2019 Speakers

Andrew J. Assini, MA, LAC, LCADC

is a licensed mental health professional, college professor, and person in long-term recovery, who is personally and professionally familiar with the benefits of plant medicine. Assini specializes in addiction treatment and recovery and has worked with mental health, substance abuse, and dual diagnosis populations across the continuum of care and lifespan. Assini teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in psychology, addictions, and counseling at local universities and colleges, and also spends time each summer offering classes and groups for the staff at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies. Ayahuasca, Huachuma, and Iboga have all been tremendous allies in Assini’s personal journey of healing and recovery, and the insights and “downloads,” received from these sacred teachers have proven invaluable in the work he does with his clients. Assini considers it a great honor to participate in supporting the re-emergence of entheogens and earth medicine.

Amalia Baca, NMD

A native of Arizona, Dr. Baca earned her B.S in Psychology with a minor in Family & Child Development from Arizona State University. The challenges of her father’s survival of cancer & healing her major depression enabled her to find her calling in naturopathic medicine. She obtained her doctorate’s from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences (SCNM). Dr. Baca has developed a strong passion for providing medical care to families, using advanced medical technologies as well as traditional & indigenous healing methods. Her treatments focus on modifying lifestyle habits in addition to using intravenous nutrient therapies, botanical medicine, nutritional supplements, Oriental medicine, and mind-body practices. Her interest in entheogenic medicine began after familial ties honored her family with invitations to participate in indigenous sacred ceremonies. She also has visited Peru in order to experience traditional Amazonian plant medicine. Since then her experiences with sacred ceremony with & without entheogens have blessed her with opportunities to help others with their healing journey work and post-integration.  Dr. Baca also supports the movement to legalize entheogens under religious sacrament, local post-integration meetings, and the endeavors of the Entheogenic Research Awareness Club at SCNM. She believes that the next era of naturopathic medicine is currently in the integration of ancient traditional sciences with modern conventional sciences which will create greater possibilities for healing.  Dr. Baca’s vision is to create in-patient facilities which utilize this integration to bring people back from chronic diseases and back to living harmoniously with Nature. In her years of experiential journey work and her private practice, Dr. Baca has come to understand the importance of not only mental health, but also spiritual wellbeing, on physical health.

Matt “River” Baldwin, MA, MFT

is a musician and psychotherapist living in San Francisco. He is a 2017 alumnus of the California Institute of Integral Studies’ Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapies and Research Program. He has produced 9 albums of music under his own name, collaborated with a variety of artists, and has toured widely as a performer. He specializes in the use of music in psychedelic psychotherapy, having designed playlists for a MAPS Phase 3 MDMA trial and a variety of other applications. River holds a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric from The University of California at Berkeley and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from John F. Kennedy University. He is currently Director of the Psychedelic Music Therapy Forum for the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines.

Brad A. Bartlett, J.D.

is an attorney in Denver, Colorado who serves as senior counsel and director of the Tribal Cannabis Law Group at the law firm McAllister Garfield, P.C.  Brad works with tribal nations across the U.S. and Canada on development of tribally owned enterprises related to Cannabis sativa L. Prior to joining McAllister Garfield, Brad served as an assistant professor at the University of Denver Sturm School of Law in the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program.  Over his extensive career, Brad has worked with impacted tribal communities, including Native American Church members, on a variety of complex tribal and environmental law matters.  Brad is licensed to practice law in Colorado and admitted to practice before Federal courts in Colorado and Wyoming as well as the Ninth and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeals. Brad graduated the University of Colorado School of Law’s environmental and American Indian Law program in 1998 and is an enrolled tribal member of the Sault Ste. Marie Band of Chippewa Indians of Michigan.

Ryan Jay Beauregard

received his B.A. in Psychology from Claremont McKenna College, and spent 10 years mentoring at-risk teens and families through wilderness survival skills and nature connection. His passion for community connection, the environment, and intrapersonal healing continued with his involvement in permaculture, natural building, and ancestral grief rituals. As a volunteer with the Zendo Project since 2013, Ryan has had the opportunity to connect and expand the scope of psychedelic harm reduction in communities and festivals all over the globe. As the Zendo Project Manager, he integrates his skills in psychology, design and and community engagement. When he isn’t on the road with the Zendo Project, Ryan can be found at his home in Boulder, CO enjoying the great outdoors, experimenting with sustainable technology, and designing websites, logos and sacred geometry art.

