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We innovate mental healthcare through research and delivery of evidence-based treatment approaches.  Learn more about MAPS PBC staff and departments.

Senior Leadership Team

Amy Emerson

Amy Emerson Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

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Amy Emerson

Amy Emerson

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Amy Emerson is the Chief Executive Officer at the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. As the Chief Executive Officer, Amy has led the growth and development of this new subsidiary and is responsible for overall global regulatory strategy and implementation of research programs with a focus on the MDMA-assisted psychotherapy program within MAPS PBC.

Amy started as a pro bono consultant at MAPS in 2003, and since then has built MAPS’ clinical department while managing the MDMA Clinical Development Program with a focus on the PTSD indication. In 2014, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation was incorporated to focus on psychedelic drug development, therapist training programs, and future sales of prescription psychedelics prioritizing public benefit above profit.

Amy brings decades of pharmaceutical development and research experience in Phase 1 through Phase 3 Randomized Controlled Trials including supporting three successful regulatory approvals for new biologics. Her professional experience at Novartis, Chiron, and other pharmaceutical companies (1993-2009) spans various fields including immunology, oncology, and vaccines. Pursuing her love of science and nature cultivated while growing up in the woods of Alaska she earned her B.S. in genetics and cell biology from Washington State University in 1992 to prepare for a career in research. Amy is passionate about being a mother and the work of bringing the potential of psychedelics for healing further into the consciousness of the world, leaving a better world for the following generations. She has a lifelong love of travel, living abroad with her husband, exploring in nature, and cooking with her family.

 

 

 

Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D.

Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D. Deputy Director and Head of Research Development and Regulatory Affairs

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Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D.

Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D.

Deputy Director and Head of Research Development and Regulatory Affairs

Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., is a Deputy Director and Head of Research Development and Regulatory Affairs of the 501(c)(3) non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Dr. Yazar-Klosinski is responsible for development of strategic, catalytic, and capacity-building activities to facilitate research on the risk/benefit profile of psychedelics in compliance with the global regulatory landscape. She has been actively involved in the various stages of nonclinical and clinical development of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, LSD-assisted psychotherapy, cannabis, and ibogaine.

After gaining experience in clinical research laboratories with Geron Corporation and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Yazar-Klosinski joined MAPS in 2009 to work with an organization where profit wouldn't dictate the agenda of scientific research. Over the last 10 years, she has supported MAPS clinical research and regulatory affairs through all stages of growth. Dr. Yazar-Klosinski has developed a strong track record of success with FDA, state regulatory agencies and multiple regulatory agencies outside of the USA.

Dr. Yazar-Klosinski earned her B.S. in Biology with a minor in Drama from Stanford University and her Ph.D. in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2010. She is a Turkish hunter-gatherer who is supporting the growth of her family and pets in harmony with the natural world as she works tirelessly to transform the future.

Andrew “Mo” Septimus

Andrew “Mo” Septimus Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

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Andrew “Mo” Septimus

Andrew “Mo” Septimus

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Andrew "Mo" Septimus is an experienced entrepreneur with a track record of managing multimillion-dollar raises and budgets, complex projects, and teams. He has worked in private equity and acted as CFO in various industries. Mo brings a compassionate, outgoing, and resourceful leadership style, coupled with practical optimism and a sense of humor. He enjoys craft beverages, hockey, herring, kiddish club, and long walks on the beach. Mo is from Queens, New York, and lives with his family in Surfside, Florida.

Ana LaDou

Ana LaDou Chief Operating Officer (COO)

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Ana LaDou

Ana LaDou

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Ana LaDou serves as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC). Ana is a dynamic leader and creative strategist who nurtures leaders, mobilizes teams, and develops strategic processes that result in stronger, scalable organizations. Ana specializes in leadership: providing it, supporting it, and developing it. She has worked on projects with local, national, and international reach where her ability to design straightforward strategies and gain consensus among the Board of Directors and outside stakeholders consistently results in innovative solutions and meaningful community impact. She graduated from Columbia University in New York, launched her career in marketing at Miramax Films, and maintains her ties to the industry. Her strengths in relationship building and collaborative leadership ensure ongoing support for the organization and meaningful change in their community. She is committed to her vipassana mindfulness and Nonviolent Communication (NVC) practices, and engaging Boards of Directors and executive leaders in deeper conversations and actions to address current cultural challenges.

Corine de Boer, M.D., Ph.D.

Corine de Boer, M.D., Ph.D. Chief Medical Officer

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Corine de Boer, M.D., Ph.D.

Corine de Boer, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief Medical Officer

Corine de Boer, M.D., Ph.D. is the Chief Medical Officer at MAPS Public Benefit Corporation.

She received her medical degree from Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands and completed residency and fellowship training in pediatrics and pediatric nephrology. Her Ph.D. was focused on peritoneal dialysis in children, and she joined the academic staff at the Radboud University after completing her training.

Before moving to the United States in 2000, she worked as a Pediatrician in the largest inner-city hospital (OLVG) in Amsterdam where she was responsible for in- and outpatient care in a multi-racial patient group including sickle-cell disease, thalassemia, and AIDS.

For the last 20 years, she has contributed to the development of meningococcal and hepatitis vaccines during her tenure at GSK vaccines (formerly Novartis Vaccines and Chiron Corporation) and Dynavax prior to starting her own consulting company where she provides strategic advice and support for a variety of clients working on biologics, small molecule/polymer therapeutics and vaccines.

She feels very fortunate to formally join the MAPS team after assisting them previously in the development of the Pediatric Plans for MDMA. The opportunity that psychedelics provide in the treatment of PTSD and other indications is an exciting scientific field where she feels honored to play a small part in.

Corine resides in beautiful Port Townsend, WA, with her husband and her Jack Russell Terrier where she can be found roaming the beaches, making (wearable) recycled art, and messing around in rowing shells and other boats.

Michael Mithoefer, M.D.

Michael Mithoefer, M.D. Senior Medical Director for Medical Affairs, Training and Supervision

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Michael Mithoefer, M.D.

Michael Mithoefer, M.D.

Senior Medical Director for Medical Affairs, Training and Supervision

Michael Mithoefer, M.D., is a psychiatrist living in Asheville, NC, with a research office in Charleston, SC. In 2000, he began collaborating with MAPS on the first U.S. Phase 2 clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. He and his wife Annie have since conducted two of the six MAPS-sponsored Phase 2 clinical trials testing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, as well a study providing MDMA-assisted sessions for therapists who have completed the MAPS-sponsored MDMA Therapy Training Program, and a pilot study treating couples with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy combined with Cognitive-Behavioral Conjoint Therapy. He is now Senior Medical Director for Medical Affairs, Training and Supervision at MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC). He is a Grof-certified Holotropic Breathwork Facilitator, is trained in EMDR and Internal Family Systems Therapy, and has nearly 30 years of experience treating trauma patients. Before going into psychiatry in 1991, 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 has been board-certified in Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine, and Internal Medicine.

Rebecca A. Matthews

Rebecca A. Matthews Chief Clinical Operations Officer (CCOO)

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Rebecca A. Matthews

Rebecca A. Matthews

Chief Clinical Operations Officer (CCOO)

Rebecca A. Matthews is the Chief Clinical Operations Officer (CCOO) at the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Rebecca is leading the Clinical Operations teams in conducting clinical trials around the globe in all indications and clinical programs supported by MAPS PBC and MAPS.

Rebecca began consulting with MAPS in 2009 and joined MAPS PBC full-time in 2015. Prior to her work at MAPS and MAPS PBC she worked in clinical research and development at Chiron/Novartis starting in 2001 with a focus in the indications of sepsis and vaccines.

Rebecca is drawn to the field of research and drug development to support the advancement of healthcare and to provide novel and improved treatments for the benefit of humankind. She is deeply passionate about this amazing journey and honored to be on the forefront of psychedelic medicine research. Rebecca earned her B.A. from UC Berkeley in 2000.

She resides in Northern California alongside her husband, two daughters and the family labradoodle and can be found starting impromptu dance parties, enjoying delicious tacos and playing in nature with family and friends.

Shannon Carlin, M.A., L.M.F.T.

Shannon Carlin, M.A., L.M.F.T. Chief of Therapy Training and Supervision

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Shannon Carlin, M.A., L.M.F.T.

Shannon Carlin, M.A., L.M.F.T.

Chief of Therapy Training and Supervision

Shannon Carlin, M.A., L.M.F.T., is the Chief of Therapy Training and Supervision at the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit. As the Chief of Training and Supervision, Shannon leads the development and implementation of clinical training and supervision programs that prepare clinicians and counselors to deliver MDMA-assisted therapy in approved clinical settings around the world. Shannon started working with MAPS in 2011 before joining MAPS PBC in 2016.

In her dedication to supporting people through growth and healing, Shannon has served as a co-therapist on MAPS-sponsored Phase 2 trials researching MDMA-assisted therapy for anxiety associated with life-threatening illness and MDMA-assisted therapy for severe PTSD. She currently works with clients through the California Center for Psychedelic Therapy, delivering transpersonal approaches, psychedelic integration, and ketamine-assisted psychotherapy. Shannon’s direct clinical work continues to inform her role at MAPS PBC and the MDMA Therapy Training Program.

Shannon’s previous professional experience includes the development of community programs delivering resources, services, training, and support for healthy living, life skills, employment, and positive youth development. Her work has served adults with schizophrenia, bipolar, and substance use disorder, families and youth in low-income residential settings, and high school students learning about moderation management of drug and alcohol use. Shannon is passionate about addressing homelessness, she has volunteered with housing projects and shelters and completed a farm internship with the Homeless Garden Project.

Shannon received her master’s degree in Integral Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies and a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. An adventurer at heart, Shannon can be found in nature, backpacking, running, and dancing. She celebrates and cultivates relationship and community and is passionate about life, love, and thriving.

Joy Sun Cooper

Joy Sun Cooper Chief of Patient Access and Head of Commercialization

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Joy Sun Cooper

Joy Sun Cooper

Chief of Patient Access and Head of Commercialization

Joy co-founded and served as Chief Operating Officer of Groups, a venture-backed healthcare services company that is tackling the opioid epidemic in rural America. Groups operates more than 50 outpatient clinics in six states that is pioneering a value-based model for the treatment of opioid use disorder.

Prior to starting Groups, she helped launch GiveDirectly, a global nonprofit that gives cash to the ultra-poor with no strings attached using mobile payments technology and conducts rigorous, experimental evaluation to measure impact. She previously was an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company in the healthcare and agriculture practices and Director of Operations at the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), where she designed and implemented large-scale HIV treatment programs in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Joy holds an M.B.A. from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a B.S.in international affairs from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.

Jay Nair, Ph.D., P.M.P.

Jay Nair, Ph.D., P.M.P. Senior Director and Head of CMC

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Jay Nair, Ph.D., P.M.P.

Jay Nair, Ph.D., P.M.P.

Senior Director and Head of CMC

Jay Nair, Ph.D., P.M.P., comes to us with over 30 years of expertise in chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC) executive management in the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries. Over his career, he has worked at companies such as Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), Baxter, Teva, and Cephalon. Since his position as Executive Director at BMS, he has been a management consultant in the areas of CMC, Regulatory and Project Management. He also consulted for private equity companies as a global due diligence expert, analyzing the FDA exposure and assessing the risk of target companies and their therapeutic assets. His clients included Pfizer, McKinsey & Co., Accenture, Capital Group of companies etc. Jay obtained his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Analysis from Boston University. He is a graduate of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur. Jay is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Jay spends his downtime enjoying public speaking, philosophy, nature travel, yoga, and meditation.

Strategy and Operations

James Acer

James Acer Chief of Staff

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James Acer

James Acer

Chief of Staff

James Acer is Chief of Staff at MAPS Public Benefit Corporation. Before joining MAPS PBC, James served as a consultant at Boston Consultant Group working primarily in the firm’s Social Impact Practice. Prior to that, he co-founded Manoa, a mission-driven restaurant in Somerville, MA. In his role at MAPS PBC, James focuses on organizational strategy, research development, clinical project management, and treatment dissemination. He is driven by an insatiable curiosity and the desire for a happier, more connected world. James holds a B.A. in Economics with a minor in Psychology from Harvard University.

Anya Kramer

Anya Kramer Manager of Culture and Corporate Communications

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Anya Kramer

Anya Kramer

Manager of Culture and Corporate Communications

Anya Kramer is currently serving as Manager of Culture and Corporate Communications. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Anya worked as a project manager, marketing strategist, research assistant, and ‘chief of staff.’ Some notable projects include: research for a pre-production documentary on Timothy Leary and a film on Miles Davis, strategic planning and pipeline support for a career coaching/consulting company, expanding community programs and providing operational support for a wellness-based consulting company, and overseeing communications and development of websites and other marketing assets for several companies. Anya earned a bachelor’s degree in Religion/Philosophy in 2012 from Smith College. Anya is committed to furthering psychedelic research and redefining models of health and healing. She is thrilled to join the MAPS PBC team. In her free time, she enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, playing drums, and hiking.

