See below for MAPS Public Benefit Corporation staff
Rick Doblin, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director
Rick Doblin, Ph.D., is the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). He received his doctorate in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where he wrote his dissertation on the regulation of the medical uses of psychedelics and marijuana and his Master's thesis on a survey of oncologists about smoked marijuana vs. the oral THC pill in nausea control for cancer patients. His undergraduate thesis at New College of Florida was a 25-year follow-up to the classic Good Friday Experiment, which evaluated the potential of psychedelic drugs to catalyze religious experiences. He also conducted a thirty-four year follow-up study to Timothy Leary's Concord Prison Experiment. Rick studied with Dr. Stanislav Grof and was among the first to be certified as a Holotropic Breathwork practitioner. His professional goal is to help develop legal contexts for the beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana, primarily as prescription medicines but also for personal growth for otherwise healthy people, and eventually to become a legally licensed psychedelic therapist. He founded MAPS in 1986, and currently resides in Boston with his wife and three children.
Brad Burge, Director of Communications and Marketing
Brad earned his B.A. in Communication and Psychology from Stanford University in 2005 and his M.A. in Communication from the University of California, San Diego in 2009. His graduate work focused on the political, scientific, and cultural changes required to make illicit drugs into legitimate medicines. He has also interned for the Drug Policy Alliance and has a longstanding interest in drug policy reform and activism. He began working with MAPS as an intern in 2009, joining the staff in January 2011. Brad is also a consultant, writer, and editor for organizations and individuals working in psychedelic and medical marijuana research, drug policy, and psychedelic therapy. He believes in the importance of communication for sharing knowledge and building community, and is committed to helping people develop honest and responsible relationships with themselves, each other, and their pharmacological tools.
Brian Brown, Communications and Marketing Manager
Brian Brown studied medical anthropology and visual culture at the University of California, Santa Cruz where he researched social prospects for psychedelics using a community-centered approach. Before joining MAPS, Brian worked extensively as an intellectual property consultant and event organizer. By combining his family history in psychology, his education in social investigation, and his personal love for community, people, and art, Brian's broad range of talents are well-suited to engaging wider public interest in the work of MAPS. Brian is now developing MAPS' membership base by assisting with education and outreach efforts.
Erik Brown, Development Manager
Erik comes to MAPS to help broaden funding for psychedelic therapy, bringing what he has learned from working as a grant writer at a human services nonprofit in Texas. Erik earned his B.A. in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin Madison, where he also received awards for his poetry and research. By combining art criticism, psychoanalysis, and disability studies, Erik became aware of conventional psychology’s connection with "big pharma" and its trend of unnecessarily pathologizing both normative and non-normative states, especially among underprivileged groups.
Merete Christiansen, Executive Associate and Assistant to Rick Doblin, Ph.D.
Merete received her BS in Biology at the State University of New York at Geneseo, where she developed her passion for community service and activism. She furthered these interests working with High Trails Outdoor Science School following her undergraduate studies. Merete is passionate about learning, reading, yoga, and the dissemination of information. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to the MAPS mission.
Natalie Lyla Ginsberg, Policy and Advocacy Manager
Natalie earned her Master's in Social Work from Columbia University in 2014, and her Bachelor's in History from Yale University in 2011. At Columbia, Natalie served as a Policy Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, where she helped legalize medical marijuana in her home state of New York, and worked to end New York's racist marijuana arrests. Natalie has also worked as a court-mandated therapist for individuals arrested for prostitution and drug-related offenses, and as a middle school guidance counselor at an NYC public school. Natalie's clinical work with trauma survivors spurred her interest in psychedelic-assisted therapy, which she believes can ease a wide variety of both mental and physical ailments by addressing the root cause of individuals' difficulties, rather than their symptoms. Through her work at MAPS, Natalie advocates for unbiased research to help undermine both the war on drugs and the current mental health paradigm.
Tess Goodwin, Accounting and Development Consultant
Tess has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she focused most of her time on social psychology and newspaper production. She is a mycophile, artist, and language enthusiast.
Sarah Jordan, Publications Associate
Sarah earned her B.A. in Environmental Policy and Planning with a minor in Journalism from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and studied Digital Publishing at Cabrillo College. She has a background in marketing and non-profit fundraising. Prior to joining MAPS, Sarah was Communications and Development Assistant at Firelight Foundation in Santa Cruz, CA. She is also a yoga instructor with an interest in how thoughts, habits, and emotions manifest in the physical body. She publishes the Bulletin, books, educational materials for MAPS.
Cara LaChance, Web and Multimedia Assistant
Cara earned her B.A. in English Languages and Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she became fascinated by generational histories, political theory, and the effects of contemporary literature on society. As MAPS Web and Multimedia Assistant, Cara assists in communicating about MAPS’ psychedelic and marijuana research, provides public education, and contributes to multimedia projects. Growing up during a generation driven by prohibition rather than education, she believes a globalized misinterpretation has evolved into stigmatized ideologies concerning psychedelics and marijuana. Cara envisions continual progression of psychedelic and marijuana research, and the possibility of a post-prohibition world. She feels honored to be a part of such a humanely conscious organization.