Chloe Bee, RH

is an herbalist, educator, dancer and entrepreneur. Her passion is to educate and encourage people to embrace clinical herbalism and plant therapeutics in order to build a healthy body, mind and spirit. She is the creator of Rainbow Bliss Botanicals, a line of hand-crafted, high-quality organic plant medicines, tinctures, teas, salves, aromatherapy mists and body care which she sells both online and at her apothecary located in Tempe, AZ. She studied at the East West School of Planetary Herbology with Michael and Lesley Tierra.

Kyle Buller

is the co-founder of Psychedelics Today, along with Joe Moore. Kyle received his B.A. in Transpersonal Psychology from Burlington College, where he studied the healing potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness by exploring shamanism, plant medicine, Holotropic Breathwork, and psychedelic psychotherapy. Kyle is currently completing an M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Somatic Psychology, where he is researching how breathwork can help heal trauma and other mental health issues. You can learn more about Kyle’s work at psychedelicstoday.com or settingsunwellness.com

Brad Burge, MA

is the Director of Strategic Communications for the non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). He 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. He began working with MAPS in 2009, where he engages daily with journalists and media producers around the world to enhance public knowledge about psychedelic research, while also helping develop and evolve MAPS’ brand and outreach strategy. Brad is passionate about finding better ways for humans to work with the pharmaceutical and digital communications technologies of the 21st century.

Rael Cahn, MD, Ph.D.

is Assistant Clinical Professor with the USC Department of Psychiatry doing research at the USC Brain and Creativity Institute.  He has been conducting neuroscience research on the effects of meditation and altered states of consciousness since 2001 and has published numerous basic neuroscience investigations of meditation and psilocybin-induced states and traits of consciousness.  Dr. Cahn currently investigates the neurophysiologic mechanisms underlying both advanced states of non-dual awareness and inner experiences of thoughtlessness in long term meditators as well as the clinical benefits of meditative practices relative to depression, anxiety and addiction. In addition, he is currently running a study assessing the epigenetics underlying the clinical efficacy of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD in collaboration with Dr. Joe Tafur and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. He has an interest in expanding clinical and neuroscientific research on the use of psychedelic medicines in tandem with contemplative practice to assess the synergistic and potentiating benefits of these two ways of accessing psychological health and well-being.

Nicholas V. Cozzi, Ph.D.

is an educator and scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. He holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and a B.S. in Pharmacology and Toxicology, both from the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy. His background and training is in pharmacology, chemistry, and neuroscience. As an educator, Dr. Cozzi teaches pharmacology at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and the UW School of Pharmacy and he is a frequent guest lecturer at other academic institutions around the United States. Dr. Cozzi’s research involves the design, chemical synthesis, and pharmacological testing of substances with central nervous system activity. He is interested in how these agents act in the brain to enhance mood, improve cognition, and increase awareness, and in their clinical value for treating addiction, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic fear, and other mental health ailments. Dr. Cozzi is internationally recognized for his work in these areas. Dr. Cozzi has received several teaching and research awards, including a Distinguished Basic Science Teaching Award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a prestigious NARSAD Award from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation for his studies involving the serotonin uptake transporter. His research has also been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health. Outside the University, Dr. Cozzi consults for legal, pharmaceutical industry, and government clients.

Timothy Crespi, LPC, CADC

is the founder, owner, and a therapist at Somatic Center Portland, a Portland based somatic-oriented therapy collective. He and a team of 5 therapists are currently undergoing training with MAPS and working toward opening an expanded access site in Portland for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Timothy received his MA in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from Naropa University, in Boulder, Colorado. He is a certified addictions counselor, Somatic Therapist, and has extensive training in Gestalt, Contemplative Psychology, Contemporary Reichian Psychotherapy, and Eco-Psychology. Timothy primarily works with people struggling with addictions, unresolved trauma, and non-ordinary states of consciousness. Timothy also works as a Zendo Project supervisor at Burningman.

Payton Curry

is the founder of Flourish Cannabis and a pioneering formulator in the culinary and medical use of the plant structures. An alumnus of the Culinary Institute of America, as well as the Bay Area fine dining scene, Curry believes that medicinal & cannabinoid-based treatments should be lab tested, nutrient rich, and support the farming communities in which they are made.

Andrew Ecker

was born of Apache “Nde” and Irish ancestry. He considers himself firstly a cultural architect,  bridging people of many cultural backgrounds, and secondly a facilitator of sacred space. He and Monica Patton together are Drumming Sounds, a professional drum circle facilitation company. They have facilitated thousands of drum circles with tribal nations, churches, businesses, festivals, and organizations. They have worked extensively with hospitals and rehabilitations centers to create ceremonial space, develop community, heal lives, and have fun through sacred drumming. In his new book, “The Sacred Seven,” he describes his own journey of cultivating deeper self understanding through connection to ancestral wisdom, while offering contemporary tools for people of all cultural backgrounds to do the same.