Ritika Aggarwal, B.A.

Ritika Aggarwal, B.A. Executive Project Manager

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Ritika Aggarwal, B.A.

Ritika Aggarwal, B.A.

Executive Project Manager

Ritika Aggarwal earned her B.A. in feminist studies and psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. While in Santa Cruz, she founded and co-directed the local chapter of NORML/Students for Sensible Drug Policy and worked with the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana. For the past ten years, she has been as a legal advocate for people incarcerated in California prisons, helping to secure the release of over 100 people with life sentences. She is currently the MAPS PBC Executive Support & Operations Coordinator.

Research Development and Regulatory Affairs

Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D.

Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D. Deputy Director and Head of Research Development and Regulatory Affairs

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Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D.

Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D.

Deputy Director and Head of Research Development and Regulatory Affairs

Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., is a Deputy Director and Head of Research Development and Regulatory Affairs of the 501(c)(3) non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Dr. Yazar-Klosinski is responsible for development of strategic, catalytic, and capacity-building activities to facilitate research on the risk/benefit profile of psychedelics in compliance with the global regulatory landscape. She has been actively involved in the various stages of nonclinical and clinical development of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, LSD-assisted psychotherapy, cannabis, and ibogaine.

After gaining experience in clinical research laboratories with Geron Corporation and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Yazar-Klosinski joined MAPS in 2009 to work with an organization where profit wouldn't dictate the agenda of scientific research. Over the last 10 years, she has supported MAPS clinical research and regulatory affairs through all stages of growth. Dr. Yazar-Klosinski has developed a strong track record of success with FDA, state regulatory agencies and multiple regulatory agencies outside of the USA.

Dr. Yazar-Klosinski earned her B.S. in Biology with a minor in Drama from Stanford University and her Ph.D. in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2010. She is a Turkish hunter-gatherer who is supporting the growth of her family and pets in harmony with the natural world as she works tirelessly to transform the future.

Allison Coker, Ph.D.

Allison Coker, Ph.D. Regulatory Affairs Manager

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Allison Coker, Ph.D.

Allison Coker, Ph.D.

Regulatory Affairs Manager

Allison Coker, Ph.D. was trained as neuroscientist with a multidisciplinary background in behavioral pharmacology studying motivation, addiction, and stress across diverse research methodologies in both preclinical and clinical research settings. She earned her bachelor's degree in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology from Emory University and a doctorate in Neuroscience from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Prior to joining MAPS PBC, Dr. Coker worked as a Program Manager for the Institute for Translational Neuroscience, a research consortium at UCSF focused on conducting translational and clinical research to develop novel treatment strategies for PTSD and alcohol and substance use disorders. In this role, she developed a broad skillset in clinical research management, regulatory compliance, and program administration.

At MAPS PBC, Dr. Coker serves as the Regulatory Affairs Manager where she works with executive leadership and senior consultants on the development and optimization of regulatory strategy across MAPS clinical development programs. Dr. Coker serves as Regulatory Lead on cross-functional teams to communicate regulatory requirements, ensure optimal execution of regulatory strategy, and lead the planning and preparation of regulatory commitments for development of marketing authorization applications to regulatory agencies.

Dr. Coker is excited by both the therapeutic potential and regulatory challenges of making MDMA a medicine and is eager to utilize her experience to support data-driven advancement of MAPS clinical development program.

Nick Miner, Ph.D.

Nick Miner, Ph.D. Regulatory Medical Writer

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Nick Miner, Ph.D.

Nick Miner, Ph.D.

Regulatory Medical Writer

Nick Miner, Ph.D., earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Reed College and a doctorate in behavioral neuroscience from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) studying pharmacology and the neurotoxicity of amphetamines. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (PBC), he was a post-doctoral fellow at the Portland VA Research Foundation studying synthetic opioids and conducting preclinical trials of novel opioid overdose treatments. Over a decade of experience researching psychoactive substances has not only provided him with a strong background in basic science, but also experience writing protocols, manuscripts, and grants.

At MAPS PBC, Dr. Miner will bring these skills to the position of Regulatory Medical Writer as part of the Regulatory Affairs Department. He will serve as lead writer for documents required to facilitate global regulatory programs across business units and will be responsible for supporting regulatory document writing to develop the global evidence base for MAPS-sponsored research.

With a passion for writing, science, and details, Dr. Miner is excited to contribute to the advancement of psychedelic-assisted therapy. He resides in Portland, OR and enjoys biking, creating steel sculpture, and gardening.

Julie Blaisdell

Julie Blaisdell Regulatory Operations Specialist

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Julie Blaisdell

Julie Blaisdell

Regulatory Operations Specialist

Julie Blaisdell joined MAPS PBC with nearly ten years of experience in academic clinical research. Most recently, as Research Operations Manager for Northwestern University’s Department of Radiology, she oversaw a team of study coordinators and provided regulatory, logistical, data management, and statistical expertise to support over 100 active research protocols and 50 investigators. Prior to this, she served in research coordinator roles, managing drug and device trials and other biomedical studies for Northwestern’s cardiovascular imaging section and Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute.

As an undergraduate, Julie worked as a research assistant with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) Affective Neuroscience Laboratory where she contributed to EEG- and fMRI-based neuroimaging studies of acute stress disorder, PTSD, and depression. She earned a bachelor of arts in psychology and biology from UWM in 2012 and a master of science in epidemiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2018.

Julie is enthusiastic about ethical and methodologically sound research and was drawn to MAPS PBC by these shared values. She resides in the Chicago area and can often be found spending quality time with her husband and pets, reading, sewing, enjoying loud music, or working on her very old house.

CMC

Amanda Fyles

Amanda Fyles CMC Compliance and Logistics Manager

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Amanda Fyles

Amanda Fyles

CMC Compliance and Logistics Manager

Amanda earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 2015 from The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Amanda spent years working as a pharmaceutical chemist and investigative analyst at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) within the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA).

As part of the FDA, Amanda performed post-approval pharmaceutical analyses and conducted domestic and international site inspections of various pharmaceutical companies. Her laboratory work encompassed active pharmaceutical ingredient identity, potency, content uniformity, impurity, dissolution, and water-content testing across a variety of FDA-regulated pharmaceutical dosage forms. Her inspectional work focused on evaluating manufacturing and chemistry Quality Control laboratories in Pre-Approval, “For-Cause”, and Compliance follow-up inspections. She specialized in assessing data integrity and performing audit trail reviews.

At MAPS PBC, Amanda is currently serving as CMC Compliance and Logistics Manager, ensuring that clinical and commercial drug supplies are forecasted, manufactured, and managed in accordance with program-wide timelines. She is additionally supporting CMC strategy initiatives by creating and maintaining relevant Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and supporting general cGMP compliance.

Amanda is interested in the ways in which the natural world provides us with opportunities to explore our singular and collective consciousness. She is dedicated to supporting means of self-reflection and hopes that her work with MPBC will further its goals in offering psychedelic modalities to promote guided healing. In her free time, Amanda enjoys rock climbing, cooking vegetarian meals, reading, playing and watching soccer, and spending time in her home state of Vermont.

Gina DiJohnson

Gina DiJohnson CMC Specialist

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Gina DiJohnson

Gina DiJohnson

CMC Specialist

Gina DiJohnson earned a bachelor’s degree in science in 2012 from the Pennsylvania State University. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Gina worked as a sensory scientist where she supported R&D and innovation launching new products, quality control, and continuous improvement.

At MAPS PBC, Gina is currently serving as CMC Specialist, focusing on IMP supplies, logistics, document management, clinical supplies planning, and supporting the CMC department.

Gina is thrilled to be working on a team that values open science and transparency. Gina joined MAPS PBC in order to honor her brother’s legacy, a casualty of the War on Drugs, who believed in alternative healing treatments that are desperately lacking in society. She dreams of a world where mental health is not stigmatized and is accessible to all who need it and believes in the freedom to explore our consciousness with laws informed by science. In Gina’s free time, she loves spending time at the beach with her family.

Bridget Melton, Pharm.D.

Bridget Melton, Pharm.D. Manager, Clinical Supply Chain

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Bridget Melton, Pharm.D.

Bridget Melton, Pharm.D.

Manager, Clinical Supply Chain

Bridget Melton, Pharm.D., earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2004 from Georgia State University and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2011 from Mercer University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, both in Atlanta, Georgia.

Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Bridget worked at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for over 17 years, most recently serving as Investigational Drug Service Pharmacist, where she helped to manage investigational medications for a wide variety of clinical trials, from small investigator-initiated trials (IITs) to large Phase 3 industry-sponsored trials, Expanded Access protocols and Compassionate Use trials. She also served on the Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) and Developmental Therapeutics Committee in this role.

Bridget completed a variety of clinical rotations, including time at the Indian Health Service in Gallup, New Mexico and Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Additionally, she has volunteer experience with the Atlanta Harm Reduction Center and the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience at Georgia State University.

At MAPS PBC, Bridget is currently serving as Manager, Clinical Supply Chain, supporting the forecasting, manufacturing, and shipping of clinical drug supplies, both domestically and internationally, for all MAPS-sponsored clinical trials and IITs.

Bridget believes in the healing potential of psychedelics, when used appropriately and safely, and cares very deeply about the work being done at MAPS. She is delighted to assist with research that is personally very meaningful, and potentially very helpful for individuals and society.

Bridget lives in Atlanta in a 130-year-old house with a bunch of black cats. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, yoga, collecting records, going to shows, learning Swedish, as well as cooking food for and hosting dear friends, family, and her favorite touring bands.

Jay Nair, Ph.D., P.M.P.

Jay Nair, Ph.D., P.M.P. Senior Director and Head of CMC

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Jay Nair, Ph.D., P.M.P.

Jay Nair, Ph.D., P.M.P.

Senior Director and Head of CMC

Jay Nair, Ph.D., P.M.P., comes to us with over 30 years of expertise in chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC) executive management in the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries. Over his career, he has worked at companies such as Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), Baxter, Teva, and Cephalon. Since his position as Executive Director at BMS, he has been a management consultant in the areas of CMC, Regulatory and Project Management. He also consulted for private equity companies as a global due diligence expert, analyzing the FDA exposure and assessing the risk of target companies and their therapeutic assets. His clients included Pfizer, McKinsey & Co., Accenture, Capital Group of companies etc. Jay obtained his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Analysis from Boston University. He is a graduate of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur. Jay is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Jay spends his downtime enjoying public speaking, philosophy, nature travel, yoga, and meditation.

Data Management and Services

Bri Deyo

Bri Deyo Clinical Data Manager

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Bri Deyo

Bri Deyo

Clinical Data Manager

Bri comes to MAPS PBC from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where they spent 10 years in the School of Medicine and Public Health on various kinds of clinical trials and public health research. For the last 6 years, they coordinated and then managed the research team in the Program for Research, Outreach, Education, and Therapeutics in the Addictions (PROTEA). During their time at UW, they had the opportunity to contribute to all stages of research, from beginning to end, from grant application and protocol development to study conduct, data analysis, and publication. They love the creative process of turning ideas into testable hypotheses, and then putting protocols into action. They are looking forward to using their protocol development and clinical experience to guide their engagement with data collection, management, and reporting processes.

At MAPS PBC Bri is a Clinical Data Manager, working in the Data Management and Systems Team. Bri’s last name rhymes with “Leo,” even though Harry Belafonte’s “Day-o” pronunciation is way more fun. They prefer gender neutral pronouns, but gendered ones work, too.

In their free time, Bri enjoys working on projects around the house and yard, gatherings with friends and family, building things, and exploring.

 

Gretchen Friedberger

Gretchen Friedberger Senior Clinical Data Manager

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Gretchen Friedberger

Gretchen Friedberger

Senior Clinical Data Manager

Gretchen joins the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC) as the Senior Clinical Data Manager in the Data Management and Services team.

Gretchen graduated from Temple University with a B.A in Psychology. She also holds an Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing and is a Registered Nurse in Pennsylvania.

Gretchen began her career in healthcare working with the Geriatric and Adult Psychiatric inpatient population within the Thomas Jefferson University Health System in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Always interested in clinical research, she transitioned to Research Nursing with positions in both the academic and hospital-based settings. Gretchen has also worked in the pharmaceutical industry in Clinical Operations, as well as Clinical Product Management with a focus on CNS and Behavioral Health. Prior to joining MAPS PBC, Gretchen was the Associate Director, Data Management for Signant Health where she oversaw data management activities for teams based in the US and Romania.

