction neuroscience research. Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy 2013, 20: 249-57.

Bell S, Partridge B, Lucke J, Hall WD: Australian university students' attitudes towards the acceptability and regulation of pharmaceuticals to improve academic performance. Neuroethics 2013, 6: 197-205.

Degenhardt L, Coffey C, Romaniuk H, Swift W, Carlin J, Hall WD, Patton G: The persistence of the association between adolescent cannabis use and common mental disorders into young adulthood. Addiction 2013, 108: 124-33.

Forlini C, Hall WD, Maxwell B, Outram SM, Reiner PB, Repantis D, Schermer M, Racine E: Navigating the enhancement landscape. EMBO Reports (European Molecular Biology Organization) 2013, 14: 123-28.

Hollingworth S, Duhig M, Hall WD, Scott J: National trends in the community prescribing of second-generation antipsychotic medications in Australian children and youth: the incomplete story. Australasian Psychiatry 2013, July 29: 10.1177/1039856213497809.

Bell S, Carter A, Mathews R, Gartner C, Lucke J, Hall WD: Views of addiction neuroscientists and clinicians on the clinical impact of a ‘brain disease model of addiction’. Neuroethics 2013, January 19: 10.1007/s12152-013-9177-9.

Hall WD: Did the elimination of lead from petrol reduce crime in the USA in the 1990s? F1000Research 2013, 2.

Haynes AS, Derrick GE, Redman S, Hall WD, Gillespie JA, Chapman S, Sturk H: Identifying trustworthy experts: How do policymakers find and assess public health researchers worth consulting or collaborating with? PLoS ONE (Public Library of Science) 2012, 7: e32665.

Hall WD, Babor T, Edwards G, Laranjeira R, Marsden J, Miller P, Obot I, Petry N, Thamarangsi T, West R: Compulsory detention, forced detoxification and enforced labour are not ethically acceptable or effective ways to treat addiction (Editorial). Addiction 2012, 107: 1891-93.

Hall WD, Prichard J, Kirkbride P, Bruno R, Thai P, Gartner C, Lai F, Ort C, Mueller J: An analysis of ethical issues in using wastewater analysis to monitor illicit drug use. Addiction 2012, 107: 1767-73.

Lucke J, Hall WD: Under what conditions is it ethical to offer incentives to encourage drug-using women to use long-acting forms of contraception? (For Debate). Addiction 2012, 107: 1036-41.

Partridge B, Lucke J, Hall WD: Public attitudes towards the acceptability of using drugs to treat depression and ADHD. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 2012, 46: 958-65.

Gartner C, Barendregt J, Wallace A, Hall WD: Would vaccination against nicotine be a cost-effective way to prevent smoking uptake in adolescents? Addiction 2012, 107: 801-9.

Lee N, Carter A, Owen N, Hall WD: The neurobiology of overeating: Treating overweight individuals should make use of neuroscience research, but not at the expense of population approaches to diet and lifestyle (Science and Society). EMBO Reports (European Molecular Biology Organization) 2012, 13: 785-90.

Gartner C, Hall WD, Borland R: How should we regulate smokeless tobacco products and e-cigarettes? (Perspectives). Medical Journal of Australia 2012, 197: 611-12.

Gartner C, Scollo M, Marquart L, Mathews R, Hall WD: Analysis of national data shows mixed evidence of hardening among Australian smokers. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 2012, 36: 408-14.

Hall WD: What place, if any, does information on putative cardioprotective effects of moderate alcohol use have in safer drinking guidelines? (Commentary). Drug and Alcohol Review 2012, 31: 194-7.

Mathews R, Hall WD, Carter A. Public health implications of genetic research on addiction. In: Chapman A, ed. Genetic research on addiction: Ethics, the law, and public health. London: Cambridge University Press, 2012: 155-73.

Douglas H, Hammil J, Russell A, Hall WD: The importance of foetal alcohol spectrum disorder for criminal law practice: Views of Queensland criminal lawyers. Queensland Lawyer 2012, 32: 153-64.

Carter A, Miller P, Hall WD. The ethics of harm reduction. In: Pates R, Riley D, eds. Harm reduction in substance use and high-risk behaviour: International policy and practice. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012: 111-23.

Bell S, Lucke JC, Hall WD: Lessons for enhancement from the history of cocaine and amphetamine use. American Journal of Bioethics - Neuroscience 2012, 3: 24-29.

Mathews R, Carter A, Hall WD. The implications of genetic research on alcohol dependence for dependence and treatment. In: Chapman A, ed. Genetic research on addiction: Ethics, the law, and public health. London: Cambridge University Press, 2012: 16-30.

Prichard J, Lai FY, Kirkbride P, Bruno R, Ort C, Carter S, Hall WD, Gartner C, Thai P, Mueller J: Measuring drug use patterns in Queensland through wastewater analysis. Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice 2012, 442: 8p.

Carter A, Hall WD, Illes J, eds: Addiction neuroethics: The ethics of addiction neuroscience research and treatment. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2012.

Carter A, Hall WD: Addiction neuroethics: The promises and perils of neuroscience research on addiction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

Partridge B, Bell S, Lucke JC, Yeates S, Hall WD: Smart drugs "as common as coffee": Media hype about neuroenhancement. PLoS ONE (Public Library of Science) 2011, 6: e28416.

