Scientific Advisory Board
DR. SURESH MUTHUKUMARASWAMY
Suresh completed his PhD in psychology at the University of Auckland in 2005 after which he joined the newly established Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre as a post-doctoral fellow. In 2014 Suresh received a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship and has returned to Auckland where he works in both the School of Pharmacy (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences) and School of Psychology (Faculty of Science).
Suresh’s main research interests are in understanding how therapies alter brain activity and in developing methodologies to measure these changes in both healthy individuals and patient groups. His previous studies have involved a range of compounds including hallucinogens (ketamine, LSD, psilocybin), anaesthetics (propofol, dexmedetomidine), anti-epileptics (vigabatrin, perampanel, tiagabine) and GABA-enhancers (zolpidem, gaboxadol). Suresh’s research has used a wide-range of neuroimaging techniques including magnetoencephalography, electroencephalography, functional magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
DR. FIONA HUTTON
A Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Criminology, Victoria University, New Zealand. She has taught and researched in the areas of Criminology, specifically criminological theory, youth crime and cultures, drug policy, harm reduction, alcohol and other drugs, for the past twenty years. She has published extensively in New Zealand and international journals on her research, most recently in Critical Public Health (2016), The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology (2017), The Journal of Drug Issues (2016), Feminism and Psychology (2016). She is the author of ‘Risky Pleasures? Club Cultures and Feminine Identities’ (Ashgate, 2006).
Current research projects include: exploring the ways drug use and drug users are demonised and stigmatised through a variety of media and other discourses; critically exploring the concept of intoxication, and how the intoxication practices of diverse groups are experienced and responded to. She can offer information on academic research about psychedelics, harm reduction, alcohol and drug law reform
DR. JON SPERRY
Jonathan Sperry conducted his Ph.D under the supervision of Professor Chris Moody at the University of Exeter working on the synthesis of alkaloids, before moving to New Zealand where he spent 3.5 years as a postdoctoral researcher with Distinguished Professor Margaret Brimble FRS at the University of Auckland. He took up a lectureship at the University of Auckland in 2009, where he is currently an Associate Professor and a Royal Society of New Zealand Rutherford Discovery Fellow.
Jon’s research interests involve the identification and synthesis of psychoactive natural products present in plants used in traditional medicine and in ritualistic beverages, and their subsequent evaluation as potential psychotropic agents to treat a variety of mental health conditions
DR. LISA REYNOLDS
Dr Lisa Reynolds is a Health Psychologist and Director of the University of Auckland’s Health Psychology Practitioner Programme. She completed her PhD in the Department of Psychological Medicine at the University of Auckland and has worked clinically for over a decade providing psychological support to cancer patients and whānau. Her academic research focuses on the experience of cancer patients and has investigated interventions that support patients in managing treatment, prognosis and palliative care. She has studied the impact of disfigurement, body image distress and challenging emotions (such as disgust), and looked at whether compassion and mindfulness might be helpful in these contexts.
Her current research interests include quantitative and qualitative investigations of psychedelic medicines with advanced cancer patients.
DR. PAUL GLUE
Paul Glue, MD, FRCPsych, is Department Chair and Hazel Buckland Professor in Psychological Medicine at the Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, New Zealand. After graduating from Otago Medical School in 1980, he received psychiatry training in Auckland and in Oxford UK, and obtained MRCPsych in 1986. He was elected to FRCPsych in 2010.
In 1987 he moved to the US National Institutes of Health for preclinical neuroscience research and completed an MD in clinical psychopharmacology at the University of Bristol, UK in 1992. He was involved with translational clinical pharmacology research in the pharmaceutical industry for 18 years (Schering-Plough, Novartis, Pfizer). He has published over 400 papers and abstracts, has 11 patents and several international research awards/prizes. Since 2009 he has also been working as a consultant psychiatrist for the Southern District Health Board, in adult general psychiatry. He has broad psychopharmacology research interests. Current active research interests include use of ketamine for treatment-resistant depression and anxiety disorders.
DR. GEOFF NOLLER
Dr Geoff Noller is a Dunedin-based independent researcher with an interest in the social use of drugs and drug policy. A medical anthropologist, he graduated with a PhD from the University of Otago’s Department of Psychological Medicine in 2008. His thesis examined cannabis use in New Zealand, incorporating the perspectives of cannabis users, drug policy reformers and government drug policy personnel.
Following completion of his studies Geoff established his research consultancy – Substance Use and Policy Analysis (SUPA) – specialising in psychotropic drug research, with an emphasis on drug use as a cultural practice. He undertakes his own research projects as well as working as an independent consultant in the government, tertiary and private sectors. Geoff has a strong commitment to harm reduction. He provides Expert Witness services for court cases involving drug use, actively participates in drug user organisations (he chairs the Dunedin Intravenous Organisation’s [DIVO] Reference Group), and regularly presents his work and contributes to seminars, fora and conferences in New Zealand and internationally.
