University of New South Wales 
Research Field: Adolescent substance use prevention

Dr Nicola Newton is the Director of Prevention Research of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use. Her research is based around developing and evaluating easy to implement programs to reduce substance use in adolescents. She developed the first ever internet-based intervention program for the prevention of alcohol and cannabis use.

Recently her research has moved towards combining this intervention program with selective personality-targeted measures for students who are considered ‘high-risk’. In doing so she aims to prevent substance use in low-risk students who might be prey to peer pressure, as well as high-risk youth who might start to use drugs due to underlying psychopathology and vulnerability.

Nicola regularly communicates her work to students and teachers across the country in order to change opinions, and lives, for the better. This work has led to considerable media engagement across all mediums.