Bryce Montgomery, Web and Multimedia Manager
Bryce studied film production at West Valley College, where he also developed an interest in marketing. Bryce joined MAPS as a Social Media Intern in the summer of 2011, bringing his background in film production and social media to public education about psychedelics. After interning at MAPS for a year, Bryce now serves as Web and Multimedia Manager, a position that combines all of his passions; ranging from using the internet to reach people worldwide to creating visually stimulating media projects.
Shannon Clare Petitt, Executive Support and Zendo Project Coordinator
Linnae Ponté, Director of Harm Reduction
Linnae earned her BA in Biological Psychology from New College of Florida where she defended her thesis, which investigated the impact of sleep disturbance in the pathogenesis of depression in a sample of 360 students. Linnae oversees MAPS' harm reduction program, the Zendo Project, and has traveled internationally to coordinate and train volunteers to offer psychological support to individuals having difficult psychedelic experiences, in order to reduce the number of drug-related hospitalizations and arrests. For Linnae, psychedelic harm reduction is an essential service for festivals, capable of transforming potentially traumatic experiences into opportunities for growth and showing that safe, expansive experiences are possible without the need for law enforcement-based policies. She is currently completing her Master's in Counseling Psychology at CIIS and is a co-therapist intern in MAPS' MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with life-threatening illness study in Marin, CA.
Jade Netanya Ullmann, Development Officer
Jade Netanya Ullmann is a seasoned fundraiser, philanthropist, activist, and community organizer. She is the former executive director of Romemu, a progressive Jewish spiritual community in New York City. Jade is an ambassador for the Social Venture Network, a nonprofit network of business leaders committed to justice and sustainability, as well as a member of the Threshold Foundation, which is dedicated to mobilizing financial resources to change the world. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Romemu, as well as ALEPH: The Alliance for Jewish Renewal, and on the Advisory Board of Bernie Glassman’s Zen Peacemaker Order. She received her B.A. in contemplative psychology from Naropa University, where she was the campus organizer of Students for a Free Tibet. She began working with MAPS in early 2015 to expand the organization’s community visibility, and has since joined the staff as Major Gifts Officer. Jade is enthusiastic about inspiring others to recognize and support the visionary research and healing work of MAPS. She lives in New York City, where she was born and raised.
Jenni Vierra, Operations Assistant
Jenni studied psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz with an interest in cognitive sciences. She is currently working towards her medical degree as she aspires to be a doctor aiding in traumatic injuries. Jenni has always had an interest in the neurological effects of psychedelics, and is thankful to have the opportunity to work in a field in which she is passionate. Prior to working for MAPS, Jenni was an enthusiastic volunteer for the organization. She is now the Operations Assistant where she gets to work closely with other MAPS staff, from supporting the webstore to shipping educational materials for events across the nation.
Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., Clinical Research Scientist
Berra earned her Ph.D. in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2010. She utilizes her scientific training and experience in for-profit pharmaceutical research to support MAPS' work to develop, design, and implement clinical psychedelic research in the U.S and beyond. She earned her B.S. in Biological Science from Stanford University in 2001, with an emphasis on the neurobiology of drugs. Prior to entering graduate school, Berra worked as a Research Associate with Geron Corporation screening for drugs that activate telomerase, and with Millennium Pharmaceuticals on Phase 1 clinical trials in patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Berra joined MAPS in 2009 in order to work with an organization where profit wouldn't dictate the agenda of scientific research. Since then, she has been actively involved in the ongoing Phase 2 clinical development of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy with an eye towards Phase 3 clinical trials.
MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC)
Amy Emerson, Executive Director and Director of Clinical Research (MPBC)
Amy earned her BS in genetics and cell biology from Washington State University in 1992. Prior to her work at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC) she worked in clinical development and research beginning in 1993. Amy's previous experience is in the fields of immunology (Applied Immune Sciences), oncology (RPR), and vaccine development (Chiron and Novartis). Amy worked with MAPS as a volunteer starting in 2003 facilitating the development of the MDMA clinical program. In 2009, she began managing the Clinical Research group at MAPS. She is currently the Executive Director and Director of Clinical Research of MAPS Public Benefit Corporation.
Michael Mithoefer, M.D., Lead Clinical Investigator and Medical Monitor, MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD
Michael Mithoefer, M.D., is a psychiatrist practicing in Charleston, SC, where he divides his time between clinical research and outpatient clinical practice specializing in treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with an emphasis on experiential methods of psychotherapy. He is a Grof-certified Holotropic Breathwork Facilitator and is trained in EMDR and Internal Family Systems Therapy. He and his wife, Annie Mithoefer, recently completed a MAPS-sponsored Phase II clinical trial testing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. A paper about their study was published in July 2010 in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. They are currently conducting a second trial with veterans who have PTSD resulting from service in the U.S. Armed Forces, as well as psychotherapy training programs for MAPS researchers. Dr. Mithoefer is the medical monitor for MAPS-sponsored clinical trials in Europe, the Middle East, Canada, and Colorado. Before going into psychiatry in 1995 he practiced emergency medicine for ten years, served as medical director of the Charleston County and Georgetown County Emergency Departments, and has held clinical faculty positions at the Medical University of South Carolina. He is currently board certified in Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine, and Internal Medicine.
