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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 https://mailman.yale.edu/mailman/listinfo/yalepsych

Upcoming Events

To be announced soon. Please sign up for our mailing list to receive up to date information about future speakers.

Seminars

2021

March 18, 2021 - Dr. Charles Nichols earned his BS at Purdue University, his PhD at Carnegie Mellon University studying developmental neurogenetics in Drosophila melanogaster, and performed his postdoctoral work at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology, researching mammalian serotonin 5-HT2 receptor neuropharmacology. His research has focused on 5-HT2A receptors and psychedelics for the past 24 years, where he has made several key discoveries. These include identification of specific populations of cell types within the brain that directly respond to psychedelics, the development of animal models to study the antidepressant-like effects of psilocybin, and discovery of the potent anti-inflammatory effects of psychedelics. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans.

Title - Anti-Inflammatory and Antidepressant Effects of Psychedelics in Preclinical Models

February 17, 2021 - East Forest’s 2019 five-hour album, Music for Mushrooms: A Soundtrack for the Psychedelic Practitioner, is the singular musical guide in existence for supporting people during their experience specifically with psilocybin. The five-hour experience is designed to musically guide the psilocybin experience from start to finish. The album also reached #1 on the iTunes charts after its release (May 2019). With ten years of active research and development of his methodology through guiding hundreds of individuals through therapeutic psilocybin ceremonies, East Forest offers an unprecedented musical tool to help support the emerging field of psychedelic therapy for which music plays a central and fundamental role.

Title - Music for Mushrooms: A Discussion and Guided Meditation with East Forest

January 25, 2021 - Brian C. Muraresku graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University in 2002 with a degree in Latin, Greek and Sanskrit. As an alumnus of Georgetown Law and a member of the New York Bar, he has been practicing law internationally for fifteen years. The Immortality Key was published by St. Martin’s Press in September 2020. Muraresku launched his instant bestseller on The Joe Rogan Experience and has now appeared on CNN, NPR, Sirius XM, goop and The Weekly Dish with Andrew Sullivan. He has been featured in Forbes, The Daily Beast, Big Think and VICE. All media to date is available here. Muraresku lives outside Washington D.C. with his wife and two daughters.

Title - Brian Muraresku: The Immortality Key

January 11, 2021 - Claudia Costa is a Colombian/Italian musician visiting the Ukumari Kankhe indigenous reservation of the Cofanes in Colombia. The Cofán communities are the original wisdom keepers of the yagé traditions and have a rich tradition using medicinal plants and performing cleansing rituals. Claudia has been honored to play music for yagé ceremonies, along with fellow Colombian musician Juan Carlos Heredia, led by the spiritual leaders of the Queta family. Taita Querubín Queta is the cacique and spiritual head of the A’i-Cofan communities of Ecuador and Colombia, as well as governor of the Ukumari Kankhe village. He carries 107-years of Cofán wisdom, and many of his family members have followed his path of traditional healing. Claudia speaks with his nephew, Taita Reinerio, about the history and role of music in Cofán ceremonies. Juan Carlos also shares his knowledge and experience as a ceremonial musician.

Title - Sound Healing and the Role of Music in Ceremony in the Cofán Tradition

Elective Course

The Yale Psychedelic Science Group is proud to offer an 8-week educational course, Psychedelic Medicine: Past, Present, and Future. This elective serves both as an introduction to core topics in this field and as an opportunity to critically explore the scientific, political, and ethical issues that permeate its past, present, and future. The course is primarily a reading seminar focused on participatory group discussions of 2-3 assigned readings per class. It begins with a discussion of indigenous uses of psychedelic plants and early Western research with psychedelic substances. It then explores modern therapeutic applications and proposed mechanisms of action and change. Finally, it examines issues important to the future of the field, including medicalization, equity and access for diverse populations, and potential models for clinical treatment. For more information, please access the course syllabus at the below link:

Psychedelic Medicine Course Syllabus

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