Belinda Eriacho

is of Navajo and Zuni lineage. Her maternal clan is One Who Walks Around. Her paternal clan is Zuni. Growing up as a child on the Navajo reservation she was exposed to her ancestral teachings and culture of the Navajo and Zuni peoples. After 28 years as a professional she decided to retire and continue her journey as a healer. As an adult she journeyed through her own inner and physical healing. She then recognized her gifts as a healer and her true calling. She is the owner of Kaalogii, LLC. Her business specialized in cultural and traditional native education and experiences. In addition, she uses native herbs, essential oils and energetic healing to assist in individual transformation.

L. Burke Files, DDP, CACM

is a risk management and business consultant. He is an international due diligence, investment, investigative, and research expert. As a finance and corporate world insider, Mr. Files is keenly aware of the types and accuracy of the information required to make informed and timely decisions, and he brings this into the venture arena. For nearly three decades he has worked as a knowledge specialist in international finance and due diligence working on projects in over 100 countries. Previously, he was a partner in a regional business, finance, and securities consulting firm. He has served as the director of corporate finance for an investment banking company and the principal of a business and venture capital consulting firm. Mr. Files continues to serve on Boards for private companies working in international finance, due diligence, and Anti-Corruption. These and a multitude of other experiences provide Mr. Files with a broad and exceptional knowledge base and contacts in the international finance, and corporate worlds. He has received a Commission and a Medal of Merit from the President of the United States is an award-winning author and is frequently sought out by media as a quotable and reliable source.

Sara Gael

is the Director of Harm Reduction for the MAPS Zendo Project. She received her Master’s degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology at Naropa University. She began working with MAPS in 2012, coordinating psychedelic harm reduction services at festivals and events worldwide with the Zendo Project. Sara was an Intern Therapist for the recently completed MAPS Phase 2 clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in Boulder, CO. She maintains a private practice as a psychotherapist specializing in trauma and non-ordinary states of consciousness. Sara believes that developing a comprehensive understanding of psychedelic medicines through research and education is essential for the health and well being of individuals, communities, and the planet.

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 Neuroimaging Research Branch, where he studies the effects of psychedelic drugs in humans, with a focus on psilocybin as an aid in the treatment of addiction. He received his doctorate in 2012 from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, where he researched self-transcendence and meditation, and their role in mental health. His current research interests include clinical applications of psychedelics, mindfulness, and altered states of consciousness, and their underlying neurobiological mechanisms.

Jamilah R. George, M.Div.

is a native of Detroit, MI and a graduate of the University of Michigan and Yale University. Along with being a singer, dancer, and actress, Jamilah is a MAPS MDMA-assisted psychotherapy co-therapist in Connecticut whose site focuses on race-based trauma. Jamilah is currently pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Connecticut with research interests in anxiety-related disorders, namely contamination and religious OCD, depression, trauma, and psychedelic science. Additionally, Jamilah is committed to working on issues of social and economic injustice in mental health, particularly among marginalized and disadvantaged populations (ie: poor, women, ethnic minorities, etc.). She has conducted research on such populations in El Salvador, Ghana, Zambia, India, and China over the past few years. Jamilah aspires to contribute to the promise of the psychedelic renaissance in bringing healing to communities who have long suffered silently without resources or access to the treatment necessary for a functional and fruitful life.

Jesse Gould

Founder of Heroic Hearts Project, was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico and grew up in New Smyrna Beach, FL. In 2009 he graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Economics. After working in investment banking for a short time he enlisted in the Army and became an Airborne Ranger for four years and three combat deployments. Most recently, he worked in finance in Tampa, FL. After struggling with severe anxiety for many years, he finally decided to go to an ayahuasca retreat which has had a profoundly positive effect on his anxiety and daily life. During the week long retreat he instantly saw the healing potential of the drink and knew that it could be a powerful tool in healing the mental struggles of his fellow veterans. This experience inspired him to found Heroic Hearts Project, an organization which connects veterans in need of healing with ayahuasca therapy. In 2018, he ran a 100-mile ultramarathon to raise money for veterans in need of ayahuasca therapy for PTSD and promote the need for psychedelic research.

