Scientific Advisory Board

PEx Assembles Some of the Brightest Minds in Psychedelic Science

Written by Gareth

Drug laws are currently driven by politics, not science. Most psychedelics are non-toxic, non-addictive, less dangerous than alcohol, and less damaging to society. Yet they are classed with the most toxic, most addictive, and most damaging drugs. It’s time to listen to science. The war on drugs was, in essence, a misinformation campaign. Thankfully, the green shoots of recovery are beginning to show themselves.

At Psychedelic Experience, we are committed to an evidence-based and scientific approach, which is why we have gathered some of the world’s brightest minds in psychedelic research to join our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). The SAB will help us to ensure that the services we provide are world-leading and in line with the latest scientific research.

The creators of Psychedelic Experience and the members of the SAB are unified in our mission to destigmatize psychedelics, while providing accessible resources for safety and harm-reduction. 

We’re proud to welcome this wonderful team of scientists to our SAB:

Wade Davis

Wade is Professor of Anthropology and the BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia. Author of 23 books, including One River, The Wayfinders and Into the Silence, he holds degrees in anthropology and biology and received his Ph.D. in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University. Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society from 2000 to 2013, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2016. In 2018 he became an Honorary Citizen of Colombia. His latest book is Magdalena: River of Dreams, published by Knopf in 2020.

Dr David Luke

David is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Greenwich. His research focuses on transpersonal experiences, anomalous phenomena and altered states of consciousness, especially via psychedelics, having published more than 100 academic papers in this area, including ten books, most recently Otherworlds: Psychedelics and Exceptional Human Experience (2nd ed., 2019). When he is not running clinical drug trials with LSD, conducting DMT field experiments or observing apparent weather control with Mexican shamans he directs the Ecology, Cosmos and Consciousness salon and is a cofounder and director of Breaking Convention: International Conference on Psychedelic Consciousness. 

Dr Jo Neill

Jo is Professor of Psychopharmacology at the University of Manchester (Division of Pharmacy & Optometry). She is Chair of the Medical Psychedelics Working Group for Drug Science, a scientific advisor for Heroic Hearts UK, the Conservative Drug Policy Reform Group, Beckley Psytech & Albert Labs. She is co-founder of b-neuro, a University based Contract Research Organisation developing new treatments for mental illness through animal models. Jo is past President of the British Association for Psychopharmacology (President 2016-2018). She served on the Research Excellence Framework panel for Unit of Assessment 3 (Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy) in 2014. Jo is working with Policy at Manchester to educate the public about the urgent need for drug law reform and suspension of Schedule 1 restrictions to enable research into the medicinal properties of currently illegal drugs. 

Enzo Tagliazucchi

Enzo first studied physics and neuroscience at the University of Buenos Aires and at the University of Frankfurt, then held postdoctoral positions in Germany, Amsterdam and Paris. Currently, he works as a professor at the University of Buenos Aires. Supervising a group of approximately 15 PhD students, postdocs and tenured researchers, he and his fellow researchers share a common interest to improve our understanding of human consciousness and its two-way relationship with the culture where it is embedded. Enzo has also previously published on altered states of consciousness from different perspectives, including the first neuroimaging study of the acute effects of LSD in humans and the first naturalistic study of the neural and subjective effects of smoked DMT.

Gabrielle Agin-Liebes

Gabby is a clinical psychologist and researcher. She has 10 years of experience working as a therapist and investigator on academic experimental treatment trials with psychedelic therapy at New York University, Yale and UC San Francisco (UCSF). Her research has applied quantitative and qualitative methodologies to study the effects of mindfulness and psychedelics (e.g., psilocybin, mescaline) on mental health outcomes and in the treatment of addiction, PTSD, and existential distress. Her 2020 article, which found that psilocybin-assisted therapy was associated with improvements 4.5 years after treatment, garnered media attention in several global news outlets. She is currently a National Institute of Drug Abuse-funded research fellow at UCSF studying novel interventions for treating opioid addiction and chronic pain that target dysregulated emotion regulation and cognitive bias processes. She is passionate about the equitable and ethical use of psychedelic medicines and in disseminating education about their benefits and risks. To that end, she is a founding member of the Equity in Psychedelic Therapy Initiative and is pursuing a certificate in Intersectionality & Equity in Therapeutic Practices at the California Institute of Integral Studies.

Manoj Doss

Manoj completed his PhD at the University of Chicago broadly researching distortions in episodic memory with a focus on the effects of psychoactive drugs such as MDMA, THC, and alcohol on emotional episodic memory (advised by Professors David Gallo and Harriet de Wit). In his postdoc, he is interested in the cognitive, emotional, and neural mechanisms of psychedelic drugs.

Fernanda Palhano-Fontes

Fernanda is an electrical engineer with double degrees: one from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN) and another from the École National Supérieure d’Electrotechnique, d’Electronique, d’Informatique (ENSEEIHT), Toulouse, France. Fernanda earned a master’s and a PhD in neurosciences from the Brain Institute of UFRN. In the master’s program, she used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to evaluate the acute effect of ayahuasca, and in her doctoral thesis, she investigated the therapeutic potential of ayahuasca in patients with treatment-resistant depression. Currently, Fernanda is a research engineer at the Brain Institute, UFRN. Her main areas of interest are psychedelics, psychiatry, and imaging techniques such as fMRI and electroencephalography.

Ryan Natan

Ryan earned his PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania, studying the neural circuits of auditory perception in the Maria Geffen’s Laboratory of Auditory Coding. He joined Na Ji’s laboratory at Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus as a Postdoctoral Associate to develop and apply advanced neuronal imaging techniques. Continuing this work at the University of California, Berkeley, Ryan aims to discover how psychedelics and other hallucinogens modulate neuronal activity, generate plasticy and alter perception. Ryan co-instructs ‘The Neuroscience of Psychedelics Seminar’ at Berkeley. 

Etienne Billard

Etienne has a B.Sc. in Chemistry/Biology and a M.Sc. in Drug Sciences from Université Blaise Pascal, (Clermont-Ferrand II, France), and he completed his PhD in Biology under the supervision of Dr. David Chatenet (INRS, Laval), undertaking the synthesis and pharmacological characterisation of allosteric modulators of the urotensinergic system, using techniques such as peptide synthesis, binding, BRET-based biosensors and ex-vivo aortic contraction experiments. After graduation in 2018, Etienne worked with Dr. Jean-François Masson (UdeM, Montreal) on the development of a Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS)-based instrument to determine the composition of street-drug samples for harm-reduction purposes. Etienne started postdoctoral research under Terry’s lab in early 2020, focusing on the mechanisms of action of LSD, a psychoactive substance with therapeutic value regarding the treatment of major depression and anxiety disorders. Etienne’s research investigates potential interaction/hetero-oligomerization between AMPA and 5-HT2A, the receptor that mediates hallucinogenic effects of LSD.

About the author

Gareth

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