2022 The Science of Consciousness Tucson
STUART HAMEROFF, U ARIZONA
Stuart Hameroff MD is a clinical anesthesiologist and researcher on how the brain produces consciousness, and how anesthetics act to erase it. In medical school in the early 1970s, Hameroff became interested in consciousness, and in protein structures called microtubules inside brain neurons which he came to believe processed information supporting consciousness. In the mid- 1990s he teamed with Sir Roger Penrose to develop the controversial ‘Orch OR’ theory in which consciousness derives from “orchestrated” (“Orch”) microtubule quantum vibrations linked to processes in spacetime geometry, the fine scale structure of the universe, leading to “Penrose objective reduction” (“OR”, hence “Orch OR”). And he has further proposed the ‘microtubule quantum vibration’ theory of anesthetic action. Hameroff organizes the well-known conference series ‘The Science of Consciousness’, has written or edited 5 books and over a hundred scientific articles, and appeared in films and various TV shows about consciousness. With University of Arizona colleagues Jay Sanguinetti, John JB Allen and Shinzen Young, Hameroff is developing transcranial ultrasound (‘TUS’) for treatment of mental and cognitive dysfunction (TUS may resonate endogenous megahertz vibrations in brain microtubules). Penrose- Hameroff Orch OR is one of a group of major theories of consciousness in the Templeton World Charity Foundation project ‘Accelerating Research on Consciousness’, and is currently being tested experimentally.
GEORGE MASHOUR, U MICHIGAN
George A. Mashour, M.D., Ph.D. is an anesthesiologist and NIH-funded neuroscientist at the University of Michigan who studies consciousness and the mechanisms of unconsciousness. Mashour was the founding director of the Center for Consciousness Science at the University of Michigan, where he currently serves as the Robert B. Sweet Professor and Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology. He also founded the Center for Drug Repurposing and serves as Co-Director of the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research. Mashour is a Trustee of the International Anesthesia Research Society and is President-Elect of the Association of University Anesthesiologists. After his undergraduate study of philosophy, he received his M.D. and Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Georgetown University and was an intern, resident, and chief resident in anesthesiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Mashour has received numerous institutional and national awards throughout his career, including two Fulbright Scholarships, the Presidential Scholar Award from the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Neuroscience in Anesthesiology and Critical Care, the Excellence in Research Award from the American Society of Anesthesiologists, and election to the National Academy of Medicine.