Veronika Gold, MA, MFT

is a co-founder, therapist, and consultant at Polaris Insight Center, San Francisco based clinic providing Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy. She is a sub-investigator and co-therapist in MAPS Clinical Program for MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for treatment of PTSD. Veronika received her MA in Clinical Psychology from the Charles University in Prague, and an MA in Integral Counseling Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies. She is a certified EMDR therapist and training facilitator, Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, Organic Intelligence Expert, and Realization Process Teacher. Veronika is deeply interested in the healing potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness and creating the optimal set and setting for these experiences.

Ronan Hallowell, EdD

is an assistant professor of clinical medical education at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. He is a student of the world’s wisdom traditions and a ceremonial singer in the Lakota tradition. Dr. Hallowell has spent over twenty years researching and writing about intercultural communication in the context of the Lakota/Native American Sun Dance tradition. He also conducts research on physician professional identity formation, curriculum design and cross-cultural perspectives on medicine which has included a long-term interest in traditional Amazonian plant medicine. As a member of the Learning Sciences team in the Department of Medical Education at Keck, he works with colleagues to provide a suite of curriculum and instruction services to faculty and administrators that includes instructional design, faculty development and the Keck Next Curriculum Renewal Initiative. Dr. Hallowell earned his EdD in educational psychology from the University of Southern California and his MA in philosophy and religion from the California Institute of Integral Studies.

Shana Harris, Ph.D.

is a cultural and medical anthropologist and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Central Florida. Her research, which has been funded by several organizations including the National Institutes of Health and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, focuses on drug use and abuse and health politics and interventions in Latin America and the United States. Her current work examines medical travel and the use of a psychedelic called ibogaine for drug treatment in Mexico.

Kate Hawke, MA

lives and works at the Gateway Ranch NE of Flagstaff, a private venue for personal healing, group retreats, and community celebrations.  She has been a member of MAPS since its inception in the 1980’s, and participated for five years in psychedelic support services at Burning Man that evolved into the Zendo.  As the first Certified Trauma Specialist in Arizona, Kate trained thousands of mental health professionals, serving as Director of the Native American Trauma Project and starting the International Energy Psychology conferences along the way.  She went on to co-found the STAR School, an off-grid charter school for Navajo students in her home community.  Currently Kate is laying the groundwork to create one of the first Expanded Access sites for MDMA/PTSD, with a focus on Native American staff and clients.  She seeks to connect and share resources with others who want to build psychedelic therapy centers on a strong foundation of mutual support.

Ron Interpreter

is a member of the Navajo Nation, with maternal relations of the “White Streak in a Rock” of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, and parental relations of the “Many Goats” Clan of the Navajo Tribe. He is originally from the community of Forest Lake, located on Navajo Nation, and a father to three beautiful children. As an Intuitive Practitioner, Ron is motivated by an individual’s commitment of deepening their personal health and spiritual wellbeing. An accomplished Reiki Master, Ron facilitates a healing modality he calls “Beeh Ji Zhoni – Beauty Within,” a divine state of being; in which the alignment of consciousness and spirituality is attained by setting positive intentions, practicing self love, and initiating self discipline to create an abundant and healthy lifestyle. Infused with Navajo and Usui Reiki traditions, Ron empowers clients to manifest a positive identity and heal their Chakra energy flows to sustain a positive physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually well-being. Certified as a Usui Reiki Master, NCBTMB – Instructor, Ron has over 25 years experience in energy work, herbal treatments, and life coaching services; as well as facilitating large production events, social conscious movements, and brings a synergistic, yet assured presence to ensure a space of sanctuary that encourages a healthy social exchange within community.

Hamid Jabbar, JD

has been working with sound for over 20 years. He holds a Bachelor of Music from NYU and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from UCLA. Since 2005, he has been exploring the interconnectedness of various lineages from Yoga to mediation, indigenous traditions of the Americas, and Eastern and Western medicines. Hamid’s primary work is as a teacher of sound and meditation, conducting regular Sound Practitioner Trainings where he empowers others to work with the voice, overtone emitting instruments like gongs and singing bowls, flutes, drums, bells, and chimes. He also conducts regular workshops using breathwork and sound to facilitate transcendent experiences. Hamid remains fascinated by the broader use of sound in all of the shamanic models, including those that involve entheogenic plants. He apprenticed in the Shipibo medicine tradition with Don Enrique Lopez at Inkan Kena Centro Espiritual outside of Iquitos, working with numerous plant medicines, including Ayahuasca, along with the icaros (medicine songs) central to the tradition. He studied the Huachuma (San Pedro) traditions of the Andes region in Piscac, Cusco, and their related sound practices. Hamid is the creator of several Yoga Teacher Training Programs in Phoenix, and the Meditation Director for Current Meditation, the first meditation-only studio to incorporate sound into every class. He is a frequent presenter on sound for retreats, workshops, and conferences. More information about Hamid can be found at www.hamidyoga.com.