Annie Mithoefer, B.S.N., Co-Investigator, MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD
Annie Mithoefer, B.S.N., is a Registered Nurse living in Charleston, SC, where she divides her time between clinical research and outpatient clinical practice specializing in treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with an emphasis on experiential methods of psychotherapy. She is a Grof-certified Holotropic Breathwork Practitioner and is trained in Hakomi Therapy. Recently she and her husband, Michael Mithoefer, M.D., completed a MAPS-sponsored Phase II clinical trial testing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. A paper about their study was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. They are currently conducting a second trial with veterans who have PTSD resulting from service in the U.S. Armed Forces, as well as psychotherapy training programs for MAPS researchers.
Allison Feduccia, Ph.D., Clinical Trial Leader (MPBC)
Alli assists in coordinating operations at MPBC's multi-site trials, and applies her translational perspective to the development of new study protocols. After earning her Ph.D. in Neuropharmacology from the University of Texas at Austin utilizing rodent models to study the effects of MDMA on behavior and neurochemical release, Alli was a postdoctoral researcher in the Preclinical Development Group at Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center at the University of California, San Francisco. At UCSF her experiments focused on novel treatment strategies for alcohol dependence. In 2012, Alli received a Postdoctoral Research Training Award from the National Institutes of Health for work on NIAAA clinical trials investigating novel therapeutics for alcoholism, as well as human fMRI studies of addiction. Recognizing now as a monumental time in history, Alli highly regards the chance to help generate scientifically based evidence on the therapeutic and spiritual potential of psychedelics.
Colin Hennigan, Clinical Data Coordinator (MPBC)
Colin brings a background in research design methodology and database management to MAPS. He earned his B.A. in Political Science at the University of Chicago, with an emphasis in social theory and philosophy of science, and his M.A. in Political Science at University of California, Davis, where his graduate work focused on state sovereignty and international systems theory. Prior to joining MAPS, he worked as a Research Analyst with the Genetic Disease Screening Program at the California Department of Public Health, as a freelance technical writer, and as a private mathematics instructor. He is currently working with the MAPS Clinical Team on the creation of an online clinical database and the implementation of the Therapist Adherence Program.
L (Ilsa) Jerome, Ph.D., Research and Information Specialist (MPBC)
Ilsa earned her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Maryland-College Park. At MAPS and MPBC, she has played a role in study development, including capturing information about the study drug, measures, and data analysis. She also oversees submission of research documents to regulatory agencies. She follows literature related to MAPS and MPBC's study drugs and gains further knowledge through discussion with other researchers. She has helped to create and maintain documents related to MAPS-supported studies, and plays a role in maintaining and updating the MAPS World Wide Web Psychedelic Bibliography. She has written informational documents on psilocybin, LSD, and MDMA. She is interested in using methods from behavioral science and neuroscience to learn how humans feel and think about themselves and each other.
Rebecca Matthews, Clinical Trial Leader (MPBC)
Rebecca earned her BA at UC Berkeley in 2000. Prior to her work at Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC) she worked in clinical research and development at Chiron/Novartis starting in 2001, working on sepsis and monitoring and managing vaccine trials. In 2009, she joined MAPS as a part-time contractor and has since been working with them on MDMA/PTSD studies. In 2015, Rebecca joined MPBC full-time to work on Marijuana/PTSD studies as well as continuing to support MDMA studies.
Ben Shechet, Clinical Research Associate (MPBC)
Ben received his BA in Psychology from Princeton University in 2009, where his work included research on motor learning in children, investigation of "flow state" phenomena, and a thesis that developed a neuroeconomic framework for understanding the phenomenon of boredom. Following his graduation, Ben spent a year as a Clinical Research Coordinator at a private clinical trials site, working primarily on studies investigating potential treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease. Working in the field of psychedelic research allows Ben to investigate the experience of consciousness from a variety of perspectives - empirical, psychological, spiritual, and phenomenological.
Allison Wilens, Clinical Study Assistant (MPBC)
Allison earned her B.S. in Biopsychology in 2014 from Tufts University. She worked in the Tufts Psychopharmacology Lab for three years, conducting data collection and analysis for several projects. Her Senior Honors Thesis focused on the role of the NMDA receptor in mediating aggressive withdrawal symptoms in alcohol-dependent, outbred, male mice. She was also co-president of the Tufts chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), where she helped to pass medical amnesty reform on campus and spread awareness of the harmful side effects of the War on Drugs. Allison is currently serving as MAPS’ Clinical Study Assistant, providing general administrative support to the clinical department. She considers working for MAPS to be a dream come true and relishes the opportunity to help deconstruct the damaging, reductionist paradigms of the contemporary mental health care system and to improve access to viable treatment options for those suffering from trauma- and anxiety-related disorders.