Gretchen brings to MAPS PBC an extensive background and experience in the eCOA/ePRO space, with a focus on the development and implementation of CNS/ Psychiatric measures in electronic data capture systems.

In her free time, Gretchen is a free-lance exercise rider in the Chester County, Pa. area. She also enjoys spending time on her farm with her own horses, dogs, cats, and chickens. Gretchen believes strongly in the MAPS mission, and is honored to be part of the visionary and healing work that MAPS/MAPS PBC has created through psychedelic medicine research.

Michele Pleshe

Michele Pleshe Director of Data Management and Services

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Michele Pleshe

Michele Pleshe

Director of Data Management and Services

Michelle Pleshe earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1985 from Old Dominion University. Prior to joining the MAPS PBC, Michelle worked in clinical data management at IQVIA as a director of programming shared service where she lead a team of clinical study designers and validation leads. During Michelle’s 29 years at IQVIA, she has worked across all phases of studies and multiple therapeutic areas. She has extensive experience in building and validating clinical studies in multiple EDC platforms and developing strong technical teams. At MAPS PBC, Michelle will serve as Director of Data Management and Services, focusing on the oversight of clinical system and software development through the lifecycle including evaluation, implementation/development, maintenance, archiving, and documentation.

Michelle is passionate about giving back to the community. She volunteers her time with SPCA of Wake County to help pets find their forever home and supports North Carolina Special Olympics as an athlete assistant during competitions.

Michelle joined MAPS PBC in order to use her many years of experience in clinical research to have a closer connection to the research and patients involved. She is passionate about the mission and believes these therapies can save lives and make a true difference to thousands.

In Michelle’s free time, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family. She is working on improving her photography skills and loves to take pictures of nature displaying passion and glory.

Scott Hamilton

Scott Hamilton Director of Biostatistics

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Scott Hamilton

Scott Hamilton

Director of Biostatistics

Dr. Hamilton joined MAPS in 2015 as a statistical consultant. He has been deeply involved in the analysis of the Phase 2 studies of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. He designed the statistical aspects of the current pivotal studies. He was formerly President and Founder of DynaRand, LLC, a software company that pioneered the development of IVRS and IWRS solutions for clinical trials management. DynaRand was acquired by United BioSource Corporation in 2005. Since the inception of DynaRand in 1998, he has pioneered the use of IXRS for automated adaptive studies, especially in the area of dynamic randomization. Dr. Hamilton has an Adjunct Professor appointment at Stanford University's School of Medicine in the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, where he has been the primary statistician on multiple acute stroke studies. Dr. Hamilton sits on several data safety monitoring committees and works closely with pharmaceutical companies regarding the statistical aspects of adaptive trials and randomization algorithms. Previously, Dr. Hamilton was a statistical reviewer for the NI-NINDS Grant Review Committee. Widely published, he holds memberships in the American Statistical Association and the American Stroke Association. Dr. Hamilton received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Davis, his Master of Science from the University of California at Los Angeles in Biostatistics, and his Ph.D. in Biostatistics from the University of North Carolina. He is passionate about his family, and enjoys biking, camping, and singing.

Titi Olaosebikan

Titi Olaosebikan Clinical Data Manager

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Titi Olaosebikan

Titi Olaosebikan

Clinical Data Manager

Titilope Olaosebikan earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 2009 from the University of Abuja, Nigeria. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), Titi worked as a Clinical Data Manager on phase I to IV studies in both CRO and Pharma. She pays sharp attention to details and is experienced in oncology, cardiovascular, respiratory, immunology therapeutic areas.

At MPBC, Titi is currently serving as a Clinical Data Manager working on different aspects of data management from study startup to database lock. She is focusing on collecting and ensuring data accuracy in different MPBC studies.
Titi is involved in validating new data, raising queries to the site and reviewing site responses.
She is passionate about learning and committed to making the world a better place by being the change she wants to see in the world.
Titi joined MPBC in order to contribute her knowledge to the development, improvement and acceptance of psychedelic treatments in the world at large.
She dreams of a safer environment and believes in the safe use of psychedelics to understand the dynamics in mental health.
In Titi’s free time, she enjoys reading to her two daughters, loves to try food from all over the world and hang out with friends.

Data Science

Leah Bedrosian

Leah Bedrosian Clinical Research Scientist

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Leah Bedrosian

Leah Bedrosian

Clinical Research Scientist

Leah earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2015 from the University of Michigan and her M.P.H. in occupational and environmental epidemiology from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in 2018. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Leah worked as a research scientist at goop where she led the creation of goop PhD, a hub with evidence-based information on a variety of medical conditions to help advocate for women’s health. Leah’s research background focused on maternal and child exposure to environmental contaminants, specifically endocrine disruptors.

At MAPS PBC, Leah is currently serving as a clinical research scientist, providing scientific input and medical writing throughout the clinical trial process. Leah is passionate about improving mental health and believes that psychedelics are a powerful tool that can be used to help the global community heal, recognizing our connectedness to each other and our planet. She joined MAPS in order to help work toward a brighter future.

Leah is also a certified yoga teacher and, in her free time, enjoys exploring national forests, brewing kombucha, and baking sourdough.

Julie Wang, M.P.H., Ph.D.

Julie Wang, M.P.H., Ph.D. Senior Clinical Data Scientist

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Julie Wang, M.P.H., Ph.D.

Julie Wang, M.P.H., Ph.D.

Senior Clinical Data Scientist

Julie Wang, M.P.H., Ph.D., is a data scientist with clinical research expertise in public health interventions. Her dissertation and research fellowship focused on developing and testing IoT solutions in both clinical and real-world settings to promote, measure, and analyze lifestyle behaviors (i.e., diet, physical activity, and smoking cessation). Dr. Wang completed further training in data science at General Assembly in San Francisco to advance analytic skillsets in working with large and complex mobile/digital datasets. She is enthused by data-driven decision-making and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. At MAPS PBC, Dr. Wang supports statistical analysis of clinical data for research development and regulatory affairs. Education: B.A. in Liberal Arts/ Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution and MPH (Global Health Promotion) at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.; Ph.D. in Public Health (Behavioral Science) at UC San Diego in La Jolla, CA; and post-doctoral research fellowship at UC San Francisco in San Francisco, CA. Publications: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=1qXVwywAAAAJ&hl=en

 

Clinical Systems

Maghen Farris

Maghen Farris Clinical Systems Manager

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Maghen Farris

Maghen Farris

Clinical Systems Manager

Maghen earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2012 from the University of Missouri – Kansas City and a master’s degree in health informatics and analytics in 2020 from the University of South Florida Morsani School of Medicine. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Maghen worked as Clinical Systems Program Manager at an NCI-designated Cancer Center where she managed the clinical systems team, provided oversight of the Clinical Trial Management System (CTMS) and data transparency reporting programs, and supported the Cancer Centers’ business needs by preparing analytics for internal and external reporting. Recently, Maghen worked as a Clinical Data Scientist at a large Clinical Research Organization, where she performed centralized analytical monitoring of subject safety, data integrity, and data completeness by identifying risks and performing trend analysis to support collection of critical data.

At MPBC, Maghen is currently serving as Clinical Systems Manager, focusing on leading the Clinical Systems Team in the evaluation, selection, and implementation of clinical systems to support the administration of clinical trials by Clinical Operations.

Maghen has experience designing and executing a comprehensive training program for CTMS end users, centering on instructor-led training and detailed resources. She organized and lead the development of a quality-by-design electronic Case Report Form (eCRF) initiative which improved and streamlined collection of critical data for the organization’s Investigator Initiated Trials program. Maghen has two published papers from her time working in a behavioral psychology research lab, each focused-on smoking cessation best practices, and several poster presentations focused on topics such as informatics and technical training.

Maghen is committed to contributing to evidence-based research for treatment of mental health disorders. She has long been fascinated with the potential of psychedelics as treatment for certain indications and is encouraged by the recent decisions by FDA to support MAPS’ mission, feeling hopeful that long-standing political and cultural misunderstandings can soon be resolved.

In Maghen’s free time, she enjoys jogging, meditating, walking her dog, and spending time with her family in Kansas City, where she lives.

Zac Goldberg, B.S.

Zac Goldberg, B.S. Senior Clinical Systems Specialist

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Zac Goldberg, B.S.

Zac Goldberg, B.S.

Senior Clinical Systems Specialist

Zac earned a bachelor’s degree in cognitive science with a specialization in neuroscience in 2017 from the University of California, San Diego. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Zac worked as a research assistant at the Perception and Cognition Lab where he recruited participants for visual and auditory perception and memory experiments, in addition to cleaning and analyzing data from the studies.

At MAPS PBC, Zac is currently serving as a Senior Clinical Systems Specialist, focusing on file management, system administration, regulatory document creation, and general organizational work. He is passionate about helping make MDMA and other psychedelics a viable option to treat mental illness. In Zac’s free time, he enjoys hiking, mountain biking, and playing ultimate frisbee and disc golf.

 

Chris Shelley, Ph.D.

Chris Shelley, Ph.D. Clinical Systems Specialist

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Chris Shelley, Ph.D.

Chris Shelley, Ph.D.

Clinical Systems Specialist

Chris earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 2005 from the University of Bristol, a master’s degree in mathematics in 2011 from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a doctorate in mathematics in 2013 from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Chris worked as an Assistant Professor, teaching mathematics and investigating the connections between arithmetic and geometry.

At MAPS PBC, Chris is currently serving as Clinical Systems Specialist, focusing on the video components of MAPS PBC’s clinical systems. He is passionate about computing and software development. Chris hopes the work and research conducted by MAPS PBC will help transform the lives of those suffering from PTSD.

 

Alexa Julianne Gorwin

Alexa Julianne Gorwin Clinical Systems Specialist

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Alexa Julianne Gorwin

Alexa Julianne Gorwin

Clinical Systems Specialist

Alexa Julianne Gorwin earned a bachelor’s degree in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology in 2009 from the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to her career in clinical research, she worked as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist in oncology for eight years where performed diagnostic testing and analysis and built a solid understanding of clinical laboratory operations. Wanting to further develop her clinical knowledge, she switched careers and worked for an innovative startup as a Clinical Research Coordinator and Administrator before deciding to focus on psychedelic clinical research.

Now, at MAPS PBC, Alexa is bringing her professional experience to the role of Clinical Systems Specialist, where she will assist with System Administration of several of the GxP-regulated systems in the Clinical Systems group. She is dedicated to applying her scientific and data-driven background to the role as she assists clinical operations and the clinical teams. She is excited to contribute to the groundbreaking work being done at MAPS and to support the advancement of psychedelic research.

In her free time, Alexa volunteers as a psychedelic writer, providing research-based educational articles about psychedelics and their therapeutic potential in the fields of mental health and wellness.

Daniela Zúñiga Sacks

Daniela Zúñiga Sacks Clinical Systems Specialist

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Daniela Zúñiga Sacks

Daniela Zúñiga Sacks

Clinical Systems Specialist

Daniela Zúñiga Sacks earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Daniela worked as a Spend Data Analyst at PowerAdvocate, an energy consulting company. Before that, she was an astrophysics researcher with a focus on creating pipelines for processing image data.

At MAPS PBC, Daniela is currently serving as a clinical systems specialist focusing on the configuration, implementation, and testing of Jira in the clinical systems group. She is excited to apply her experience with software testing and documentation management to the needs of the clinical systems team. As a passionate supporter of mental health reform, Daniela looks forward to supporting the vital and groundbreaking research undertaken at MAPS PBC.

In her free time, she enjoys thrifting, alternative fashion, puzzles, and spending time with her cat and partner.

Chelsea Pamplin

Chelsea Pamplin TMF Associate

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Chelsea Pamplin

Chelsea Pamplin

TMF Associate

Chelsea earned an Integrated Master’s degree in Pharmacology in 2018 from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom.

She has long been fascinated by the effects that psychedelics have on the brain, their therapeutic potential in mental health and as a tool in understanding consciousness.

Prior to joining MAPS PBC, she worked as a Research Administrator at the University of Liverpool supporting several clinical research studies looking at the pharmacogenetics of adverse drug reactions.

At MPBC, Chelsea is currently serving as a TMF Associate, focusing on the filing, maintenance, and quality control of regulatory documentation.

Chelsea is passionate about drug reform and is honored to be helping MAPS PBC in their research demonstrating the therapeutic potential of MDMA and psychedelics.

Lorna Muiruri

Lorna Muiruri Document Control Specialist

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Lorna Muiruri

Lorna Muiruri

Document Control Specialist

Lorna Muiruri earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Health in 2020 from Southern New Hampshire University. Prior to joining MAPS PBC, she worked at Syneos Health as a TMF Document Specialist II, where she supported several sponsor studies.