Samuel Ko, MD, MBA, FACEP

is a Board Certified Emergency Physician and founder of Reset Ketamine (www.resetketamine.com) in Palm Springs, CA. He is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and member of the American Society of Ketamine Physicians. Dr. Ko received a Bachelor of Science from Seattle University and went on to graduate from the joint MD/MBA program from the University of Rochester in New York, where the biopsychosocial model of medicine was created. He completed his residency training at Loma Linda University Medical Center, where the mission is “To Make Man Whole.” This means Dr. Ko takes a holistic approach to ketamine infusions, including the biology, psychology, sociology, and spirituality of his patients. Using his unique training, Dr. Ko is committed to improving the lives of patients. In addition to his medical practice, Dr. Ko is Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Loma Linda University Medical Center and attending ER doctor in the Inland Empire. During his free time, he practices yoga, meditation, reads voraciously, and travels globally with his amazing wife.

Beatriz Caiuby Labate, Ph.D

has a Ph.D. in social anthropology from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. Her main areas of interest are the study of plant medicines, drug policy, shamanism, ritual, and religion. She is Executive Director of the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines, an organization that provides public education about psychedelic plant medicines and promotes a bridge between the ceremonial use of sacred plants and psychedelic science. She is Adjunct Faculty at the East-West Psychology Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco, and Visiting Professor at the Center for Research and Post Graduate Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS) in Guadalajara. She is also Public Education and Culture Specialist at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). She is co-founder of the Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies (NEIP) in Brazil, and editor of NEIP’s website, as well as editor of the Mexican blog Drugs, Politics, and CultureShe is author, co-author, and co-editor of twenty books, one special-edition journal, and several peer-reviewed articles (http://bialabate.net).

Lawrence Laughing (Ahrawenrateh)

is among a new generation of Native American singers that is bringing its traditional music and culture into a more contemporary setting. With his deeply resonant voice, Lawrence Laughing (Mohawk) turns his music into heartfelt prayers that honor all of human life. In the Mohawk language, the title of this recording is ‘Onen enska ne-io-kwa-ni-kon-ra’ and is a traditional phrase used to acknowledge a prayer. Accompanied by a unique collection of ethnic acoustic instruments (Native flute, bowed zither, guitars, cittern, oud, bass, hoop drum, resonating stones and more), Laughing expresses compassion for our struggles, respect for courage, and gratitude for love.

Candace Lewis, Ph.D

aims to revolutionize mental health care by exploring dynamic environmental and genetic influences on brain-behavior relationships. A native of Alaska, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Next, she earned a Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience at Arizona State University on a Harry S. Truman Scholarship while investigating the effects of early life stress on addiction behavior and neurobiology. After graduation, she received a Fulbright Fellowship to learn advanced neuroimaging and psychedelic research methods at the University Hospital of Zurich. She was also awarded the Science Foundation Arizona Bisgrove Fellowship to investigate the interplay between early experiences, epigenetics, physiology, and behavior. Taken together, her research centers around the age-old question of nature versus nurture with a modern twist. Dr. Lewis seeks to unravel how genetics and experiences continuously interact to shape neurobiology and behavior.

Mike Margolies

is an event/media producer, connector, community builder, and adviser progressing cultural understanding and critical thinking around psychedelics and drug policy. He is the Founder of Psychedelic Seminars, a conversation-focused event series deepening awareness of the benefits, risks, and complexities of psychedelics. Mike is Co-Founder of CryptoPsychedelic, an event series bringing together leaders in blockchain and psychedelic science, and former Co-Director of Psymposia, a platform for rethinking drugs through live events and online media. Mike co-founded Psymposia Magazine, a free online resource for investigative journalism, personal stories, and deep conversation series. Mike also started the Baltimore Psychedelic Society and has helped spark and mentor similar groups around the world from Washington DC to San Francisco to Portugal. Mike formerly worked as a chemical engineer for ExxonMobil. After an ayahuasca experience in Peru, he dropped out of corporate America, spent 15 months backpacking in India and Southeast Asia, and has worked full-time in the psychedelic community since returning.

