Who We Are

The BCSP community includes scholars, educators, researchers, journalists, and other professionals, all devoted to promoting health and well-being for all through culturally informed psychedelic research and accessible, accurate, and reliable public education.

eight circles of different colors arrayed in a circle


Photo of Andrea Gomez
Andrea Gomez

Andrea Gomez (Laguna Pueblo/Chicana) is an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at UC Berkeley. Her work aims to understand the instructive cues that sculpt patterns of brain activity. Her efforts led to the discovery of RNA-based programs critical for synaptic plasticity. The robust and widespread neural plasticity induced by psychedelics motivates the Gomez lab to decode the synaptic mechanisms that underlie cognitive flexibility. At BCSP, Andrea is committed to advancing research, education, and training programs that properly acknowledge Indigenous science from which present-day psychedelic practices stem.

Photo of Dacher Keltner
Dacher Keltner

Dacher Keltner is a professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center. His research focuses on the biological and evolutionary origins of compassion, awe, love, beauty, and humility, as well as power, social class, and inequality. In his role at BCSP, he is interested in what the science of psychedelics can reveal about how mystical states change moral emotions while interrogating the underlying neurophysiology of these transformations and their benefits for health and well-being. Dacher is the author of several hundred scientific articles and several books; has won many research, teaching, and service awards; and has consulted for businesses and nonprofits.

Photo of Michael Pollan
Michael Pollan

For more than thirty years, Michael Pollan has been writing books and articles about the places where the human and natural worlds intersect: on our plates, in our farms and gardens, and in our minds. He is the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley and the author of eight books, including How to Change Your Mind, his 2018 account of the renaissance of scientific research into psychedelics. In July 2022, Netflix released a docuseries based on How to Change Your Mind, exploring the history and uses of substances including LSD, psilocybin, MDMA and mescaline. Michael leads BCSP’s public-education program, the first effort from a public university to foster a well-informed, nuanced understanding of psychedelics.

Photo of Michael Silver
Michael Silver

Michael Silver is a professor in the School of Optometry and the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at UC Berkeley, and is the director of BCSP. Research in the Silver laboratory focuses on the brain mechanisms of visual perception, attention, and learning. His team seeks to better understand how the brain actively constructs representations of the visual environment by using a combination of perceptual, brain imaging, computational modeling, and pharmacological techniques. Although Michael has been conducting pharmacological studies in humans for fifteen years, the initial studies as part of BCSP will be the first in his lab to involve psychedelic compounds. Following decades of suppression of research on the effects of psychedelic drugs in human subjects, he is thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to the renaissance of psychedelic research and to conduct experiments that shine light on the mysteries of the mind and brain.

Photo of Tina Trujillo
Tina Trujillo

Tina Trujillo is an associate professor at UC Berkeley’s School of Education, where she has researched and taught about the politics of education; policy analysis; epistemology; and the links among education, democracy, and social justice. Her current interests focus on the connections between nature and well-being, as well as the tensions and commonalities among scientific, spiritual, and Indigenous ways of knowing. Tina serves as Faculty Director of the BCSP Certificate Program, where she conducts ethnographic research and an evaluation of the program. She is interested in understanding how this training can be diverse and inclusive of historically underserved communities, how it can serve to identify best practices in the professional preparation of psychedelic facilitators, and how it may advance the use of psychedelics as tools for mending humans’ relationships with the broader natural community.

Photo of David Presti
David Presti

David Presti has taught neurobiology and psychology at UC Berkeley for over thirty years, with the history, psychological value, and known neurobiology of psychedelics as important parts of his instructional curriculum. He has also worked to shift educational dialogue and public policy related to psychedelics. For more than a decade he worked in the clinical treatment of addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. He also teaches neuroscience and converses about science with Buddhist monastics in India, Bhutan, and Nepal. David sees BCSP as poised to contribute innovative investigations related to psychedelics as probes of the nature of mind and to explore the nexus between physical science and spirituality.


