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Prof. Michael Eddleston

Professor of Clinical Toxicology, Pharmacology, Toxicology & Therapeutics, Centre for Cardiovascular Science, University of Edinburgh Co-Director, NIHR RIGHT4, University of Edinburgh

Michael Eddleston is a Professor of Clinical Toxicology, University of Edinburgh, Consultant Physician and Clinical Lead at the National Poisons Information Service, and Co-Director of the NIHR RIGHT4: Preventing Deaths from Acute Poisoning in LMICs. He trained in medicine at Cambridge and Oxford, with an intercalated PhD at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla.

While a medical student, Prof. Eddleston became fascinated by self-poisoning in rural Sri Lanka and took a year off to work in 2 Sri Lankan hospitals and to write the Oxford Handbook of Tropical Medicine. Following basic medical training, he returned to Sri Lanka for four years as a Wellcome Trust intermediate fellow before moving to Edinburgh to complete specialist medical training.

His research’s major aim is to reduce deaths from pesticide and plant self-poisoning in rural Asia, a cause of over 200,000 premature deaths each year and a key global means of suicide. To do this, he performed clinical trials in South Asian district hospitals to better understand the pharmacology and effectiveness of antidotes and community-based controlled trials to identify effective public health interventions.

This work is complemented by translational studies of antidotes in minipig models of poisoning in a large animal intensive care facility that he established in Edinburgh, work with sociologists and anthropologists to understand better the meaning of self-harm, and work with the World Health Organisation and Food and Agriculture Organisation to aid implementation