Sean T. McAllister, Esq.

is one of nation’s leading drug policy reform lawyers. In 2004, after working for the Colorado Attorney General’s Office for several years, Sean opened a solo law practice focused on criminal defense and founded the drug policy reform non-profit Sensible Colorado. Sean served as the chair of the Board of Directors of Sensible Colorado while the organization co-chaired the Colorado recreational marijuana legalization campaign that voters passed in 2012. Today, Sean’s law firm, McAllister Garfield, P.C., has 20 lawyers in four states working primarily on cannabis business law and licensing matters. In addition to cannabis, Sean has consulted with the Decriminalize Denver campaign, which is the first ballot initiative in the U.S. designed to remove criminal penalties for the possession of psilocybin. Finally, Sean is a member of the Chacruna Institutes’ Council for the Protection of Sacred Plants, which advocates for the legality of sacred plant medicines, encourages legal harm reduction practices that protect those who use them, educates about conservation of plant species, and consult on legal cases.

Natalie Metz, ND, MA

is in practice in Oakland with a focus on Women’s Health, Botanical Medicine, and Digestive Wellness. A large part of her practice is the natural management of cervical dysplasia, with an expanding interest in treating men with HPV. During medical school, she pursued additional training in herbalism, midwifery, and naturopathic philosophy. She helped found the Naturopathic Gathering, an annual philosophy conference, and taught within the botanical medicine NPLEX review curricula. She received her Bachelor’s degree in chemistry and has a background as a medicinal chemist, designing novel pharmaceutical agents. She serves as faculty for several educational institutions, is featured in the documentary The Future of Medicine, and is a contributing author for the Foundations of Naturopathic Medicine textbook. She completed graduate studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program and now teaches in their Integrative Medicine program. She was among the first to receive a Certificate in Psychedelic Research and Therapy at CIIS.

Esteban Yepes Montoya

is a professional chef, dedicated to study and the pedagogy of fermented foods and edible wildlife plants. He works with the Kogi, Mhuysqa, Misak and Murui communities of Colombia in the rescue of ancestral technologies, and is dedicated to building a bridge between the indigenous and western worlds through food and regenerative culture. He studied gastronomy in the Basque Culinary Center of Euskadi and left his career last year to retrace Central America in search of routes and races of cocoa. He is a empirical student, self-taught in ethnobotany, pharmocognosy, herbology and regerative nutrition. He works with the cocoa to facilitate space for the expression of creative language, self-investigation and healing.

Joe Moore

is a co-founder of Psychedelics Today. After stumbling upon the work of Stanislav Grof during his undergraduate years, Joe began participating in Holotropic Breathwork workshops in Vermont at Dreamshadow in 2003. Joe helped facilitate Holotropic and Transpersonal Breathwork workshops while he spent his time in New England. He is now working in the software industry as well as working on Psychedelics Today. He also coordinates Dreamshadow Transpersonal Breathwork workshops, in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Rich Orloff

is the author of 18 full-length plays (mostly comedies, mostly award-winning).  The New York Times called his comedy Big Boys “rip-roaringly funny” and named his play Funny as a Crutch a Critic’s Pick.  His comedic revue Romantic Fools, has had over 100 productions around the world, including two in Madrid, where apparently they’re no better at romance than we are.  Rich’s plays have been presented in the Phoenix area by Theatre Artists Studio, Improbable Theatre Company, Arizona Jewish Theatre Company, and four times at Phoenix Theatre Company’s Festival of New American Theatre.  It’s a Beautiful Wound has been presented at New Circle Theatre Company in New York City and at Writers Theatre of New Jersey.

Anny Ortiz

is a PhD student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Human Ecology in the department of Human Development and Family Studies where she works under the mentorship of Dr. Charles Raison. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Arizona State University. Over the past 17 years Anny has worked in a variety of therapeutic programs including a residential treatment center in Mexico, a wilderness therapy program in the United States and a therapeutic boarding school in Costa Rica where she had the opportunity to work with skillful psychotherapists and gained clinical experience working primarily with adolescents and young adults with anxiety and substance use disorders. From 2013 to 2016 Anny worked and consulted with two different ibogaine treatment centers in Baja, Mexico where she integrated the use of 5-MeO-DMT, along with heart-rate variability training into already existing ibogaine treatment protocols for opioid addiction. The anecdotal reports of the positive impact the addition of the 5-MeO-DMT experience was having on individual’s lives compelled her to pursue graduate education and to seek a way to see clinical research with 5-MeO-DMT get off the ground. As a human ecology scholar, she is interested in human development not just from a lifespan perspective, but also from a larger evolutionary psychology framework. Anny is also interested in the role psychedelics have played, and will continue to play, on human cognitive, moral and prosocial development. With the study of the interrelationships between humans, nature and the built-environment being within the purview of human ecology, Anny feels it is important to raise awareness about the ecological situation that has been unfolding in her native land of Sonora since 2012 when the once obscure and little known Incilius Alvarius toad was shot to world fame and set on a path of ecological distress.