Photo of Christina Cassen
Christina Cassen

Christina Cassen is BCSP’s first finance & operations manager. She brings fifteen years of leadership experience across a variety of industries: banking and financial services, alternative medicines, media, and education. She holds a BS in business management from Babson College. Christina enjoys yoga, scuba diving, and snowboarding, depending on the season. She is an avid traveler, and has visited more than sixty countries. 

Photo of Imran Khan
Imran Khan

Imran Khan is executive director of BCSP. He works closely with the faculty on strategy and manages the BCSP team. Prior to joining BCSP, Imran served as CEO of the British Science Association and as head of public engagement for Wellcome, the world’s third-largest philanthropic foundation. He has a BA in biology from the University of Oxford, a MSc in science communication from Imperial College London, and a MBA from Bayes Business School. Imran lives on a floating home and spends his free time trail running, rock climbing, gaming, enjoying science fiction, and trying to make the perfect daal.

Photo of Patrick Gutteridge
Patrick Gutteridge

Patrick Gutteridge is the senior director of development for the Berkeley Brain Initiative, which includes BCSP, within the Principal Gifts and Strategic Initiatives Berkeley Development team. Previously, Patrick co-led interdisciplinary life sciences fundraising efforts at Stanford. After serving as chief of staff to the principal and vice chancellor of McGill University, he created the university’s  successful program of engagement and philanthropy across the Western United States and Western Canada.


Photo of Jane C. Hu
Jane C. Hu

Jane C. Hu is head writer of The Microdose, a newsletter about the science, business, culture and public policy surrounding psychedelics. She is an award-winning journalist whose work has been featured in publications like Undark Magazine, Slate, The Guardian, High Country News, WIRED, The Washington Post, Smithsonian, National Geographic, The Atlantic, and Science. Before becoming a journalist, she earned a PhD in psychology from UC Berkeley.

Photo of Malia Wollan
Malia Wollan

Malia Wollan is editor in chief of journalism projects at BCSP and director of the UC Berkeley-11th Hour Food and Farming Journalism Fellowship at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. She is a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine. Her work has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, National Public Radio, New York Magazine, Fast Company,The Associated Press,PBS’s Frontline/World, and elsewhere.


Photo of Brian Anderson
Brian Anderson

Brian Anderson MD, MSc, is an assistant clinical professor and psychiatrist at UCSF/Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. He has conducted observational and clinical research on the effects of psychedelics and other drugs for over a decade, including a 2018 open-label pilot study of psilocybin-assisted group therapy for demoralization in older men who are long-term AIDS survivors. His research interests focus on the development of novel treatments for psychological distress in patients with serious medical illness. He is a clinical investigator at BCSP and is excited about the opportunity for interdisciplinary research that considers theological and religious scholarship in interpreting psychedelic experiences.

Photo of Catriona Miller
Catriona Miller

Catriona Miller is a clinical program project manager at both UCSF and UC Berkeley, with several years’ experience conducting neuroscience research and managing and coordinating neuroscience groups. She has spent the last few years working primarily on clinical trials investigating the therapeutic potential of psychedelic compounds. Her experience is in translational neuroscience research, with an interest in investigating the neural circuitry underlying psychiatric illnesses, such as addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression. At BCSP, she helps with study coordination, site and infrastructure set-up, regulatory and compliance oversight, study design and implementation, and maintaining protocol adherence.

Photo of Jennifer Mitchell
Jennifer Mitchell

Jennifer Mitchell, PhD, is the deputy associate chief of staff for research and development at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and associate professor at the neurology and psychiatry departments at UCSF, where she oversees a research program focused on understanding the neural mechanisms responsible for impulsivity and addiction in relation to stress, anxiety, depression, and trauma, and on developing novel treatment strategies for these conditions. She has completed a number of human clinical trials and currently serves as principal investigator on a pivotal FDA-guided multisite clinical study assessing the effects of MDMA on post-traumatic stress disorder. At BCSP, she helps with regulatory and compliance oversight and with study design and implementation.

