Skip to Main Content

Yale Psychedelic Science Group

With the recent re-emergence of psychedelic research demonstrating therapeutic efficacy for a variety of psychiatric and medical conditions, a small group of residents, fellows, and faculty at Yale that initially met informally to discuss current research recognized the need for a more structured educational initiative to illuminate this important and rapidly growing area of science. The Yale Psychedelic Science Group (YPSG) was established in January 2016 as an interest group within the Yale Department of Psychiatry to discuss issues at the intersection of psychedelic substances and psychiatry.

Although the YPSG hopes to enlarge the scope of its discussion and activities, its initial focus will be on contemporary clinical research and the mechanisms of action of psychedelic treatments. Therefore the YPSG has organized a forum where clinicians and scholars from across Yale can learn about and discuss the recent studies in an academically rigorous manner. At our monthly meetings, research scientists from outside institutions who are activity engaged in clinical studies with classical psychedelic compounds present their findings. The primary objectives of this forum are to promote a critical examination of the presented work and to encourage the sharing of interdisciplinary perspectives during the ensuing discussion period.

Members of the YPSG organizing committee can be reached at yalepsg@gmail.com. You may subscribe, unsubscribe or edit your subscription to the YPSG email listserv by visiting http://mailman.yale.edu/mailman/listinfo/yalepsych

Seminars

2020

June 30, 2020 - Franciose Bourzat, MA holds a MA in Somatic Psychology from New College of California (San Francisco, 1990) and she is a certified Hakomi Therapist (1991). She is an adjunct faculty in the East West Psychology Program at CIIS. Since 1987, Francoise has apprenticed with shamans and healers in the U.S. and Mexico. In the last 20 years, she has travelled with groups to Mexico, incorporating her counselling practice experience with her knowledge of expanded states of consciousness where she partners with Mazatec healers in Sacred Mushrooms ceremonies. Francoise leads trainings in the U.S, France, Lebanon and Israel and lectures internationally. Most recently, she authored the book, Consciousness Medicine (June 2018, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA) and is a co-Lead investigator in a study at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute on Safety and feasibility of psilocybin-assisted therapy in bereaved adults in the age of the coronavirus pandemic.

Title - Reciprocity in the Time of Psychedelic Commercialization: Sharing Knowledge with the Mazatec Tradition of the Sacred Mushroom

June 17, 2020 - Dr. Monnica T. Williams, PhD is a board-certified licensed clinical psychologist and Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa in the School of Psychology, where she is the Canada Research Chair for Mental Health Disparities. She is also Clinical Director of the Behavioral Wellness Clinic in Connecticut, where she provides supervision and training to clinicians for empirically-supported treatments. Dr. Williams has previously served as the Director of the Center for Mental Health Disparities at the University of Louisville and as faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. Her research focuses on African American mental health, culture, and psychopathology, and she has published over 100 scientific articles on these topics. She has also served as a PI in a multisite study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. She gives diversity trainings nationally for clinical psychology programs, scientific conferences, and community organizations.

Title - Psychedelics, Inclusion, and Racial Trauma

May 21, 2020 - Dr. Sam Gandy PhD, MRes has a PhD in ecological science from the University of Aberdeen and a MRes in entomology from Imperial College London. He is a writer, speaker, amateur mycologist and has a lifelong love of nature and wildlife. He has conducted field research in various parts of the world including the UK, Kefalonia, Almeria, Texas, the Peruvian Amazon, Vietnam and Ethiopia. He also has experience working in the psychedelic field, as a past scientific assistant to the director of the Beckley Foundation, and currently as a collaborator with the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London. His research is focused on the capacity of psychedelics to (re)connect humanity to nature, for the potential betterment of humanity and the biosphere at large.

Title - Psychedelics, Nature Relatedness, & Biophilia

May 14, 2020 - Dr. Brian Anderson, MD is an emergency department psychiatrist and an investigator who studies drug use and abuse. His has conducted ethnographic studies of people who use drugs in community settings in the Americas, and recently he completed an open label pilot study of psilocybin-assisted group therapy for demoralization in older, long-term AIDS survivor men. He is currently Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, UCSF and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.

Title - Psilocybin Therapy: Safety Concerns and Clinical Approach

April 29, 2020 - Dr. Deborah Mash, PhD is one of the world's foremost experts on ibogaine. She is the CEO and Founder of DemeRx Inc., a clinical stage drug development company advancing ibogaine and its active metabolite - noribogaine for the treatment of opioid use disorder. She is an NIH-funded neuroscientist, lecturer, and inventor, who has contributed to studies of the human brain and addiction neurobiology. She received her Ph.D. in Neuropharmacology from the University of Miami School of Medicine. She completed a fellowship in Neurology and Neuroanatomy at Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School. She is currently Professor Emeritus of Neurology and Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, University of Miami School of Medicine.

Title - Breaking the Cycle of Opioid Dependence with Ibogaine

February 19, 2020 - Dr. Emmanuelle Schindler, MD, PhD is a board-certified neurologist at Yale School of Medicine and practices at the Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System Headache Center of Excellence in West Haven.

Title - The Use of Psychedelics in Cluster Headache

Yale Psychedelic Science Group Leadership

Medical Students

  • Halsey Niles
  • Robert Palmer

Affiliates

  • Robert Krause, DNP, APRN-BC
  • Colleen Fogg, PharmD

Psychedelic Research at Yale

NCT02981173: Psilocybin for the Treatment of Cluster Headache

NCT03554174: Psilocybin-Induced Neuroplasticity in the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder

NCT03356483: Efficacy of Psilocybin in OCD: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study

NCT03752918: The Effects of MDMA on Prefrontal and Amygdala Activation in PTSD

NCT03341689: Psilocybin for the Treatment of Migraine Headache

NCT03806985: Effects of Psilocybin in Post-Traumatic Headache