This is something I’ve been working on for ~1.5 years and something diligent scientists have been working toward for 20+ years.
This episode features a recording of the press conference announcing the launch of the world’s largest psychedelic research center and the U.S.’s first psychedelic research center, The Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Among other things, researchers there will be investigating the effectiveness of psychedelics as a new therapy for opioid addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (formerly known as chronic Lyme disease), anorexia nervosa, and alcohol use in people with major depression. The researchers hope to create precision medicine treatments tailored to individual patient needs.
I couldn’t be happier, and it wouldn’t have happened without generous support from Steven and Alexandra Cohen (@cohengive), Matt Mullenweg (@photomatt), Blake Mycoskie (@blakemycoskie), and Craig Nerenberg. Many thanks also to Benedict Carey of the New York Times (@bencareynyt) for investigating and reporting on this from multiple perspectives, as he’s done for many years.
As some of you know, I shifted most of my focus from startup investing to this field in 2015, and it’s incredibly important to me that this watershed announcement help to catalyze more studies, more ambitious centers, more scientists entering the field, and more philanthropists and sources of funding taking a close look at psychedelic science. To that end, it’s critical that more people realize there is much more reputational upside than reputational risk in supporting this work in 2019 and beyond. To broadcast this as widely as possible, I have one offer and one sincere ask:
- THE OFFER — If you’re involved with media and would like to learn more about the center or speak with the key scientists involved, please visit this contact page.
- THE ASK — Please share the the New York Times articles (here is one tweet) or the announcement. Whatever you can do to spread the word is most appreciated! The short link tim.blog/nyt will also forward to one of the NYT articles.
For this press conference, I am joined by Roland Griffiths, Ph.D., who initiated the psilocybin research program at Johns Hopkins almost 20 years ago, leading the first studies investigating the effects of its use by healthy volunteers. His pioneering work led to the consideration of psilocybin as a therapy for serious health conditions. Griffiths recruited and trained the center faculty in psychedelic research as well.
Also participating is Matthew Johnson, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral science, who has expertise in drug addictions and behavioral economic decision-making and has conducted psychedelic research at Johns Hopkins since 2004 (with well over 100 publications). He has led studies that show psilocybin can treat nicotine addiction. Johnson will lead two new clinical trials and will be associate director of the new center.
The conference was moderated by Audrey Huang, Ph.D., a media relations director at Johns Hopkins.
Johns Hopkins Opens New Center for Psychedelic Research (New York Times)
Tim Ferriss, the Man Who Put His Money Behind Psychedelic Medicine (New York Times)
Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research (Official website)
Johns Hopkins Launches Center For Psychedelic Research (Johns Hopkins Newsroom)
Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research Contact Form
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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.