Photo of Sean Noah
Sean Noah

Sean Noah, PhD, is a postdoctoral researcher in Michael Silver’s laboratory at UC Berkeley. He received his PhD at UC Davis, studying the neural mechanisms of visual attention and visual awareness. At BCSP, he uses neuroimaging and psychophysical methods to link psychedelics’ neurobiological effects in the human visual system to their profound perceptual activity. He aims to better understand psychedelics’ mechanisms of action and gain insight into the relationships between the brain and conscious perception. He’s excited about the potential of psychedelics as research tools in cognitive neuroscience and hopes to demonstrate that they can be used safely in basic research with healthy volunteers, complementing their promising therapeutic potential in clinical settings. 

Psychedelic Facilitation Certificate Program

Photo of Tina Trujillo
Tina Trujillo

Faculty Director and Principal Investigator

Tina Trujillo is an associate professor at UC Berkeley’s School of Education, where she has researched and taught about the politics of education; policy analysis; epistemology; and the links among education, democracy, and social justice. Her current interests focus on nature and well-being, as well as scientific, spiritual, and Indigenous ways of knowing. Tina is faculty director of the BCSP Certificate Program, where she conducts ethnographic research and an evaluation of the program. She is interested in understanding how this training can be diverse and inclusive, serve to identify best practices in the professional preparation of psychedelic facilitators, and advance the use of psychedelics as tools for mending humans’ relationships with the broader natural community.

Photo of Moana Meadow
Moana Meadow

Program Director, Spiritual Care

Moana Meadow, MA, MDiv, serves as the Psychedelic Facilitation Certificate Program’s staff director. She also teaches on spiritual care for expanded states of consciousness. She completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education at hospitals in California and Hawaii, and has worked as a hospice chaplain and spiritual director for over ten years. She was ordained as an interfaith minister at the Chaplaincy Institute, where she served as guest faculty and academic advisor until 2018. She later served as Executive Director of a non-profit church in Sonoma County. She has studied with indigenous elders in the United States and Mexico, and holds a BS from MIT, an MA from Boston University, and an MDiv from the Pacific School of Religion.

Photo of Joseph Zamaria
Joseph Zamaria

Psychotherapy, Clinical Science, and Research

Joseph Zamaria, PsyD, ABPP, is a licensed and board-certified clinical psychologist and an associate clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the UCSF School of Medicine. At the BCSP, he directs the psychotherapy curriculum as well as the clinical science and research curriculum. He has been a researcher of psychedelics for over fifteen years, and at UCSF, has served as a therapist and researcher in clinical trials examining the potential of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy to treat a range of conditions. Dr. Zamaria is a founding member of the American Arab, Middle Eastern, and North African Psychological Association (AMENA-PSY) and serves on the advisory board of the Fireside Project.

Photo of Susana Bustos
Susana Bustos

Ancestral Entheogenic Traditions

Susana Bustos, PhD, is a psychotherapist and music therapist trained in Chile, whose work focuses on the transformative potential of expanded states of consciousness. A Holotropic Breathwork practitioner since 1999, Susana directed the Spiritual Emergence Network in the U.S. between 2016-2020. Her 20+ years of study of entheogenic traditions from the Americas, especially their healing practices and songs, brought her to teach and mentor students in psychedelic-assisted therapy trainings in the Bay Area and abroad, and to co-found the Escuela de Psicovegetalismo. At BSCP, she leads the Ancestral Entheogenic Traditions curriculum, aiming to bridge the conversation between anthropocentric healing systems and those based on the relationship of human cultures with other sentiences in nature.

