University of Queensland pharmacy graduate Dr Selena Bartlett is starting clinical trials of a new drug Chantix that could potentially curb addictions such as smoking, drinking, gambling and even depression.

Chantix has reduced alcohol consumption in laboratory rats by 50 percent. Dr Bartlett and Dr Markus Heilig's team in the US will start human trials by next month. It is also a popular smoking cessation drug that has been in news of late due to bad reasons. USFDA said that the drug has been linked to suicidal tendencies and behavioral changes.

Dr Bartlett is the Director of the Preclinical Development Group at the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center, one of the top alcohol and addiction research centers, at the University of California in San Francisco. The Chantix trials are just one of 10 major projects for Dr Bartlett's lab team, which is working on reducing ethanol consumption and new drug screening technologies.