Kenneth Proefrock, NMD

graduated from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1996. Prior to naturopathic medical school, he received a Bachelors of Science degree in Chemistry and Zoology from Northern Arizona University. For the past fifteen years, he has conducted a very busy Naturopathic medical practice in Surprise, AZ. He is also sole owner and formulator for Vital Force Naturopathic Compounding which provides consulting services and a wide variety of unique and effective compounds for other Naturopathic Physicians and their patients. He speaks at conferences across the country sharing his perspective on Botanical Medicine and the modern practice of Naturopathic Medicine. He is also the Vice-President for the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners and the chairperson for the biochemistry portion of the Naturopathic Physician’s Licensing Exam. In his spare time, when such a thing rarely exists, he is in the desert with his kids, honing his skills in primitive archery, wildcrafting, gardening, and home brewing.

Saj Razvi, MA, LPC

was a clinical investigator for the recently completed MAPS Phase 2 trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He is the Director of Education at Innate Path and is currently developing a psilocybin treatment protocol for use at Innate Path Jamaica. His clinical interest is on the use of psychedelic medicines (ketamine, cannabis, MDMA, and psilocybin) with non-ordinary state psychotherapy (NOSP) for improved outcomes in mental health. He has taught trauma studies as faculty at the University of Denver as well as being a national topic expert for PESI education seminars focusing on complex trauma. Saj is part of the program evaluation process taking place at Innate Path in collaboration with Johns Hopkins psilocybin researcher Alan Davis to validate the use of cannabis in mental health.

Amanda Ryskowski

is a third year naturopathic medical student at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM). She received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Oregon with minors in Chemistry and Religious Studies, and completed a teacher training in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga in Rishikesh, India. She is the founder and President of Entheogenic Research Awareness (ERA), a student organization dedicated to educating healthcare professionals and the general public about the therapeutic potentials of entheogens. Amanda is deeply interested in the potential clinical applications of psychedelics and mystical experiences, and hopes to someday incorporate psychedelic medicines into her naturopathic medical practice.

Paul Richard Saunders, PhD, ND, DHANP, CCH

is an Adjunct Professor of Materia Medica, Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, has been in private practice in Dundas, Ontario, Canada since 1991. His earned a PhD in forest ecology at Duke University, was on the faculty at Clemson University, and tenured at Washington State University. He earned his ND from Ontario (now Canadian) College of Naturopathic Medicine, and did additional training and residency at National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Portland, Oregon, earned a second ND, served as their interim Research Director, and initiated their Institutional Review Board. Paul earned a Diplomate from the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians (DHANP) and Certified Classical Homeopath (CCH) from the American Council on Homeopathic Certification in 1993. He completed chelation board examinations from the International College of Integrated Medicine in 1998. As Editor, The Canadian Journal of Herbalism, 2000-2002, he instituted peer-review. He does grant reviews for the NIH, NCCAM, and Sick Kids Foundation. He was honoured as Ontario Naturopathic Doctor of the Year in 1994 and 2002. In 1999 he was a member of the Transition Team that established the Office of Natural Health Products, Health Canada, served on its Expert Advisory Committee to 2006, and served as an expert on various subcommittees. He is president of NPLEX, has co-authored three books, served as an expert legal witness, conducted clinical research, published numerous papers, lectured frequently on naturopathic medicine and reviewed many scientific papers and chapters.

Alexander Sherwood, PhD.

As one of Usona’s medicinal chemists, Alex’s efforts focus on the optimization and synthesis of psilocybin for Usona’s pre-clinical and clinical research in developing a treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD), as well as in engaging in multidisciplinary collaborations to conduct basic research to advance the understanding of psychedelic compounds and their effects on the mind. Applying his expertise in expanding scientific knowledge within the fields of medicinal and natural products chemistry, Alex has contributed to a multitude of research articles in journals such as the Journal of Organic Chemistry, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Journal of Natural Products, Organic Letters, Synthesis, and the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Alex holds a B.A. degree in Chemistry and M.S. and PhD degrees in Organic Chemistry from the University of New Orleans, with Postdoctoral Training in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Kansas. Beyond the lab, Alex’s interests reach into the spheres of music, art, the outdoors, aviation, and vintage 2-stroke motorcycles.

Eric Sienknecht, PsyD

received his B.A. in Philosophy and World Religions from Georgetown University in 2000 and his Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies in 2011. He is a licensed psychologist, co-founder of Polaris Insight Center, a ketamine-assisted psychotherapy center, and sub-investigator on the MAPS-sponsored MDMA-assisted psychotherapy study for PTSD. His professional interests include psychoanalysis, consciousness research, mystical and peak experiences, mindfulness, and the synergistic effects of combining yoga, music, and psychedelics.   Eric maintains a practice of yoga and music-listening for ongoing self-care and inspiration.

Sue Sisley, MD

is an Arizona-based physician practicing Internal Medicine & Psychiatry. She works as Independent Medical Director for medical cannabis license holders in 17 different states from Hawaii to Florida to New Jersey. Sue serves as President of Scottsdale Research Institute & Site Principal Investigator for the only FDA-approved randomized controlled trial in the world examining safety/efficacy of whole plant marijuana in combat veterans with severe post traumatic stress disorder PTSD. Dr. Sisley is on faculty at Colorado State University & Humboldt State University, and Senior Fellow at Thomas Jefferson University Lambert Center, and University of Michigan College of Medicine, assisting their Institutes of Cannabis Research. Dr. Sisley has been a Member of Nevada ILAC Medical Cannabis Commission for the past 3 years, outlining regulations for laboratory testing (limits on pesticides, residual solvents and other guidelines) that are currently being used as a model for other states’ medical cannabis laws. Her other areas of current IRB-approved research include supervising studies evaluating cannabis for pain management, cannabis as substitution therapy for opioids, and also a safety study looking at cannabis edibles. Dr. Sisley is also Principal Investigator on a CSU project to build a robust nationwide medical cannabis patient registry.

Joe Tafur, MD

is a Colombian-American family physician originally from Phoenix Arizona. After completing his family medicine training at UCLA, Dr. Tafur spent two years in academic research at the UCSD Department of Psychiatry in a lab focused on mind-body medicine. After his research fellowship, over a period of six years, he lived and worked in the Peruvian Amazon at the traditional healing center Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual. There he worked closely with master Shipibo shaman Ricardo Amaringo and trained in ayahuasca shamanism. In his new book “The Fellowship of the River: A Medical Doctor’s Exploration into Traditional Amazonian Plant Medicine,” through a series of stories, Dr. Tafur shared his unique experience and integrative medical theories.

Caitlin Thompson

After struggling with her own battle with depression and anxiety, Caitlin Thompson applied her background in neurobiology and dove into the cutting edge scientific literature on mood disorders and mental illnesses, developing an understanding of the importance of nutrient therapy for psychiatric conditions. This led her down a health rabbit hole, realizing that lyme disease, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, microbiome dysbiosis and emotional trauma were at the root of her and many others’ depression and autoimmune health challenges. Caitlin utilized nutrition, diet, herbs, psychedelics, Kambo, mindfulness practice, neurofeedback training and a number of other tools to successfully recover. Caitlin is an IAKP certified Kambo frog medicine practitioner out of San Diego, CA and the founder of the nutritional supplement company, EntheoZen. She uses a variety of modalities and educational platforms to support and guide others on their healing path to achieving optimal mental wellness.

Robert A. Villa

is a native Sonoran Desert dweller deeply in love with the region. He has been studying, exploring, and documenting its biological and cultural diversity most of his 33 years. He specializes in herpetology, botany/horticulture, ethno-ecology/biology, and regional gastronomy. He has consulted for and assisted in the production of television treating the Sonoran Desert, the 2nd edition of Natural History of the Sonoran Desert, field guides on the amphibians and reptiles of Arizona and Sonora, The Night Flower (kids book), and published in academic and popular outlets. He currently presides Tucson Herpetological Society, works at the Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill, is a member of NextGen Sonoran Desert Researchers, and grows interesting plants. He considers himself a follower in the footsteps of Sonoran explorers, documenting and espousing the land where north and south embrace.

Rabbi Matthew Kent & Reverend Anne Zapf

are co-founders of The Peyote Way Church of God, a non-sectarian, multicultural, experiential, Peyotist organization located in southeastern Arizona, in the remote Aravaipa wilderness. In 1977, together with Reverend Immanuel Trujillo, they wrote a Declaration of Intent stating that they were going to grow, steward, protect and distribute the holy sacrament Peyote. Since 1978, they have directed this 160 acre religious sanctuary and seminary dedicated to the sacramental use of Peyote and a Word of Wisdom lifestyle. The Peyote Way Church of God teaches that direct religious revelation remains available to anyone who seeks it, and is directly beneficial providing it is sought in the right spirit. For a more detailed biography, click here: Matthew Kent and Anne Zapf Bio.