Photo of Eve Ekman
Eve Ekman

Contemplative Science and Practice

Eve Ekman, Ph.D., MSW, is a teacher, writer, and contemplative social scientist. At the BCSP, Eve leads experiential sessions on the science and practice of compassion, emotional awareness, and pro-social connection as supportive tools for psychedelic participants and healthcare professionals. Eve’s qualitative research has explored burnout, emotional awareness, psilocybin-assisted therapy, and meditation. With the support of the Dalai Lama, Eve and her father collaborated on the Atlas of Emotion, an online tool for developing emotional awareness. Eve is the lead trainer for the Cultivating Emotional Balance training program, Well-Being and Mental Health Lead at Apple, Senior Fellow at the Greater Good Science Center at UCB, and a Mind and Life Institute fellow.

Photo of Mary Sanders
Mary Sanders

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Mary Sanders, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and social justice advocate exploring transgenerational trauma with BIPOC, 2SLGBTQIA+, veterans, immigrants, refugees, and foster youth. Mary has completed training at CIIS CPTR, MAPS, and the Ketamine Training Center and is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Mary works both in private practice and at the Veteran Affairs’ homeless program in San Francisco. She is a founding board member of the People of Color Psychedelic Collective. At the BCSP, Mary lectures on historical and current systems of oppression, explores collective healing through an intersectional lens, and facilitates conversations around community-oriented infrastructures that center accessibility, and culturally attuned care. She is currently completing training in Somatic Experiencing and Internal Family Systems.

Photo of Kylea Taylor
Kylea Taylor

Ethics for Expanded States

Kylea Taylor, M.S., LMFT, developed and teaches InnerEthics®, a self-reflective, self-compassionate approach to ethical relationship for therapists and practitioners. She has been writing and teaching about ethics for almost three decades. Kylea started studying with Stanislav Grof, M.D. and Christina Grof in 1984 and worked with Grof as a Senior Trainer in the Grof Transpersonal Training throughout the 1990s, facilitating and observing thousands of extra-ordinary state of consciousness sessions. She is the author of The Ethics of Caring: Finding Right Relationship with ClientsThe Breathwork Experience, Considering Holotropic Breathwork®, and is the editor of Exploring Holotropic Breathwork®. At the BCSP, she brings her expertise instructing learners in the nuances of ethics for psychedelic care.

Photo of Joody Marks
Joody Marks

Project Manager

Joody Marks is a project manager and operations strategist, who specializes in change-making experiential programming. She is especially interested in promoting equitable access to transformative health care and has created and supported projects that focus on mindfulness, mutual aid, health equity, artivism, rural justice, nature connection, movement, farming, and food justice. At the BCSP, she manages operations and administrative systems for the Certificate Program. She brings over a decade of experience as an event coordinator and production manager in alternative healing, arts, and social justice spaces. Her approach is largely informed by her love of guiding people into wild places, and two decades as a contemplative spiritual practitioner in Tibetan Buddhist, yoga, and embodied awareness traditions.

Photo of Kristina Hunter
Kristina Hunter

Program Coordinator

Kristina Hunter is a mindfulness-based somatic counselor and writer with a specialization in psychedelic integration. She has spent over fifteen years studying the transformative potential of expanded states of consciousness with Indigenous and mestizo practitioners from Central and South America. Additionally, she has been studying and practicing Buddhadharma with Tibetan and American teachers for the past two decades. Kristina’s work explores the intersection of psychology, plant medicine, and Buddhist contemplative practice. She consults with clinicians on individualized approaches to psychedelic facilitation, with an emphasis on preparation and integration, self-awareness, and harm reduction. At the BCSP, Kristina supports the Ethics curriculum, tracks legislation and policy developments, and conducts research on programmatic content areas.