DR. DENNIS MCKENNA
Dennis McKenna has conducted research in ethnopharmacology for over 40 years. He is a founding board member of the Heffter Research Institute and was a key investigator on the Hoasca Project; the first biomedical investigation of Ayahuasca. He is the younger brother of Terence McKenna.
From 2000 to 2017, he taught courses on Ethnopharmacology and Plants in Human affairs as an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota.In the spring of 2019, in collaboration with colleagues in Canada and the US, he incorporated a new non-profit, the McKenna Academy of Natural Philosophy. He emigrated to Canada in the spring of 2019 together with his wife Sheila, and now resides in Abbotsford B.C
I have worked with entheogens for over 20 years, starting with my first journey with Ayahuasca in Peru in 1997. They have allowed me to delve deep into the mirror of myself, heal life traumas, and understand the nature of self and god and reality through my own experience, not books, not hearsay. Underneath the stories of pleasure and pain that we live, there is another movement happening—the journey of consciousness in time.
To shed light on this purpose, I have devoted my career to repositioning psychedelics in the mainstream through my media company AwakeMedia.com and through a collective wisdom blog Awake.net about the inner journey with entheogens.
DR. ALBERT GARCIA-ROMEU
Albert Garcia-Romeu, Ph.D. is a member of the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a Guest Researcher at the National Institute on Drug Abuse Intramural Research Program. His research examines the effects of psychedelics in humans, with a focus on psilocybin as an aid in the treatment of addiction. He received his doctorate in Psychology in 2012 from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, CA, where he studied self-transcendence and meditation, and their relationship to mental health.
His current research interests include clinical applications of psychedelics, mindfulness, and altered states of consciousness and their underlying psychological mechanisms. He additionally studies real-world drug use patterns and impacts on public health, and the role of spirituality in mental health and addiction. He is a founding member of the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research and the International Society for Research on Psychedelics.
DR. JEREMY NARBY
Jeremy Narby is an anthropologist who has worked for the last 30 years raising funds and advocating for indigenous Amazonian initiatives such as land titling, bilingual and intercultural education programmes and sustainable forestry and fish farming, on the understanding that tropical rainforest is best protected by its indigenous inhabitants. He has also written several books, including “The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge” and “Intelligence in Nature”. He also co-edited with Francis Huxley the anthology “Shamans Through Time”
DR. CHRISTOPHER NICHOLAS
Christopher Nicholas, Ph.D. is faculty within the University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. Dr. Nicholas earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Tennessee, and completed his internship in health psychology and post-doctoral fellowship in multi-modal neuroimaging at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. His research primarily focuses on the clinical efficacy and therapeutic mechanisms of psilocybin and other psychoactive compounds for addiction (opioid and methamphetamine use disorders), trauma, and depression.
Dr. Nicholas also serves as a site co-PI and therapist on the MAPS Phase 3 multi-site clinical trial of the safety and efficacy of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for severe PTSD. In addition to research, Dr. Nicholas provides speciality clinical services in the overlapping areas of chronic pain, addiction, and trauma and is a behavioral health supervisor for the UW Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program.
Amadeus Diamond is a non-Academic with a passionate interest and wide breadth of knowledge around Psychedelics in Anthropology and Medicine. He has experienced (and overcome) many forms of addiction and depression coming out the other side with a passion for helping others through similar situations. As the administrator of Psychedelics New Zealand on Facebook he has catalyzed and informed the psychedelic community in New Zealand for nearly a decade drawing from ancient and modern research, his own experience and current networks including researchers, writers, and community leaders across the globe.
Amadeus is able to provide advice and direction on many topics such as set & setting, current and past psychedelic research, global drug policies and Psychedelic substances themselves. He is also able to provide psychedelic support/integration advice.
MARK VON NAGY
As an immigrant to this country, Mark believes that New Zealand’s unique perspective and open-heartedness can make the Entheos Foundation a global leader in study of psychedelics. While Mark is new to the entheogen community, he has experienced first hand how psychedelics can change lives. Mark has worked in IT since 1999 and within IT has worked in diverse fields including education, food and drink, working within several startups. The most renowned was Online Republic, which started with four employees in Auckland in 2005. By the time Online Republic was sold to Webjet in 2016, it had grown to over 250 employees in five countries.
Additionally, Mark is the co-founder of Outlier Cartel, an award winning gypsy brewery; and Tahsis Farm, 186 acre wilderness art community and tech hub based on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.