At MPBC, Lorna Muiruri is currently serving as a Document Control Specialist, focusing on quality control, and filing of regulatory documentation.

She is passionate about mental health awareness and is honored to join MAPS/MPBC to help in the research that is navigating the therapeutic potential of psychedelics.

In Lorna’s free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, being outdoors, hiking, and is a frequent traveler to Topsail Island Beach, where she is always sure to visit the sick turtles at Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation.

Jonathan Alinovi

Jonathan Alinovi Media Technician

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Jonathan Alinovi

Jonathan Alinovi

Media Technician

Jonathan earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Hunter College in 2015. Before joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Jonathan worked in media production and web development, and recently joined us from a non-profit digital learning organization that supported school-age children in online math tutoring.

At MAPS PBC, Jonathan is currently serving as Media Technician. He is carrying forward a full archival project for all previous MDMA therapy studies and supporting the video team and our video vendors in designing future infrastructure for video recording storage that supports comprehensive and sustainable records, retention, and release procedures.

He is passionate about the intersection of computing and media and is thrilled to be a part of MAPS PBC. Jonathan hopes his work can help contribute to the healing of people who are otherwise unable to find relief from PTSD and other diagnoses.

Commercialization & Patient Access

Joy Sun Cooper

Joy Sun Cooper Chief of Patient Access and Head of Commercialization

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Joy Sun Cooper

Joy Sun Cooper

Chief of Patient Access and Head of Commercialization

Joy co-founded and served as Chief Operating Officer of Groups, a venture-backed healthcare services company that is tackling the opioid epidemic in rural America. Groups operates more than 50 outpatient clinics in six states that is pioneering a value-based model for the treatment of opioid use disorder.

Prior to starting Groups, she helped launch GiveDirectly, a global nonprofit that gives cash to the ultra-poor with no strings attached using mobile payments technology and conducts rigorous, experimental evaluation to measure impact. She previously was an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company in the healthcare and agriculture practices and Director of Operations at the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), where she designed and implemented large-scale HIV treatment programs in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Joy holds an M.B.A. from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a B.S.in international affairs from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.

Clinical Development

Safety and Clinical Operations

Kelly Green PA-C, MPH

Kelly Green PA-C, MPH

Medical Monitor

Kelly Green is a certified Physician Assistant. She earned her B.S. in Biology in 1999 from the University of North Carolina. After graduation, Kelly worked as an EMT and Medical Assistant before attending graduate school at New York University where she earned a Master of Public Health in 2004 and a master’s degree in Psychological Testing and Measurement in 2005. Kelly began her research career at NYU as a Research Coordinator and then Project Manager for numerous studies focused on HIV, mental health, and substance abuse. Her HIV and mental health related research career continued at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill for the next several years until she decided to pursue her training to become a PA. In 2014, she received her master’s in Physician Assistant Studies from Stony Brook University. Upon graduating, Kelly worked as a PA for a regional community mental health provider where she saw her patients struggle to overcome the impacts of PTSD and treatment resistant depression. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC) Kelly worked as a Research Physician Assistant at the University of Washington’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, which allowed her to couple her passion for research with her love of medicine. Kelly is passionate about contributing to work that will have a positive impact on a person’s quality of life. She joined MPBC in order to be a part of a team committed to improving mental health care and dreams of a world in which the crippling effects of PTSD, treatment resistant depression, and social anxiety will be ameliorated by accessible, efficacious treatment for all. Kelly resides in Seattle, WA and enjoys sailing with her teenage son. She is also currently restoring a 1974 sailboat…an endless but fulfilling project!

Akela Bellazetin

Akela Bellazetin Safety Associate

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Akela Bellazetin

Akela Bellazetin

Safety Associate

Akela earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2008 from the University of Utah. As an undergraduate, she was a research assistant on multiple studies focusing on aspects of psychology and ethnic studies. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), Akela worked as a psychiatric technician. She witnessed firsthand the dire need for transformative therapy options. Her passion regarding her patient’s well-being fueled her desire to advocate for populations typically underserved by lawmakers. She also worked as a policy director for a non-profit coalition working to advance the status of women in Utah. In her position as policy director, Akela pursued legislation that would better the lives of Utah women and families.

At MPBC, Akela is currently serving as a Safety Associate focusing on ensuring that clinical

trials are conducted in a timely manner and in accordance with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), the principles of ICH/Good Clinical Practice and all applicable regulations governing the conduct of clinical trials. She is thrilled to be joining MAPS PBC.

In Akela’s free time, she enjoys finding the best foodie spots with her husband and two young sons, being active, and working hard to raise socially just, good humans.

Sara J. Garcia Velazquez, M.D.

Sara J. Garcia Velazquez, M.D.

Medical Monitor

Sara J. Garcia Velazquez, M.D., is a general physician who obtained her medical degree from the University of the State of Michoacan in Mexico in 2012. In 2009, after finishing her medical internship at a state hospital, Sara worked as the lead social service physician in rural areas of Mexico for the Mexican Board of Health. She treated diverse indigenous populations, where she learned the importance of knowing their traditional medicines, including psychedelics, that have been used for generations for treatment of various illnesses and wellness. During this time, Sara used research as a means to improve the infrastructure for patient education, disease screening, and medications for the rural patient population, developing a protocol that outlined how cultural characteristics affect risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes.

Subsequently, in 2013 she moved to the Bay Area, where she studied music at the Pyramind Studios for two years, pursuing her interest in medicine and the healing properties of music. In 2016, she joined the San Francisco Clinical Research Center, where she gained valuable clinical and research experience as a clinical research coordinator and cognitive rater. There she spearheaded protocols in the therapeutic areas of mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's, cluster headaches, Migraine, and posttraumatic persistent headache.

Sara continued her clinical research journey in 2018 at Science 37, a telemedicine and mobile technology company specializing in virtual clinical trials. As a clinical research coordinator, she assisted with patient eligibility, trial execution, peer, and participant training to bring trial participation directly to the participant's home safely and efficiently. The therapeutic areas covered during this time were chronic degenerative diseases (Type 2 diabetes) and neurology (multiple sclerosis and migraines).

Sara followed MAPS' work through the years as she grew up in a medical research household with the works of Dr. Albert Hoffman, Dr. Stan Grof, and Dr. Alexander and Ann Shulgin on the bookshelves. In 2020 she is honored with the opportunity to join the MAPS PBC team as a medical monitor, applying her experience and passion for biomedical knowledge to bring psychedelic medicine to all patients.

Sara is also a musician, a dancer, a traveler, and an avid hiker.

Alia Lilienstein, M.D., M.P.H.

Alia Lilienstein, M.D., M.P.H.

Medical Director

Alia is a board-certified Family Medicine physician. She earned her B.A. in American Studies from Georgetown University in 2002, where she studied social and cultural influences on health care. Prior to medical school, she earned her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology and Biostatistics in 2004 from the University of California, Berkeley, and worked in clinical research and development at Chiron (later Novartis). She received her M.D. in 2011 from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and completed residency training in Family Medicine at Cambridge Health Alliance, a Tufts- and Harvard-affiliated Accountable Care Organization. Before joining MAPS, Alia worked as a primary care doctor in Berkeley. Alia holds a certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research from CIIS in San Francisco. As a family physician, Alia has borne witness to her patients’ struggles with the human condition and the effects these struggles have on their loved ones. She is passionate about helping develop better tools for psychological healing so that everyone may have the opportunity to approach themselves and others with empathy and love.

L. (Ilsa) Jerome, Ph.D.

L. (Ilsa) Jerome, Ph.D.

Medical Coder

L. (Ilsa) Jerome earned a doctorate in psychology from the University of Maryland in 1999, with an interest in social cognition. Inside and beyond formal education, Jerome immersed herself in literature on psychopharmacology and what would soon become affective and social neuroscience. Ilsa was a member of the team that developed the initial 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) Investigator’s Brochure. Jerome was the Clinical Research and Information Specialist at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), where she continued to handle the Investigator’s Brochure. Seeking, understanding and communicating scientific information has been at the core of this role, while the details have changed. Jerome has collected and summarized research as part of designing and developing the Investigator’s Brochure and Phase 2 studies, assisted in the revision and management of Psychedelic Bibliography scope and content, supported and communicated with medical monitors, and communicated with researchers within and outside of MAPS and sending findings into the world as published reports. She gained skills in medical coding and uses this to support communicating data to regulatory agencies and published reports. Currently she joined the Safety team as a medical coder. In addition to performing medical coding, Jerome supports the Safety team through gathering, organizing and communicating thorough and current information on safety-related issues. She believes in the necessity of interpreting and sharing research knowledge that will best help MAPS PBC produce transparent, thorough and honest documents and reports, and that spotting good questions is as important as knowing good answers. Ilsa is fascinated by sound and music, and fragrance and olfaction. She spent a couple of years as a DJ at a university radio station, but remains emphatically unhip.

 

Corine de Boer, M.D., Ph.D.

Corine de Boer, M.D., Ph.D. Chief Medical Officer

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Corine de Boer, M.D., Ph.D.

Corine de Boer, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief Medical Officer

Corine de Boer, M.D., Ph.D. is the Chief Medical Officer at MAPS Public Benefit Corporation.

She received her medical degree from Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands and completed residency and fellowship training in pediatrics and pediatric nephrology. Her Ph.D. was focused on peritoneal dialysis in children, and she joined the academic staff at the Radboud University after completing her training.

Before moving to the United States in 2000, she worked as a Pediatrician in the largest inner-city hospital (OLVG) in Amsterdam where she was responsible for in- and outpatient care in a multi-racial patient group including sickle-cell disease, thalassemia, and AIDS.

For the last 20 years, she has contributed to the development of meningococcal and hepatitis vaccines during her tenure at GSK vaccines (formerly Novartis Vaccines and Chiron Corporation) and Dynavax prior to starting her own consulting company where she provides strategic advice and support for a variety of clients working on biologics, small molecule/polymer therapeutics and vaccines.

She feels very fortunate to formally join the MAPS team after assisting them previously in the development of the Pediatric Plans for MDMA. The opportunity that psychedelics provide in the treatment of PTSD and other indications is an exciting scientific field where she feels honored to play a small part in.

Corine resides in beautiful Port Townsend, WA, with her husband and her Jack Russell Terrier where she can be found roaming the beaches, making (wearable) recycled art, and messing around in rowing shells and other boats.

Michael Mithoefer, M.D.

Michael Mithoefer, M.D. Senior Medical Director for Medical Affairs, Training and Supervision

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Michael Mithoefer, M.D.

Michael Mithoefer, M.D.

Senior Medical Director for Medical Affairs, Training and Supervision

Michael Mithoefer, M.D., is a psychiatrist living in Asheville, NC, with a research office in Charleston, SC. In 2000, he began collaborating with MAPS on the first U.S. Phase 2 clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. He and his wife Annie have since conducted two of the six MAPS-sponsored Phase 2 clinical trials testing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, as well a study providing MDMA-assisted sessions for therapists who have completed the MAPS-sponsored MDMA Therapy Training Program, and a pilot study treating couples with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy combined with Cognitive-Behavioral Conjoint Therapy. He is now Senior Medical Director for Medical Affairs, Training and Supervision at MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC). He is a Grof-certified Holotropic Breathwork Facilitator, is trained in EMDR and Internal Family Systems Therapy, and has nearly 30 years of experience treating trauma patients. Before going into psychiatry in 1991, 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 has been board-certified in Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine, and Internal Medicine.

Clinical Operations

Rebecca A. Matthews

Rebecca A. Matthews Chief Clinical Operations Officer (CCOO)

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Rebecca A. Matthews

Rebecca A. Matthews

Chief Clinical Operations Officer (CCOO)

Rebecca A. Matthews is the Chief Clinical Operations Officer (CCOO) at the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Rebecca is leading the Clinical Operations teams in conducting clinical trials around the globe in all indications and clinical programs supported by MAPS PBC and MAPS.

Rebecca began consulting with MAPS in 2009 and joined MAPS PBC full-time in 2015. Prior to her work at MAPS and MAPS PBC she worked in clinical research and development at Chiron/Novartis starting in 2001 with a focus in the indications of sepsis and vaccines.

Rebecca is drawn to the field of research and drug development to support the advancement of healthcare and to provide novel and improved treatments for the benefit of humankind. She is deeply passionate about this amazing journey and honored to be on the forefront of psychedelic medicine research. Rebecca earned her B.A. from UC Berkeley in 2000.

She resides in Northern California alongside her husband, two daughters and the family labradoodle and can be found starting impromptu dance parties, enjoying delicious tacos and playing in nature with family and friends.

