Barrister, Author & Company Director
Greg Barns is a barrister, author and company director. Greg worked as a senior adviser to a number of federal and state ministers and leaders and ran the 1999 Republic Referendum campaign with Malcolm Turnbull. He is former National President of the Australian Lawyers Alliance and is a regular commentator on human rights issues. Greg has been a leading advocate of drug law reform in Australia and has written extensively on the subject. He has also written and spoken publicly about his own experience living with depression and anxiety. Greg is the author of four books on Australian politics. He practices from Hobart and Melbourne and has acted in a number of medical cannabis cases.
Dr David Caldicott
B.Sc. (Hons), MBBS, FRCEM, DipMedTox
Emergency Medicine Consultant
David Caldicott is an Irish Emergency Consultant, living and working in Canberra – he holds conjoint academic positions with the University of Canberra, and the Australian National University.
David is the co-recipient of an NH&MRC Partnership grant as part of the ‘Driving Change project’. He is currently the Clinical Lead at the Australian Drug Observatory of The ANU.
David has always been ‘disruptive’. He wrote and delivered Australia’s first medicinal cannabis course, conceived to teach clinicians the science behind the headlines. He also designed & negotiated Australia’s first sanctioned ‘pill testing’ trial in the ACT in 2018.
David has an Irishman’s interest in influencing politics to effect evidence based policy, and is an expert on illicit drugs for the Australian Science Media Centre.
Dr Robin Carhart-Harris (UK)
Robin Carhart-Harris moved to Imperial College London in 2008 after obtaining a PhD in Psychopharmacology from the University of Bristol and an MA in Psychoanalysis from Brunel University. At Imperial, he has run and overseen brain imaging studies involving LSD, psilocybin, MDMA and DMT, plus a clinical trial of psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression, and a current study comparing psilocybin with escitalopram for major depressive disorder. In 2019, he set-up the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial and he also an honorary position with the University of Oxford. Two of his most influential works include the ‘Entropic Brain Hypothesis’ and ‘REBUS and the anarchic brain’.
A/Prof Matthew W. Johnson (USA)
Matthew W. Johnson, Ph.D., Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins, is an expert on psychedelics, other drugs, and addiction. Working with psychedelics for >15 years, he has published >100 papers with 43 on psychedelics. Matt published psychedelic safety guidelines in 2008, helping to resurrect psychedelic research. He published the first research on psychedelic treatment of tobacco addiction in 2014, and the largest study of psilocybin in treating cancer distress in 2016. His recent psilocybin review recommended placement in Schedule-IV upon medical approval. He has personally guided >100 psychedelic sessions. Matt also conducts behavioral economic research on both addiction and sexual risk. He has published studies on nearly all psychoactive drugs classes, and is President of the Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse Division of the American Psychological Association. Matt has been interviewed by the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, BBC, CNN, Fox Business News, NPR, CBS News, and NBC News.
Prof Jayashri Kulkarni
MBBS, MPM, Ph.D, FRANZCP
Jayashri Kulkarni commenced her appointment as Professor of Psychiatry, The Alfred and Monash University in 2002. She directs a large psychiatric research group, the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc), with approximately 150 staff and students. The Centre is dedicated to discovering new treatments, new understanding and new services for people with a range of mental illnesses.
Jayashri Kulkarni completed her MBBS degree in 1981 at Monash University and worked mainly in Emergency Medicine before deciding to specialise in Psychiatry. She became a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists in 1989 and was awarded a PhD from Monash University in 1997 for her thesis “Women and Psychosis”. Jayashri has pioneered the novel use of estrogen as a treatment for schizophrenia and is internationally acknowledged as a leader in the field of reproductive hormones and their impact on mental health. Jayashri is the President of the International Association of Women’s Mental Health, a role she commenced in 2017.
Dr Paul Liknaitzky
BSc (Hons), Ph. D
Paul Liknaitzky holds Research Fellow appointments at Deakin University and Odyssey House Victoria. Paul has an Honours in Neuroscience and a PhD in Psychology from the University of Melbourne. He has worked on mechanisms of mental illness and intervention development within depression and addiction research. Paul has extensive knowledge and experience in the development of psychedelic-assisted treatments for mental ill-health, and advocates a nuanced discourse and research towards understanding what works, for whom, and why, and mitigating the potential drawbacks of psychedelic therapies. Paul is interested in feasible methods that improve the clinical outcomes and safety of this treatment approach, and developing non-pharmacological methods to sustain the change.
Dr David E. Nichols (USA)
David E. Nichols, PhD is an Adjunct Professor of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Previously he held the Robert C. and Charlotte P. Anderson Distinguished Chair in Pharmacology and was a Distinguished Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at the Purdue University College of Pharmacy. He received his B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Cincinnati in 1969, and the PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Iowa in 1973, following which he did postdoctoral work in pharmacology at the University of Iowa, College of Medicine. In 2004 he was named the Irwin H. Page Lecturer by the International Society for Serotonin Research and in 2006 he received the first Provost’s Outstanding Graduate Mentor award from Purdue University. He has published more than 300 scientific articles, most of which deal with the relationship between molecular structure and biological action.
BA (Hons), AdvDip GradCert AdvCert (counselling), MA
Sean O’Carroll is a psychotherapist in private practice in Melbourne, Australia. He has a background in philosophy, transpersonal psychology, and a number of psychotherapeutic modalities including relational gestalt therapy and creative arts therapy. He has been teaching and training psychotherapists since 2011, and is the director of Wild Mind. His MA research thesis (2014 – 2017) involved a phenomenological exploration into the experience of being alone with nature, and in 2018 he developed and delivered Australia’s first tertiary level course in eco-psychotherapy to training therapists.