Ambermoon P, Carter A, Hall WD, Dissanayaka N, O'Sullivan J: Impulse control disorders in patients with Parkinson's disease receiving dopamine replacement therapy: evidence and implications for the addictions field. Addiction 2011, 106: 283-93.

Carter A, Hall WD: Proposals to trial deep brain stimulation to treat addiction are premature (Editorial). Addiction 2011, 106: 235-37.

Lucke J, Bell S, Partridge B, Hall WD: Academic doping or Viagra for the brain? The history of recreational drug use and pharmacological enhancement can provide insight into these uses of neuropharmaceuticals (Science and Society: Outlook). EMBO Reports (European Molecular Biology Organization) 2011, 12: 197-201.

Hall WD, Gartner C: Ethical and policy issues in using vaccines to treat and prevent cocaine and nicotine dependence. Current Opinion in Psychiatry 2011, 24: 191-96.

Boot B, Partridge B, Hall WD: Better evidence for safety and efficacy is needed before neurologists prescribe drugs for neuroenhancement to healthy people. Neurocase 2011, 18: 181-4.

Carter A, Bell E, Racine E, Hall WD: Ethical issues raised by proposals to treat addiction using deep brain stimulation. Neuroethics 2011, 4: 129-42.

Lucke JC, Bell S, Partridge B, Hall WD: Deflating the neuroenhancement bubble. American Journal of Bioethics - Neuroscience 2011, 2: 38-43.

Collins P, Patel V, Joestl S, March D, Insel T, ..., Hall WD, ..., Walport M: Grand challenges in global mental health: A consortium of researchers announces here research priorities for improving the lives of peaople with mental illness around the world, and calls for urgent action and investment (Comment). Nature 2011, 475: 27-30.

Hall WD, Carter A: Deep brain stimulation in parkinsonian patients-implications for trialing DBS in intractable psychiatric disorders (Invited Commentary). American Journal of Bioethics - Neuroscience 2011, 2: 14-15.

Hall WD, Mathews R, Morley K: Being more realistic about the public health impact of genomic medicine (Policy forum). PLoS Medicine (Public Library of Science) 2010, 7: e1000347.

Hall WD, Lucke J: The enhancement use of neuropharmaceuticals: More scepticism and caution needed. Addiction 2010, 105: 2041-43.

Lucke J, Herbert D, Partridge B, Hall WD: Anticipating the use of life extension technologies:  Possible pointers from the adoption of assisted reproductive technologies. EMBO Reports (European Molecular Biology Organization) 2010, 11: 334-38.

Hall WD, Lucke J: Legally coerced treatment for drug using offenders: ethical and policy issues. Crime and Justice Bulletin (Boscar, NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research) 2010, 144: 12p.

Hall WD, Pacula R: Cannabis use and dependence: Public health and public policy, Reissue of 1st (2003) edn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Hall WD, Degenhardt L: Adverse health effects of non-medical cannabis use. Lancet 2009, 374: 1383-91.

Partridge B, Lucke J, Bartlett H, Hall WD: Ethical, social, and personal implications of extended human lifespan identified by members of the public. Rejuvenation Research 2009, 12: 351-57.

Hall WD, Gartner C: Supping with the Devil? The role of law in promoting tobacco harm reduction using low nitrosamine smokeless tobacco products. Public Health 2009, 123: 287-91.

Gartner C, Barendregt J, Hall WD: Multiple genetic tests for susceptibility to smoking do not outperform simple family history. Addiction 2009, 104: 118-26.

Lucke J, Diedrichs P, Partridge B, Hall WD: Anticipating the anti-ageing pill: Lessons from the history of the oral contraceptive pill and hormone replacement therapy. EMBO Reports (European Molecular Biology Organization) 2009, 10: 108-13.

Carter A, Capps B, Hall WD: Addiction neurobiology: Ethical and social implications. Lisbon: European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, 2009.

Hall WD, Gartner C, Carter A: The genetics of nicotine addiction liability: Ethical and social policy implications (Horizons review). Addiction 2008, 103: 350-59.

Gartner C, Hall WD, Vos T, Bertram M, Wallace A, Lim S: Assessment of Swedish snus for tobacco harm reduction: an epidemiological modelling study. Lancet 2007, 369: 2010-14.

Hall WD: The prospects for immunotherapy in smoking cessation. Lancet 2002, 360: 1089-91.

Contact details and email

Wayne Hall, UQCCR, room 708

Phone: 61-7-3346-5471;



Group Members

Associate Professor Jayne Lucke, Principal Research Fellow

Dr Coral Gartner, NHMRC Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr Adrian Carter, NHMRC Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr Brad Partridge, NHMRC Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr Carla Meurk, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr Cynthia Forlini, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Ms Kylie Morphett, PhD Scholar

Ms Charmaine Jensen, PhD Scholar

Mr Doug Fraser, Research Assistant

Ms Sarah Yeates, Research Librarian

Funding acknowledgement

NHMRC Australia Fellowship


Professor Louisa Degenhardt, NDARC, UNSW

Professor John Strang, NAC, IOP

Dr Mark Daglish, Psychiatry, UQ,

Associate Professor Jason Connor, CYSAR, UQ

Associate Professor Craig Fry, University of Melbourne

Dr Joan Leach, Humanities, UQ