Krystel Cohn

Krystel Cohn Clinical Program Manager

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Krystel Cohn

Krystel Cohn

Clinical Program Manager

Krystel is a clinical research professional with a background in academic and pharmaceutical studies. Prior to joining MAPS PBC, Krystel was a Clinical Project Manager at Harvard Clinical Research Institute where she managed multiple investigator-initiated, cardiology studies. As a Project Manager at Clinical Assistance Programs, she led industry-sponsored oncology supportive care studies in head and neck cancer. Krystel also supported several IBD trials as a Clinical Research Coordinator in the gastroenterology department at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center.

Krystel joined MAPS PBC in June 2019 as the IMP Supply Manager, supporting the forecasting, manufacturing, and shipping of clinical drug supplies. In May 2021, she joined the Clinical Operations department as a Clinical Program Manager supporting the management of multiple MDMA studies.

Krystel is thrilled to be contributing to the community outreach and clinical research lead by MAPS and MAPS PBC. Krystel joined MAPS PBC because she saw a critical need for increased recognition and compassionate understanding of mental health disorders and significant expansion of the currently limited treatment options. She is committed to creating space for open dialogue and supporting innovative and ethical research into previously unexplored paths of treatment. She loves that her work at MAPS PBC, whose mission of exploring the use of psychedelics as healing, transformative, and legally accessible treatments, aligns with her own perspective and goals.

In her free time, Krystel enjoys hiking, baking, reading, and live music.

Charlotte Harrison, B.S.

Charlotte Harrison, B.S. Clinical Program Manager

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Charlotte Harrison, B.S.

Charlotte Harrison, B.S.

Clinical Program Manager

Charlotte Harrison is an experienced clinical research professional who is thrilled to be contributing to psychedelic research at MAPS Public Benefit Corporation. Prior to joining MAPS PBC, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Greek and Latin in 2012 from Tufts University while pursuing pre-medical studies. After an exciting internship working on oncology trials at Clinical Assistance Programs (CAP), she decided her skills were better suited to clinical research. She monitored and managed clinical trials in supportive cancer care, nephrology, dermatology, and cardiology at CAP, MedTrials, and Harvard Clinical Research Institute.

At MAPS PBC, Charlotte is currently serving as a Clinical Program Manager, supporting the management of MDMA and marijuana studies. She supports, trains, and monitors multiple sites, ensuring quality research and compliance. She is hopeful that her passion for improving the quality of life for those suffering with mental illness and determination to make scientific research more efficient will be beneficial to MAPS’ important and necessary work. In her free time, Charlotte can be found doing yoga, snuggling her cats, or playing board games late into the night.

 

Atasha Bozorgzad

Atasha Bozorgzad Administrative Assistant

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Atasha Bozorgzad

Atasha Bozorgzad

Administrative Assistant

Atasha Bozorgzad earned her bachelor of science degree in health education in 2017 from San Francisco State University. Prior to joining the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and/or MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), Atasha worked as a chiropractic assistant. Atasha also worked in Melbourne, Australia, as Central Appointments Officer for the Australian Defense Force. She was the first point of contact for Defense Force Members and managed their healthcare needs.

At MPBC, Atasha is currently serving as Administrative Assistant, providing support for the director and manager of the clinical operations team.

Atasha is passionate about alternative medicines that promote well-being and wholeness. She is thrilled to be a part of the work that MPBC is doing.

Atasha believes that we all have an internal force that stems from love and can heal humanity as a collective. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, reading, writing, running, traveling, teaching and practicing yoga.

Meghan Brown, B.S.N.

Meghan Brown, B.S.N. Clinical Trial Leader (CTL)

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Meghan Brown, B.S.N.

Meghan Brown, B.S.N.

Clinical Trial Leader (CTL)

Meghan became a registered nurse in 2004 and earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2010. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), she worked as Clinical Research Associate/Monitor for a CRO (contract research organization) on multiple studies with different indications ranging from oncology to pain. Meghan also worked at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on pediatric oncology studies performing the role of a study coordinator, clinical research nurse and clinical research associate. At MAPS PBC, Meghan is currently serving as

Clinical Trial Leader (CTL), working on Phase 3 MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) studies. It is Meghan’s hope that her contributions to the MAPS PBC team will help facilitate the research and subsequent FDA approval of psychedelics for patients who can truly benefit from them.

Hailey Gilmore, M.P.H.

Hailey Gilmore, M.P.H. Clinical Trial Leader (CTL)

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Hailey Gilmore, M.P.H.

Hailey Gilmore, M.P.H.

Clinical Trial Leader (CTL)

Hailey is a graduate of UC Berkeley (Double Bear - B.A. Development Studies, M.P.H. Epidemiology & Biostatistics) and Bay Area expat currently residing in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Prior to joining MAPS PBC, Hailey coordinated HIV prevention and treatment clinical trials for the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the University of California San Francisco in the U.S., South Africa, Brazil, and Malawi, for over a decade.

At MAPS PBC, Hailey is currently serving as a Clinical Trial Leader (CTL) for Investigator Initiated Trials. After contributing to work on groundbreaking technologies such as HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and HIV Self-Testing (HIVST), Hailey is thrilled to once again be working on paradigm-shifting science at MAPS/MAPS PBC. In her free time, she can be found hiking/kayaking/climbing the Northern NM wilderness with her pup, Shantaram, reading a book while sipping a good pinot, seeing live music, or converting friends to vegetarianism with a delicious creation.

Dorna Pourang

Dorna Pourang Clinical Trial Leader

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Dorna Pourang

Dorna Pourang

Clinical Trial Leader

After earning a B.S. in Biology from the University of Florida, Dorna worked on the clinical development of several experimental biologics that received FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation. Her decade of research experience ranges from the pre-clinical phase, to conducting clinical trials directly with patients, to managing clinical operations and development at biopharmaceutical sponsors. She has worked on studies in a variety of therapeutic areas across all phases including oncology, rheumatology, dermatology, and infectious diseases.

With this background, she is deeply driven to integrate her work in a way that progressively serves humanity. As a Clinical Trial Leader for investigator-initiated studies at MAPS Public Benefit Corporation, Dorna is passionate about contributing to the safe advancement of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy to profoundly impact her generation and future generations to come. In her free time, Dorna enjoys yoga, music festivals, and exploring nature in Los Angeles.

Brieta Ventimiglia, M.A.

Brieta Ventimiglia, M.A. Clinical Trial Leader

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Brieta Ventimiglia, M.A.

Brieta Ventimiglia, M.A.

Clinical Trial Leader

Brieta earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing with a minor in Statistics in 2005 from Winona State University and a master’s degree in Applied Statistics in 2008 from the University of Western Michigan. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Brieta worked as a Clinical Database and Project Manager where she monitored and managed multiple device trials.

At MAPS PBC, Brieta is currently serving as a Clinical Trial Leader for the pharmacokinetics studies and expanded access program. She believes the research conducted by MAPS PBC is essential to provide healing to those who are suffering. Brieta is firmly committed to MAPS/MAPS PBC’s vision and values and is excited to be a part of such a talented team. In her free time, she can be found exploring the outdoors, camping, hiking, or skiing.

 

 

Libby Heimler

Libby Heimler Independent Rater Program Leader

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Libby Heimler

Libby Heimler

Independent Rater Program Leader

Libby is a committed research professional with a background in Adult and Pediatric Oncology. Prior to beginning her career, she studied psychological science and religious studies at Albion College, where she received a rich and rigorous education in research design and ancient Jewish scripture. Prior positions included work on studies at Karmanos Cancer Institute, Children’s Hospital Oakland, and Genentech. After working as the Study Coordinator for a MAPS study, she joined the MAPS staff as a Clinical Research Associate. Libby is passionate about research ethics and innovations in mental health treatment, and is delighted to be a part of this dynamic team working to improve both of those things. In her free time, she can be found sewing her own clothes and quilts, knitting more hats than anyone needs, cooking, hiking, and traveling.

 

Joselyn Lindgren, M.S.

Joselyn Lindgren, M.S. Clinical Regulatory Research Associate

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Joselyn Lindgren, M.S.

Joselyn Lindgren, M.S.

Clinical Regulatory Research Associate

Joselyn earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1990 from the University of California Santa Cruz and a master’s degree in Nutrition and Food Science in 1997 from San Jose State University. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Joselyn worked as a staff research associate in a neuroimaging lab at San Francisco Veterans Affairs. Here she supported large observational studies on Gulf War Illness, HIV, Alcohol, PTSD and Alzheimer’s. Next Joselyn worked at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute where she managed all clinical related activities for several Phase II oncology trials. Joselyn most recently worked at Kaiser Permanente, supporting Phase 2-3 trials with expertise in regulatory documents. At MAPS PBC, Joselyn is currently serving as a Clinical Regulatory Research Associate supporting ongoing clinical trials using MDMA-assisted therapy to treat PTSD.

Joselyn is committed to helping to find long-term permanent solutions for debilitating mental health disorders and is excited to be a part of this transformative movement that MAPS/MAPS PBC has created with psychedelic research.

In Joselyn’s free time, she enjoys cooking, dancing, reading, and power walks.

 

 

McKenna Leighton

McKenna Leighton Clinical Research Associate

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McKenna Leighton

McKenna Leighton

Clinical Research Associate

McKenna earned her B.S. in Molecular Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) in 2019. Prior to joining MAPS PBC, McKenna worked with the Genomics Institute in UX design & communications, genomic ecology, and biotechnology.  When McKenna wasn’t working in genomics, she designed and taught undergraduate courses with the Brain, Mind, Consciousness Society at UC Santa Cruz, and she studied political philosophy in UCSC’s History of Consciousness program.

At MAPS PBC, McKenna is currently serving as a Clinical Research Associate, working on Phase 3 MDMA-Assisted Therapy studies. She also contributes to efforts ensuring that MAPS PBC studies are inclusive, safe, and equitable for marginalized populations. McKenna’s passion is to understand and to interfere with the psychological and physiological mechanisms by which socio-political power structures are reproduced in and through bodies. She is additionally passionate about ending the war on drugs, improving reciprocity in her relations with people, plants, and animals, and supporting political efforts to redistribute the wealth and the land. She loves queerness, sxsterhood, somatic experiencing, redwoods, exploring movement and breath, and studying radical philosophy.

Alyssa McNamara, B.S.

Alyssa McNamara, B.S. Clinical Research Associate

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Alyssa McNamara, B.S.

Alyssa McNamara, B.S.

Clinical Research Associate

Alyssa earned a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience with a minor in Bioinformatics in 2017 from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Alyssa worked as a Research Associate in the field of immuno-oncology, where she helped to research and develop therapeutics to treat ovarian cancer. Alyssa also worked in the field of Neurodevelopment, where she studied transcription factors and mechanisms of action implicated in Autism Spectrum Disorders. At MAPS PBC, Alyssa is currently serving as a

Clinical Research Associate, supporting the Clinical Operations team.  She is excited to join the dedicated and enthusiastic team at MAPS/MAPS PBC. Alyssa joined MAPS/MAPS PBC to help make an impact in the lives of people suffering around the world. She strives to help improve the standard of care for mental illness and neurological disorders. In Alyssa’s free time, she enjoys running and Geocaching with her family.

Amanda Nary

Amanda Nary Clinical Research Associate

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Amanda Nary

Amanda Nary

Clinical Research Associate

Amanda earned a B.S. in Biology in 2015 from the University of Colorado, Denver. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation, Amanda worked as a Study Coordinator where she helped to conduct MAPS-sponsored trials in Boulder, CO. She also worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator for an SMO conducting trials focusing on type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, and hypertension.

At MAPS PBC, Amanda is currently serving as a Clinical Research Associate, working on Phase 3 MDMA-Assisted psychotherapy studies for treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Amanda is passionate about research and mental health treatment and is thrilled to bring her previous experience working on these trials to the MAPS PBC team. In Amanda’s free time, she enjoys watching movies, playing volleyball, and spending time with her family, friends, and dog.

Phillip Perl

Phillip Perl Clinical Research Associate

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Phillip Perl

Phillip Perl

Clinical Research Associate

Phillip earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin, and a Master of Public Health (MPH) from Columbia University. Prior to joining MAPS PBC, he worked at the University of California, San Francisco as a Research Coordinator on psychedelic-assisted therapy clinical trials. At MAPS PBC, Phillip is serving as a Clinical Research Associate, focusing on Phase 3 clinical trials MDMA-assisted therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He is excited to contribute to the effort of making effective treatments accessible to those who need them most. In his free time, Phillip enjoys reading, climbing, traveling, and spending time in nature.

Katherine Miller

Katherine Miller Clinical Research Associate

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Katherine Miller

Katherine Miller

Clinical Research Associate

Kate earned a B.A. in Anthropology in 2014 from Indiana University, Indianapolis. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation, Kate worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator for a global SMO conducting trials on a gamut of conditions to include, Vaccines, Insomnia, Hypertension, Hyperlipidemia, Type II Diabetes, and Migraines. She also worked as a Clinical Research Technician and Social Media Specialist for IU School of Medicine, conducting trials on schizophrenia and initiating a social media campaign to raise awareness for mental health and promote their clinical research studies.