Photo of Robin Carhart-Harris
Robin Carhart-Harris

Robin Carhart-Harris is head of the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London and director of the Psychedelics Division of Neuroscape at UCSF. After obtaining an MA in psychoanalysis from Brunel University London, Robin completed a PhD in psychopharmacology from the University of Bristol. At Imperial College London, he has designed and completed human brain imaging studies with LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, and DMT; a clinical trial of psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression; a double-blind randomized controlled trial comparing psilocybin with escitalopram for major depressive disorder; and a multimodal imaging study in healthy volunteers receiving psilocybin for the first time. In April 2019, Robin founded the Centre for Psychedelic Research, the first of its kind in the world.

Photo of Jack Gallant
Jack Gallant

Jack Gallant is the chancellor’s professor and class of 1940 chair at the University of California at Berkeley. He co-directs the Henry H. Wheeler Brain Imaging Center. Jack is affiliated with the departments of psychology, electrical engineering, and computer science, along with the programs in bioengineering, biophysics, neuroscience and vision science. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University and did post-doctoral work at the California Institute of Technology and Washington University Medical School. His research program focuses on computational modeling of the human brain under naturalistic conditions.

Photo of Adam Gazzaley
Adam Gazzaley

Adam Gazzaley, MD, PhD, is the David Dolby Distinguished Professor of Neurology, Physiology and Psychiatry at UCSF, and the founder and executive director of Neuroscape at UCSF. Adam is cofounder and chief science advisor of Akili Interactive, Sensync, and JAZZ Venture Partners. He has been a scientific advisor for over a dozen companies; filed patents including for the first video game cleared by the FDA; authored over 150 scientific articles; and delivered over 675 invited presentations around the world. He wrote and hosted the nationally televised PBS special The Distracted Mind with Dr. Adam Gazzaley and coauthored the 2016 MIT Press book The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World, winner of the 2017 PROSE Award. He is the recipient of the 2015 Science Educator Award and the 2020 Global Gaming Citizen Honor.

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Sam Shonkoff

Sam Shonkoff is the Taube Family assistant professor of Jewish Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. His scholarship focuses on themes of revelation, embodiment, and interpretation in modern Jewish thought, as well as methods in the study of religion more broadly. He is co-editor with Ariel Evan Mayse of Hasidism: Writings on Devotion, Community and Life in the Modern World (Brandeis University Press, 2020) and the editor of Martin Buber: His Intellectual and Scholarly Legacy (Brill, 2018). His publications and lectures on psychedelics demonstrate how the field of religious studies offers critical frameworks for understanding the phenomenological, cultural, and hermeneutical complexities of psychoactive substances beyond reductionist concepts of “mysticism” and “religious experience.”


Photo of Bob Jesse
Bob Jesse

Bob Jesse has been a quiet driving force behind the contemporary psychedelic renaissance. He was instrumental in forming the psilocybin research team at Johns Hopkins University and has coauthored several of its papers. He has led the drafting of numerous foundational documents, including the Code of Ethics for Spiritual Guides in 1995; an amicus brief for the US Supreme Court in a successful religious liberty case in 2005; and a statement on Open Science, now signed by numerous leaders in the psychedelic field, in 2017. Bob studied electrical engineering and computer science at Johns Hopkins, consulted for AT&T Bell Labs, and worked at Oracle as a vice president of business development.

Institutional Partners

Calyx Law

Calyx Law is an intellectual property law boutique founded in 2016 with a focus on cannabis and psychedelics ventures. While a flower is budding, it is protected by a whorl of sepals that enclose the flower as it emerges and provide stability as it opens. This structure is the calyx. Like a calyx, we see our role as helping to ensure that seed stage and early stage companies have the protection and support they need to come into full bloom, primarily by using patents to help generate value and spur growth.

Psychedelic Alpha

Psychedelic Alpha is an independent media outlet, community, and consultancy firm that strives to empower a diverse constellation of individuals and organizations with the knowledge, network, and nuance to make an impact within the field of psychedelic medicine and beyond.

Through its trusted resources, timely analyses, and contributions from subject matter experts it seeks to cut through the noise and explore how we might address the clinical, cultural, and cost-based barriers to the potential roll-out of psychedelic therapies.