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Yale Psychedelic Science Group

The Yale Psychedelic Science Group (YPSG) was established in January 2016 as a forum where clinicians and scholars from across Yale can learn about and discuss the rapidly re-emerging field of psychedelic science and therapeutics in an academically rigorous manner. Since its inception, the YPSG has hosted a seminar series featuring leaders in this field from numerous institutions and disciplines. The primary objectives of this forum are to promote critical discussions of scientific research on psychedelics and to encourage sharing of interdisciplinary perspectives. While our primary focus is on therapeutic applications of psychedelics, we have also hosted seminars and presentations addressing legal, anthropological, and sociological perspectives. Additionally, YPSG is committed to being a forum for difficult discussions about how the field of psychedelic science has been part of and contributed to white supremacy culture, and how the psychedelic science community can help combat racism and other forms of injustice.

YPSG endeavors to serve as a hub for scholars and practitioners in the field of psychedelic science to network, gain experience presenting, and develop meaningful collaborations. To that end, we also host networking events, journal clubs, and documentary screenings. Over the years, our community has grown to include more than 500 people representing numerous schools and departments within Yale, other academic institutions, and members of the greater New Haven community. Several members of the YPSG have begun conducting clinical and mechanistic research studies with psychedelics (see research section below), and we expect that the YPSG will continue to foster the development of novel intra- and extramural research collaborations.

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

September 30, 2020 - Dr. Burke is a psychiatrist working as the Los Angeles site physician on the Phase III clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Dr. Marta is a psychiatrist in private practice at the California Center for Psychiatric Treatment (CCPT), where his clinic provides adult psychiatric care with a specialization in using ketamine for treatment-resistant Depression. He is the principal investigator at the Los Angeles site of the MAPS phase II and III trials using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. Joseph McCowan, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, currently working in Los Angeles as a co-therapist in the MAPS sponsored Phase 3 clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD.

Title - MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD

September 16, 2020 - Kathryn L. Tucker, J.D. is Special Counsel at Emerge Law Group, where she Co-Chairs the Psychedelic Practice Group. She is also Executive Director of the End of Life Liberty Project, an advocacy organization dedicated to protecting and expanding the rights of the terminally ill, which she founded during her tenure as Executive Director of the Disability Rights Legal Center, a leading disability rights advocacy organization.

Title - Cutting Edge Advocacy: Oregon’s Pioneering Effort to Enact Access to Psilocybin Therapy

July 29, 2020 - Sara Reed is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and the Director of Psychedelic Studies at Behavioral Wellness Clinic in Tolland, CT. She provides individual therapy and supervises and trains clinicians in providing culturally responsible mental health treatment. Some of Sara’s prior research work includes participating as a Sub-Investigator and Study Coordinator for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Phase 2 MDMA Clinical Study of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at the University of Connecticut Health Center. Outside of her clinical work, Sara participates as a member of the MAPS Advisory Board and Chacruna’s Racial Equity and Access Committee.

Title - Cultural Considerations in MDMA-assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD

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