At MAPS PBC, Kate is currently serving as a Clinical Research Associate, supporting the Phase 3 MDMA-Assisted psychotherapy studies for patients with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Kate is thrilled to provide her previous experience and contribute to MAPS PBC. She has a passion to help normalize and break the taboo surrounding not only mental health, but also alternative mental health treatments, like psychedelics. She is honored to be able to contribute and is excited to see the cultural change that psychedelic therapy and the exploration of consciousness brings to our society.

Kate resides in colorful Colorado with her husband and two cardigan welsh corgis. In her free time, Kate enjoys hiking new trails, candid photography, reading & writing, crafting up a storm, impromptu dance sessions in the kitchen, and taking entirely too many photos of her corgis.

Emily Gworek

Emily Gworek Clinical Study Assistant (CSA)

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Emily Gworek

Emily Gworek

Clinical Study Assistant (CSA)

Emily earned her B.S. in biopsychology in 2020 from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), Emily was involved with UCSB’s chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, participated in the SSDP Psychedelic Pipeline program, and founded a chapter of Psychedelic Club on campus. Emily also spent time working as an intern at Massachusetts General Hospital in the Center for Addiction Medicine, where she helped with a study investigating the effects of medical marijuana on neurocognition.

At MPBC, Emily is currently serving as a Clinical Study Assistant working on Phase 3 MDMA-Assisted psychotherapy studies for patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Emily is passionate about drug policy reform and harm reduction strategies. She is excited to support the Clinical Operations team and believes psychedelic medicine plays an important role in developing a more holistic model of mental healthcare. In her free time, Emily enjoys skiing, cooking, and camping.

Naveed Emadi

Naveed Emadi Clinical Study Assistant (CSA)

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Naveed Emadi

Naveed Emadi

Clinical Study Assistant (CSA)

Naveed Emadi earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 2017 from the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Prior to joining the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and/or MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Naveed worked as a quality assurance specialist, where he helped a cannabis testing laboratory create and implement SOPs, finalize method validations, and comply with BCC (Bureau of Cannabis Control) and ISO 17025 Standards/Regulations, in the state of California. He has also worked for a biotech company in which he ran analytical assays to determine the drugs stability, during the process development stage.

At MAPS PBC, Naveed is currently serving as a clinical study assistant (CSA), supporting and aiding the clinical operations team.

He is excited to join the Clinical Operations team and be able to learn from all the talented people in this organization. He is passionate about growing and learning with likeminded individuals.

Naveed joined MAPS/MAPS PBC to help make a difference in the world for individuals who are suffering, and to provide alternative and educational insight on psychedelic psychotherapy.

He hopes to help improve the alternative options for treating mental illnesses and stigma around psychedelic usage.

In Naveed’s free time, he enjoys to go hiking in nature, meditating, producing music, traveling the world, and enjoying time with family and friends.

Kelsea Brown

Kelsea Brown Clinical Study Assistant

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Kelsea Brown

Kelsea Brown

Clinical Study Assistant

Kelsea earned her B.S. in Neuroscience and Behavior in 2015 from the University of New Hampshire. She is currently a graduate student at Capella University, pursuing her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Kelsea first became involved with MAPS as a Night Attendant, providing care for participants in MDMA-Assisted psychotherapy studies, and later became a Study Coordinator for the U.S. Therapist Training study. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), she was an operations coordinator for a CSA organization, working to promote food equity and accessibility in the Charleston area by bridging the gap between local farmers and communities with limited access to affordable, nutritious food. She also spent six months earning her Permaculture Design Certification through Ecoversity of Costa Rica.

At MPBC, Kelsea is currently serving as a Clinical Study Assistant, supporting the IDEA team with clinical operations of MDMA studies. She is committed to making psychedelic medicines accessible and is specifically passionate about exploring MDMA’s capacity for facilitating personal growth, meaningful connections, and transformation. Kelsea is filled with gratitude to be involved in the healing work that MAPS/MPBC is carrying out. In her free time, she can be found dancing, painting, gardening, and working on her converted bus/camper.

Morgan Kelly

Morgan Kelly Clinical Study Assistant (CSA)

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Morgan Kelly

Morgan Kelly

Clinical Study Assistant (CSA)

Morgan earned a B.A. in psychology in 2012 from the St. Edward’s University and a M.A. in psychological research in 2016 from the Texas State University. Her research mainly focused on substance use issues. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Morgan worked in academic research for over four years, most recently as a scientific assistant on a clinical trial examining the efficacy of contingency management to treat alcohol use disorder (AUD) in individuals with co-occurring AUD and serious mental illness in a community mental health setting.

At MAPS PBC, Morgan is currently serving as a clinical study assistant with the IDEA team and will be mainly working on Expanded Access programs and Investigator Initiated Trials. Morgan is passionate about reducing health disparities and increasing accessibility to holistic treatment approaches for substance use dependence and PTSD, including MDMA-assisted therapy! She is committed to expanding the scope of psychedelic medical research to help make this treatment option available to all those individuals who would benefit from it.

In Morgan’s free time, she enjoys cooking and baking, strength training, yoga, and hiking in the PNW, listening to podcasts, and spending quality time snuggling up with her partner, Luke, and her cat-dog-pig, Wuzi (a shih tzu mix). When it’s safe, she’ll get back to traveling as much as possible and indoor rock climbing too!

Vignesh Ravichandran

Vignesh Ravichandran Clinical Study Assistant

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Vignesh Ravichandran

Vignesh Ravichandran

Clinical Study Assistant

Vignesh earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Washington, Seattle in 2019. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), Vignesh worked as a Clinical Lab Assistant, then as a Quality Assurance Associate helping with diagnostic testing and clinical research operations at a reference laboratory.

At MPBC Vignesh is currently serving as a IIT CSA on our IDEA team. He is focusing on the process improvement of how we collaborate with our ever-growing network of independent researchers that are looking to partner with MPBC.

From childhood through the present, various experiences drew Vignesh’s attention towards exploring spirituality and the inner healing potential everyone possesses. He believes the research done by MAPS PBC is incredibly important in helping us better understand how we can utilize psychedelic-assisted therapy for human inner healing and is grateful to be a part of a team of people who are making an honest effort to study it. In Vignesh’s free time, he loves adventuring with friends, making music, spending quality time with family, and exploring the wilderness.

Ashley Long

Ashley Long Clinical Study Assistant (CSA)

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Ashley Long

Ashley Long

Clinical Study Assistant (CSA)

Ashley Long earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with honors in 2020 from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Prior to joining the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Ashley worked in a variety of occupations, most recently immersed in the field of sustainable agriculture which has inspired her desire to seek and devise affordable, sustainable, and innovative approaches to mental health and wellness.

At MAPS PBC, Ashley is currently a Clinical Study Assistant on the Phase 3 Pivotal Team. Ashley recently joined this team after serving in her role as eTMF Associate where she spent her time focusing on the implementation of an archival system for past studies and the filing and management of current studies. She is thrilled to be a part of a team exploring groundbreaking treatment methods for a variety of the problems society currently faces - in particular, the management of substance use and PTSD.

Ashley joined MAPS/MAPS PBC to learn more about the development of clinical interventions and become more involved in creating what she sees as methodologies which will be invaluable to future treatment protocols.

Ashley believes that the work being done at MAPS is going to afford access to mental health care to a greater number of at-risk individuals in a rapid and financially sound manner that is not currently available.

In Ashley’s free time she loves organic gardening, traveling, surfing, homesteading, biking, and running trails with her two dogs.

Katherine Spiech

Katherine Spiech Clinical Study Assistant (CSA)

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Katherine Spiech

Katherine Spiech

Clinical Study Assistant (CSA)

Katherine received her bachelor of science (B.S.) degree in neuroscience from Indiana University, Bloomington in 2018. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), she worked as senior clinical study specialist for the Division of Nephrology at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Her previous areas of research include chronic kidney disease (CKD) genetics, CKD phosphorus absorption and bone density correlates, kidney transplant rejection, hypertension pharmacogenomics, and cognitive development.

Currently, she acts as a clinical study assistant (CSA) and aids with MPBC’s first collaboration trial, using MDMA-assisted therapy to treat those suffering from PTSD.

Katherine is an avid supporter of mental health reform and believes that MAPS will play an integral role in creating a more supportive, healing, and equitable medical culture. One day, she would like to practice functional psychiatry with focuses in trauma, women’s health, and wholeness.

In her free time, Katherine enjoys exploring the woods, learning about the medicinal properties of plants and fungi, playing/writing music, and hanging out with her pet chinchilla, Adelfa.

Yasmeen Alshabasy

Yasmeen Alshabasy Clinical Study Assistant (CSA)

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Yasmeen Alshabasy

Yasmeen Alshabasy

Clinical Study Assistant (CSA)

Yasmeen Alshabasy earned a bachelor’s degree in science in society with a concentration in sociology in 2020 from Wesleyan University. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Yasmeen served as a writing educator at an all-girls middle school in Brooklyn, NY. Previously, Yasmeen researched at the Johns Hopkins Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health where she investigated the impact of dualsensory impairment on health care interactions. At Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health, Yasmeen studied the impact of personal and work-related burnout on suicidal ideation and behavior, which generated her personal interest into the impacts of systemic and generational trauma.

At MAPS PBC, Yasmeen is currently serving as a clinical study assistant (CSA) on the pivotal program team, working on Phase 3 MDMA-assisted therapy studies for PTSD treatment.
She is passionate about the potential of psychedelic healing modalities to restore mind-body-spirit wellbeing and is thrilled to be joining a team devoted to collective healing, community care, and harm reduction. Yasmeen believes that all humans organically have the capacity to heal, and psychedelics offer a powerful tool to actualize transformation. She is humbled to continue learning how plant medicine may alter our neurochemistry, transform our consciousness, and promote collective healing. In Yasmeen’s free time, she enjoys biking, cooking, painting, breathwork, and being in nature.

Marquita Polite

Marquita Polite Ratings and Measures Associate

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Marquita Polite

Marquita Polite

Ratings and Measures Associate

Marquita Polite earned a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences with concentrations in Social Work and Latin American Studies in 2008 from the University of South Florida. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), Marquita worked a behavioral health case manager where she provided care coordination for children in foster care or that had been adopted. Marquita has been in the mental health field since earning her bachelor’s degree in 2008.

At MPBC, Marquita is currently serving as a Ratings and Measures Associate focusing on ensuring Independent Rater assessments are conducted in a timely manner and that questionnaires and measures have appropriate permissions. Marquita focuses on maintaining in-house filing and tracking of Independent Rater documentation throughout the conduct of the study.

Marquita joined MAPS/MPBC in order to advocate for non-traditional methods of treating mental illness. Marquita believes that everyone deserves equal access to quality mental health care and dreams of a world free of stigma related to mental illness. In Marquita’s free time, she enjoys playing with her orange tabby cat Dallas, crafting and gardening.

Roman Alcocer

Roman Alcocer Clinical Quality Research Associate

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Roman Alcocer

Roman Alcocer

Clinical Quality Research Associate

Roman Alcocer is a clinical quality research associate for MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC) and is responsible for assisting sites and study teams with audit preparedness, verifying that investigators and the sponsor adhere to regulatory standards, and ensuring quality across studies. Roman joined MAPS PBC in 2019 as a document control specialist on the clinical systems team where he managed migrations of clinical documents, trained users to various platforms, conducted user acceptance testing (UATs), and provided quality reviews of eTMF. In 2020, he switched to the quality assurance unit first as a quality assurance associate where he helped develop standard operating procedures (SOPs), create the audit program, and build department processes.

Roman earned a bachelor of science in mathematics in 2017 from University of California, Santa Barbara, where he discovered an appreciation for formal logic, Mandelbrot sets, and Fibonacci sequences (such as the pattern underlying the MAPS logo). Prior to joining MAPS PBC, he worked as an admissions evaluator at UC Santa Cruz, as a naturalist in Point Reyes National Seashore, and as a customer success manager at a product management software startup. He is passionate about establishing a safe and legal framework for society to benefit from the skillful use of psychedelics, and a firm believer in cognitive liberty. Roman can often be found in nature with friends, sitting on a cushion, searching for the perfect vegan burrito, and spending time with a good book.

 

Advisors

Julie Holland, M.D.

Julie Holland, M.D.

Julie Holland, M.D., is a psychiatrist specializing in psychopharmacology with a private practice in New York City. Her book “Weekends at Bellevue” chronicles her nine years running the psychiatric emergency room as an attending physician on the faculty of NYU School of Medicine. Frequently featured on the Today show and CNN’s documentary series “Weed,” Holland is the editor of "The Pot Book" and "Ecstasy: The Complete Guide." (Both books are non-profit projects that help to fund clinical therapeutic research.)