Sean’s work under the banner of Wild Mind employs non-ordinary states of consciousness to support health and wholeness. This work is grounded in various state-change technologies including dance/movement, nature-based practices and a variety of other psychotherapeutic processes. Sean does not facilitate psychedelic journeys for legal reasons, but works closely with members of the Melbourne medicine community in a psychotherapeutic capacity, supporting the exploration and integration of psychedelic experiences.
Prof Janis Phelps (USA)
Psychedelic Therapist Trainer
Janis Phelps, PhD, is a full professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), San Francisco, CA. A licensed clinical psychologist, she has held faculty positions there in the East-West Psychology graduate program (founded by Alan Watts) and in the clinical psychology doctoral program. She served as the Dean of Faculty at CIIS for the graduate departments in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. She is currently the founder and director of the CIIS Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research. As the Center’s founder, Dr. Phelps developed and launched the first academically accredited, professional certificate training program for legal psychedelic-assisted therapy and research www.ciis.edu/psychedeliccenter. Her recent publications focus on the competencies, knowledge base, and training of therapists and facilitators in psychedelic-assisted therapies. Dr. Phelps is contributing to the development of a national accreditation board for facilitators/therapists and to methods of scaling effective and efficient training programs to meet the burgeoning need for well-trained mental health and medical professionals in the field of psychedelic medicine.
Digital Mental Health Entrepreneur
Chris Raine is the Founder and CEO of Hello Sunday Morning (HSM) – a non-profit that supports one of the largest communities in the world of people looking to change their relationship with alcohol. Thanks to the support of several corporate foundations (Google, Macquarie Bank, Vodafone and nib) as well as governments across Australia and New Zealand, Hello Sunday Morning provides free access to peer and/or clinical support for any Australian looking to change their relationship with alcohol, in the moment they need it. Chris is a Young Australian of the Year (QLD), a Westpac Social Change Fellow and received a Skoll Scholarship in Social Entrepreneurship to complete his MBA from Oxford University in 2014 (graduating with a Dean’s Commendation).
Dr James Rucker (UK)
BSc, MBBS(MD), MRCPsych, PhD
Consultant Psychiatrist & Senior Clinical Lecturer
James Rucker is a Consultant Psychiatrist and a Senior Clinical Lecturer in mood disorders and psychopharmacology at the Centre for Affective Disorders at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London (UK). James completed his medical degree at University College London (UK) in 2003 before training in psychiatry at the Maudsley, Bethlem and Springfield Hospitals in South London. He completed his PhD in the molecular biology of mood disorders at King’s College London in 2012. He currently holds a 5 year Clinician Scientist Fellowship awarded by the National Institute for Health Research to investigate psilocybin as a treatment for major depressive disorder resistant to standard treatments. He leads the Psychedelic Trials Group, which is currently delivering three gold standard clinical trials using psilocybin in healthy volunteers and patients with resistant depression.
Prof Avni Sali AM
MBBS Ph.D FRACS FACS FACNEM
Dr Patrycja Slawuta (USA)
Patrycja Slawuta is a New York City based behavioral scientist. She completed her Masters Degree at the University of Warsaw where here research centered around moral emotions of guilt and shame. Her academic work has been presented at various scientific conferences and published in articles and books on social psychology. After a successful academic career, Patrycja founded SelfHackathon, a boutique consultancy that uses cutting edge scientific research for business innovation. With a network of 50+ scientists and domain experts, SelfHackathon helps high performing individuals, teams and companies hack, rewire and upgrade themselves. Her latest initiative is called PsychTech, the seamless fusion of psychology and technology to enhance and accelerate performance and results. As an expert on the complexity, nonlinearity and the messiness of the human nature, Patrycja lectures globally and works with some of the most exciting and disruptive businesses in the world.
Dr Nigel Strauss
MBBS, DPM, FRANZCP
Nigel Strauss has been a Consultant Psychiatrist for over 40 years and is the Medical Director of the Millswyn Clinic in South Yarra, a private outpatient psychiatric facility. Dr Strauss is an Honorary Research Fellow within Psychiatry, University of Melbourne and a Member of Scientific Advisory Board, European Foundation for Psychedelic Science. Dr Strauss is also a Member of Scientific and Medical Advisory Board, Australian Institute for Medicinal Cannabis. He has a special interest in medico-legal psychiatry and is employed as a lecturer by AMA Victoria. He has been a Consultant to Worksafe and TAC. Dr Strauss has a special interest in psychedelic medicines and has trained in the UK to work as a psychedelic therapist and is also a MAPS accredited psychedelic therapist. He is an advocate for psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy research in Australia.
Dr Rosalind Watts (UK)
Psychedelic Therapist & Researcher
Dr Rosalind Watts is the clinical lead of the Imperial College London Psilocybin for Depression study. She trained as a clinical psychologist and practised psychotherapy for 6 years before joining the Imperial Psychedelic Research Centre (run by Dr Robin Carhart Harris and Professor David Nutt) as a therapist ‘trip sitter’. She has developed a psychedelic therapy model ‘Accept, Connect, Embody’, and a psychometric measure of ‘connectedness’ – which her qualitative research identified as a potential mechanism of therapeutic change in psychedelic approaches. Rosalind co-founded a monthly integration group for people who are attending psychedelic ceremonies for therapeutic purposes.
Dr Alex Wodak AM
Alex Wodak, a physician, is a Director of Australia 21 and is the President of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation. He was Director of the Alcohol and Drug Service, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, from 1982 until he retired in 2012. Dr Wodak was the Foundation President of the International Harm Reduction Association (1996-2004) and helped to establish the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (1987), the NSW Users AIDS Association (1989), and the Australian Society of HIV Medicine (1989).