Dr. Holland, now their medical advisor, was the medical monitor for several MAPS PTSD studies utilizing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy or testing strains of cannabis with varying CBD/THC ratios. She has worked for decades on US drug policy reform based on harm reduction principles. Her 2016 book, “Moody Bitches:The Truth About the Drugs You're Taking, the Sleep You're Missing, the Sex You're Not Having, and What's Really Making You Crazy” has been translated into eleven languages. Her most recent book, “Good Chemistry: The Science of Connection, From Soul to Psychedelics” was published in June 2020. Holland sits on the scientific and medical advisory board of several cannabis and psychedelic corporations.

Training & Supervision

Christy Merts

Christy Merts Training Coordinator

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Christy Merts

Christy Merts

Training Coordinator

Christy Merts earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2015 and a master’s degree in instructional design from Florida State University in 2017. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), she worked as a training coordinator for a software company where she helped run a successful train-the-trainer program, created curriculum, and facilitated classroom style and virtual training sessions for the Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services.

At MAPS PBC, Christy is currently serving as a training coordinator, focusing on supporting the operations, event planning, and developing instructional handouts for the MDMA Therapy Training Program.

Christy is thrilled to be joining MAPS PBC at such a critical time and contributing to the MDMA Therapy Training Program. She is motivated by MAPS’ mission to revolutionize the way we treat and heal mental illness.

Christy strives to continuously improve herself and create a space for others that encourages authenticity, empathy, and self-improvement. In her free time, Christy enjoys spending time doing everything that she can outside: running, camping, climbing, and hiking with friends. She also enjoys experimenting with cooking different meals and can be found constantly drinking coffee and listening to podcasts.

Jess Lin, M.P.H.

Jess Lin, M.P.H. Adherence and Supervision Program Manager

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Jess Lin, M.P.H.

Jess Lin, M.P.H.

Adherence and Supervision Program Manager

Jess Lin, M.P.H., is the Adherence and Supervision Program Manager at the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), where she works to support development of systems and infrastructure for the oversight of therapists in the delivery of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in MAPS protocols.

Prior to joining MAPS PBC, Jess led public health research and intervention programs in public, academic, and not-for-profit settings, including at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, and San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Her work has included projects to identify health needs and protective factors amongst an international cohort of trans women, conduct advocacy and policy work with youth experiencing homelessness, and support harm reduction services for people who inject drugs. Jess received a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies and Comparative Literature from Brown University in 2005 and a master’s in public health from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2010.

Jess is deeply committed to strengthening the ties between science and love. She is honored to be working with the MAPS PBC team in service of individual and collective wellness and liberation. She is a steadfast friend, avid reader, ecstatic dancer, and cat whisperer.

Lillian Smith

Lillian Smith Adherence and Supervision Coordinator

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Lillian Smith

Lillian Smith

Adherence and Supervision Coordinator

Lillian Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience with a minor in public health from Boston University in 2013. As an undergraduate, Lillian interned at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, working on European pharmaceutical policy. Following graduation, she worked in Nobel laureate Susumu Tonegawa’s lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she used optogenics to study the neural circuitry involved in learning and memory.  Lillian was most recently a preclinical researcher at Decibel Therapeutics in Boston, where she helped discover new therapies to treat hearing loss and other inner ear disorders.

At MAPS PBC, Lillian is an Adherence and Supervision coordinator, supporting the oversight of therapists involved in MAPS-sponsored trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. She focuses on the coordination of Adherence and Supervision programs for the MP18 trial in Europe. MP18 is a Phase 2 trial (open-label) that will lead into MAPP3, our Phase 3 (RCT) trial in Europe.

Lillian is a dedicated meditator and has lived as a resident at the Cambridge Zen Center in Cambridge, MA., for more than two years. As part of her residency, she helps to support meditation retreats and leads several meditation groups, including a bi-weekly group at the Women’s Prison in Framingham, MA. Lillian is currently completing her Level 2 meditation instructor training through Unified Mindfulness.

Lillian is thrilled to have the opportunity to be involved with such a cutting-edge clinical trial. She is excited about the unlocked potential of psychedelics to change the way we treat trauma and mental illness.

In her free time, Lillian is a dedicated cyclist and rower. She loves cooking and spending time with her family on their organic farm in Wisconsin.

 

George Barrera

George Barrera Adherence and Supervision Coordinator

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George Barrera

George Barrera

Adherence and Supervision Coordinator

George earned a bachelor’s degree in health sciences and an undergraduate certificate in family health in 2007 from Trident University, a master’s degree in human anatomy and physiology instruction in 2015 from New York Chiropractic College, and is currently working towards a master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from Capella University. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), George worked in higher education, teaching human anatomy and physiology, and as a faculty member and program director in surgical technology.

At MAPS PBC, George is currently serving as Adherence and Supervision Coordinator, supporting adherence rating and supervision of MAPS-sponsored clinical trials through development and maintenance of data systems that monitor and coordinate adherence rating and supervision of therapist working in MAPS-sponsored clinical trials. He is passionate about helping others. For several years he worked in the surgical setting as a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) and Certified Surgical First Assistant (CSFA), specializing in pediatric and maxillofacial reconstructive surgery. More recently his educational pursuit has led him toward the field of marriage and family therapy, where he is hoping to continue helping others in an a different but just as impactful way.

George joined MAPS PBC in order to be part of a team whose interests lie in the betterment of mental health for others. He believes that there are potentially better mental health options, such as MDMA-assisted therapy, that could be available to those suffering from mental health issues, such as PTSD, and that MAPS PBC is doing important work to reopen those doors for the future.

In George’s free time, he enjoys reading, playing chess, and most of all cooking for his family.

Wesley Hale, M.S.

Wesley Hale, M.S. Training Program Manager

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Wesley Hale, M.S.

Wesley Hale, M.S.

Training Program Manager

Wesley Hale graduated with his Master's degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from San Francisco State University. Wesley was Graduate Research Assistant in the Health and Organizational Psychology Lab, Workforce Technology Research Lab, and Employee Selection and Retention Lab. Prior to joining MAPS PBC, Wesley gained experience working in the education field and applied his training in I/O Psychology at a game-based assessment company. He taught children with autism spectrum disorders and went on to teach a variety of subjects in the Orange County Public School District. Before moving to San Francisco, he spent two summers in China as a guest lecturer at Xi’an Jiaotong University.

Wesley helped develop the Student for Sensible Drug Policy's Psychedelic Pipeline Career Mentorship Program. Throughout Wesley's career, he has been fueled by a passion for education and creating conditions to promote individual and collective growth. In his free time, Wesley enjoys tea, meditation, mentoring, and listening to music from around the world.

Shannon Prahl

Shannon Prahl Clinical Supervision Program Manager

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Shannon Prahl

Shannon Prahl

Clinical Supervision Program Manager

Shannon Prahl, MSW, LCSW, is the Clinical Supervision Program Manager at the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit.  As Clinical Supervision Program Manager, Shannon oversees the development and implementation of programs that provide clinical supervision to therapists who have completed the MDMA Therapy Training Program and are delivering MDMA-assisted therapy.

Shannon’s career reflects her love of learning and commitment to engaging others in their ongoing development and growth.  She is a licensed psychotherapist and works with a diverse caseload of clients in a private practice setting.  She holds a Professional Educator License and has worked with children and families in the school setting.  Shannon has an extensive background in clinical supervision, overseeing clinical supervision programs at Aurora University and Loyola University Chicago. At Aurora University Shannon served as adjunct professor, teaching graduate courses in the School of Social Work.  Shannon is inspired by the healing possibilities of psychedelic assisted therapy and is excited to be part of the team working to bring this new pathway to healing to all who may benefit.

Shannon earned her MSW from Loyola University Chicago in the field of Clinical Social Work and received her B.A. from North Central College in the fields of Psychology and Sociology.  Her passion for expansion, growth, and healing is expressed through additional coursework in Naturopathy, Geology and her certification and ongoing training in Reiki and other methods of healing and energy work.  Shannon loves the outdoors and is inspired by new adventures.

 

Angelica Garcia, B.S.

Angelica Garcia, B.S. Training Coordinator

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Angelica Garcia, B.S.

Angelica Garcia, B.S.

Training Coordinator

Angelica earned a B.S. in Molecular Environmental Biology and a B.A. in Anthropology in 2013 from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation, Angelica worked as a research associate at a clinical biotech company where she assisted in research on gene/protein therapies and provided support to the pharmacology group. She also worked in a CLIA/CAP laboratory at a cancer diagnostics company isolating tumor cells containing specific biomarkers. While living at the Berkeley Student Cooperative, Angelica was the elected health worker for her 60-person co-op where she spoke to students about mental health resources, hosted consent and harm reduction workshops, and organized talks on alternative medicines.

At MAPS PBC, Angelica is currently serving as a Training Coordinator for the MDMA Therapy Training Program, focusing on supporting trainees in their progress through the program. Angelica is interested in the potential benefits of expanded states of consciousness and how transformative experiences can be utilized for therapeutic purposes. She is passionate about making psychedelic medicine inclusive and accessible to all, especially people of color and those who have been historically underrepresented in clinical research. In her free time, Angelica loves dancing, drinking tea, going to the beach, and playing deck-building card games.

Gatisa Noble

Gatisa Noble Training and Supervision Project Manager

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Gatisa Noble

Gatisa Noble

Training and Supervision Project Manager

Gatisa earned a Holistic Health Counseling Certificate in 2001 from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC and an ISO 9001:2000/AS9100 Internal Auditor Certificate in 2005 from Excel Partnership. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), she worked in various fields including nonprofit fundraising, public administration, data management, and product manufacturing and distribution. Most recently, Gatisa worked as an Administrative Aide at the County of Santa Cruz, where she learned about the inner workings of our local and State public health systems. Gatisa also served as Director of Membership and Sales at MAPS PBC’s parent organization, MAPS, from 2010-2011. She is delighted that her path has led her back to MAPS PBC nearly a decade later.

Gatisa is passionate about whole person care and is thrilled to be helping to create a new, accessible framework for healing that prioritizes people above profit. In her free time, Gatisa enjoys volunteer fundraising, vegetarian cooking, coloring and making play-doh art with her two sons, listening to Eckhart Tolle, researching everything under the sun, and making millions of plans for the future.

Ben Crowell

Ben Crowell Training Coordinator

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Ben Crowell

Ben Crowell

Training Coordinator

Ben Crowell earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2004 from Stanford University and is currently working towards a master’s in East-West psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Ben worked at Google in a variety of product and marketing roles, including running a global marketing team at Waze and contributing to early commercialization strategy at YouTube.

At MAPS PBC, Ben is currently serving as a training coordinator, providing support for participants in the MDMA Therapy Training Program and contributing to the development and maintenance of training, planning, and communication materials.

Ben believes very deeply in the potential of psychedelics to be a catalyst for both individual and collective healing as well as the evolution of human consciousness. He is thrilled to be in a position to personally contribute to the MAPS PBC mission.

Ben is passionate about teaching, learning, and exploring. In his free time, he enjoys reading, hiking, golfing, playing tennis, cooking, gardening, stargazing, and watching and following most sports.

Veena Muthusamy

Veena Muthusamy Training Coordinator

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Veena Muthusamy

Veena Muthusamy

Training Coordinator

Veena earned her MBA from Presidio Graduate School, where she focused on the movement that envisions business as a force for good. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC) she worked in Corporate Sustainability and Social Impact, where she helped companies reimagine their responsibility to their employees, the communities they operate within, and society as a whole.

At MPBC, Veena is currently serving as a Training Coordinator, focusing on supporting the operations, admissions, and growth of the MDMA Therapy Training Program.

As a first-generation American with roots in South Indian farming culture, Veena found purpose at a young age protecting nature’s vision of abundance. The more she unraveled her passion for sustainability she realized there are core levers to push that would help people believe in the interconnectedness of all living things. She followed that thread to MAPS/MAPS PBC and is incredibly excited to support the fundamental idea that every person has an innate ability to heal.

In her free time, Veena loves long weekend hikes, all things Burning Man, and bringing her dog Lilly the Love Monster on all her adventures.

Shannon Carlin, M.A., L.M.F.T.

Shannon Carlin, M.A., L.M.F.T. Chief of Therapy Training and Supervision

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Shannon Carlin, M.A., L.M.F.T.

Shannon Carlin, M.A., L.M.F.T.

Chief of Therapy Training and Supervision

Shannon Carlin, M.A., L.M.F.T., is the Chief of Therapy Training and Supervision at the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit. As the Chief of Training and Supervision, Shannon leads the development and implementation of clinical training and supervision programs that prepare clinicians and counselors to deliver MDMA-assisted therapy in approved clinical settings around the world. Shannon started working with MAPS in 2011 before joining MAPS PBC in 2016.

In her dedication to supporting people through growth and healing, Shannon has served as a co-therapist on MAPS-sponsored Phase 2 trials researching MDMA-assisted therapy for anxiety associated with life-threatening illness and MDMA-assisted therapy for severe PTSD. She currently works with clients through the California Center for Psychedelic Therapy, delivering transpersonal approaches, psychedelic integration, and ketamine-assisted psychotherapy. Shannon’s direct clinical work continues to inform her role at MAPS PBC and the MDMA Therapy Training Program.

Shannon’s previous professional experience includes the development of community programs delivering resources, services, training, and support for healthy living, life skills, employment, and positive youth development. Her work has served adults with schizophrenia, bipolar, and substance use disorder, families and youth in low-income residential settings, and high school students learning about moderation management of drug and alcohol use. Shannon is passionate about addressing homelessness, she has volunteered with housing projects and shelters and completed a farm internship with the Homeless Garden Project.

Shannon received her master’s degree in Integral Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies and a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. An adventurer at heart, Shannon can be found in nature, backpacking, running, and dancing. She celebrates and cultivates relationship and community and is passionate about life, love, and thriving.

People Operations and Culture

Michelle Lacy

Michelle Lacy SR. Human Resources Manager

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Michelle Lacy

Michelle Lacy

SR. Human Resources Manager

Michelle Lacy earned a bachelor’s degree in management and human resources in 2008 from Utah State University. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), Michelle oversaw the HR function within California for an artisanal ice cream company, Salt & Straw. She has over 10 years of experience in the field and two professional HR certifications, PHR and SHRM-CP.

At MPBC, Michelle focuses on all things related to people and culture while streamlining and standardizing the HR infrastructure. Michelle joined MPBC because she was really drawn to the mission and the meaningful work and research that is being done here.

In her free time, Michelle can be found walking/playing with her dog. She also enjoys working out, traveling, and lounging at the beach with a cold beer.

Erica Scott

Erica Scott Director of People and Culture

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Erica Scott

Erica Scott

Director of People and Culture

Erica is a dynamic business professional with a bachelor's degree in global business and a master's degree both from Arizona State University. With over 20 years in the human resource field, her professional experience includes working with various local businesses, start-ups, and national companies. Erica holds certifications with two global agencies obtaining the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Society for Human Resources Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) designation. To demonstrate her commitment to work with the veteran community, she also holds the Veterans at Work certification from the SHRM Foundation. She also attended Southwest Institute for Healing Arts to complete a certification in life coaching. Erica lives in Phoenix and loves to travel attending comic-cons, brushing up on her Russian, studying the violin, and trying to turn her brown thumb green with an array of houseplants from a veteran who has the patience of a saint.

Jamelia Avalos

Jamelia Avalos Human Resources Manager

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Jamelia Avalos

Jamelia Avalos

Human Resources Manager

Jamelia Avalos joined the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC) from the investment banking industry where she worked with Deutsche Bank Investment Banking Company, one of the world's leading financial service providers, for over 10 years. She brings over 14 years of experience in senior executive sales coordination, human resources, marketing and roadshow execution. Prior to MAPS PBC, she worked as a roadshow/marketing coordinator where she coordinated and executed U.S. Equity Non-Deal Roadshow for Deutsch Bank's entire West Coast region. Prior to that, Jamelia was the Senior Executive Sales Coordinator for major investment banking companies in San Francisco and New York.

At MAPS PBC, Jamelia is currently serving as the Human Resources Manager, reporting to the Director of People and Culture and will focusing on all things related to human resources.

Jamelia is thrilled to be doing meaningful work at MAPS PBC and is excited that there is a part for her to play in helping to advance the mission. Jamelia is originally from Connecticut and attended Long Island University, where she studied science. Jamelia currently lives in Northern California with her husband and daughter. In her free time, she enjoys going to the movies, planning parties, traveling with her husband, cooking, crafting, and playing soccer with her little girl.

Quality Assurance

Sarah Pihl

Sarah Pihl Senior Quality Assurance Associate

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Sarah Pihl

Sarah Pihl

Senior Quality Assurance Associate

Sarah earned her B.A. in psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 2019. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation, Sarah worked multiple years as a Research Assistant in the developmental research labs at UCSC where she focused on moral development in infants. 

At MPBC, Sarah is currently serving as the Senior Quality Assurance Associate. Her responsibilities include maintaining and expanding the controlled document library, managing the internal GxP training platform, and supporting inspection readiness activities. Sarah is excited to continue working for MAPS PBC with the goal of finding an efficacious treatment for PTSD that does not require the long-term use of medicinal products. Outside of her work at MAPS PBC, Sarah enjoys reading, drinking herbal teas, and playing ultimate frisbee in the SF Bay area.

Information Technology

Andrew Marty

Andrew Marty Information Technology Support Technician

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Andrew Marty

Andrew Marty

Information Technology Support Technician

Andrew Marty earned a bachelor’s degree in Network Communications and Management in 2016 from the DeVry University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Information Technology Management with a focus on Information Security in 2020 from the Keller Graduate School of Management. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Andrew worked as a Technology Associate at Capsule in New York City where he brought 10 years of IT experience with him. He implemented numerous projects such as mobile device management, standards and policies on hardware/software across the company, and helped Capsule expand into numerous markets. At MAPS PBC, Andrew is currently serving as an Information Technology Support Technician, working on Office 365/Azure projects, implementing our mobile device management system and making sure every employee at MAPS PBC is looked after. Andrew has helped IT infrastructure flourish from small to large businesses. He’s overseen many projects that have made the companies he’s worked for grow stronger and smarter in order to help those companies fulfill their visions. Andrew is passionate about the MAPS PBC mission and in his spare time Andrew loves going to wineries with his wife, computer gaming, long walks, eating all kinds of food and always learning about the IT field.

Larry Narachi

Larry Narachi IT Program Manager

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Larry Narachi

Larry Narachi

IT Program Manager

Larry brings over 20 years of IT leadership to MAPS PBC. He is skilled in strategic planning and execution of IT specific regulatory compliance. Larry has a strong technical background with his work at medical device manufacturers General Surgical Innovations and Kyphon, as well as experience with Software-as-a-Service organizations. Larry is passionate about the mission at MAPS PBC and in his spare time Larry plays drums, rides his road and mountain bicycles and enjoys the outdoors.

 

Accounting and Finance

Desra Diehl

Desra Diehl Staff Accountant

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Desra Diehl

Desra Diehl

Staff Accountant

Desra earned a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration in 2016 from Kent State University. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), she worked with one of Ohio's leading nonprofit community behavioral health agencies. She began her career in low level clerk accounting and over the course of four years earned two promotions. She had the opportunity to create her final position as Treasury Management and Accounting Coordinator with her prior company. She has broad experience in many different functions of finance including treasury, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and grant administration. Desra is also a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and hopes to soon become a black belt.

At MAPS PBC, Desra is currently serving as a staff accountant, where she will work closely with the Controller, CFO and other finance staff to develop and tone processes and participate in monthly financial processes. Desra was involved in Kent State University’s Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) chapter in leadership roles including President and Treasurer. She joined MAPS PBC in order to be a part of an organization that will shift the trajectory for mental health treatment in the future.

In Desra’s free time, she enjoys traveling, painting, and hanging out with her dog.

Jane Zahniser

Jane Zahniser Program Analyst

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Jane Zahniser

Jane Zahniser

Program Analyst

Jane graduated from the University of Arizona in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), Jane worked at KPMG in the audit practice while becoming a Certified Public Accountant. She then transitioned to a finance role at a software technology company within the public transportation sector. At MPBC, Jane is currently serving as a Program Analyst, following site studies from contract & budget execution through to completion to assess performance.

In Jane’s free time, you can find her on the mountain either skiing or foraging for mushrooms, at an open-air concert or show, or riding her bike around town. Her passion projects consist of: transportation equity and accessibility for all, the environmental impact of modern day agriculture, and the healing potential of psychedelic drugs!

Michael Ruggles

Michael Ruggles Financial Analyst

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Michael Ruggles

Michael Ruggles

Financial Analyst

Mike Ruggles earned a bachelor of science degree in finance, with a focus on actuarial mathematics, in 2012 from Bryant University. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Mike worked in the corporate sector as a lead financial analyst, where he developed financial data forecasting tools to drive efficient and intelligent business practices. He also assisted in successful operational integration for large scale acquisitions, as a member of a global incentive compensation team.

At MAPS PBC, Mike is currently serving as a financial analyst, assisting with budgeting and forecasting cycles, modeling financial and operational analytics, and developing metrics to evaluate and direct business performance.

Mike joined MAPS PBC in order to explore and contribute to the exciting field of alternative medicine, while continuing to develop as a financial business partner. He cares greatly about advancing accessibility to effective treatment of mental health around the world and is committed to using his analytical and financial skills to help MPBC continue to evolve and progress.

In his free time, Mike is an active outdoorsman as a splitboarder, conservationist, and bow hunter in the mountains of Montana.

Judy Calkins

Judy Calkins Financial Controller

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Judy Calkins

Judy Calkins

Financial Controller

Judy brings with her years of experience in numerous finance, leadership, IT, and acquisition/transition teams. She has worked in the non-profit, for-profit, and benefit corporation sectors. She enjoys the "puzzle" of accounting and finance and balances it with a style of being pragmatic, flexible, and fun. She is a native Californian and currently lives in San Diego with her family. She enjoys going to Mammoth Mountain as often as she can for skiing, hiking, golfing, and the great outdoors.

Nicole Tavernier-Luebcke

Nicole Tavernier-Luebcke Contracts Administrator

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Nicole Tavernier-Luebcke

Nicole Tavernier-Luebcke

Contracts Administrator

Nicole Tavernier-Luebcke earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a focus on clinical research from the University of South Florida (USF) in 2019. Nicole is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) graduate degree at USF. Nicole has over 13 years of experience in a diverse range of practice areas in the legal field. At MAPS PBC, Nicole serves as Contracts Manager and manages the contracting process from initiation to completion, works with internal staff and legal counsel on reviewing and editing agreements, facilitates execution, and stores and maintains documents in the contracts database.

Nicole enjoys hanging out with her family, drawing, painting, playing disc golf with her husband, attending plays and musical theater with her daughter, and traveling to visit her son and granddaughter in Colorado.

Ryan Hudgins

Ryan Hudgins Director of Financial Planning and Analysis

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Ryan Hudgins

Ryan Hudgins

Director of Financial Planning and Analysis

Ryan Hudgins earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and entrepreneurial management from the University of Iowa in 2009. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Ryan held a variety of corporate strategy roles in the financial services industry where he developed a knack for executing process improvement initiatives and creative reporting optimization.

At MAPS PBC, Ryan is currently serving as Director of Financial Planning & Analysis, focusing on leading budgeting and forecasting cycles, modeling financial and operational analytics, and developing metrics to evaluate and direct business performance. Ryan is committed to exploring the significant role psychedelic drug development will play in addressing mental health issues around the world. Ryan joined MAPS PBC in order to enhance business intelligence tools to support strategic imperatives for the organization.

Jason Vetrano, S.P.H.R.

Jason Vetrano, S.P.H.R.

Program Analyst

Jason earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Wayne State University, and a master’s degree in Creative Writing from Naropa University. He also recently obtained a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) credential from the HR Certification Institute. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), Jason worked as the Business Officer in the Office of Admissions at Colorado State University, where he managed the budget, as well as the human resources functions for the department. At MAPS PBC, Jason is currently serving as Finance and Human Resources Specialist, focusing on contracts, payments and invoicing, and all things related to human resources. Jason was introduced to MAPS by his wife Laura, who is a therapist training in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder. He is thrilled to be doing meaningful work at MAPS, and filled with gratitude that there is a part for him to play in helping to advance the mission. Jason lives in Fort Collins, CO, and enjoys spending time with his family and friends, hiking, running, reading, making music, and cooking.

Andrew “Mo” Septimus

Andrew “Mo” Septimus Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

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Andrew “Mo” Septimus

Andrew “Mo” Septimus

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Andrew "Mo" Septimus is an experienced entrepreneur with a track record of managing multimillion-dollar raises and budgets, complex projects, and teams. He has worked in private equity and acted as CFO in various industries. Mo brings a compassionate, outgoing, and resourceful leadership style, coupled with practical optimism and a sense of humor. He enjoys craft beverages, hockey, herring, kiddish club, and long walks on the beach. Mo is from Queens, New York, and lives with his family in Surfside, Florida.

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MAPS PBC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). MAPS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization.