Workshops - Schedule and Bios


View | Download  

full day - Kiva, Grand Ballroom A|B|C -  Speaker Bios 
Monday morning sessions, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm  


Harald Atmanspacher, The Collegium Helveticum, ETH, Zurich   
Paavo Pylkkanen, University of Helsinki | University of Skövde
Dean Rickles, University of Sydney
Robert Prentner, University of Munich  


Travis Craddock, Nova Southeastern University 
Bruce MacIver, Stanford University
Jack Tuszynski, University of Alberta/Politecnico di Torino 
Aarat Kalra, Princeton University 
Mahed Batarseh, University of Central Florida
Zhean Shen, University of Central Florida 
Anirban Bandyopadhyay, NIMS, Tsukuba, Japan
Sir Roger Penrose, Oxford University, Nobel Laureate 


Grand Ballroom C 

Jay Sanguinetti,  University of Arizona
Alexander Bystritsky, UCLA
Martin Monti,  UCLA
Seung-Schik Yoo, Harvard University 


Justin Riddle, University of North Carolina 
Johannes Kleiner, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (R)
Kelvin J. McQueen, Chapman University 

Afternoon sessions, 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm 



Bill Mensch, Western Design Center
Dante Lauretta, University of Arizona
Stuart Hameroff, University of Arizona
Ted Humphrey, Arizona State University (R)
Andrew Maynard, Arizona State University (R)

M. Bruce MacIver, Stanford University 

Deepak Chopra, Chopra Global 

Rainish Khanna, Ph.D., I-Cultiver

Patrisia Gonzales, UArizona

Dennis McKenna, Principal Founder of the McKenna Academy. Board Member, Heffter Research Institute



Stephan A. Schwartz, Saybrook University 
Jeffrey Mishlove, New Thinking Allowed; Insight Associates 
Julia Mossbridge, University of  San Diego, IONS, TILT
Dean Radin, Institute of Noetic Science (IONS) 


Matthew Sacchet, Harvard University
Daniel Ingram, Emergent Phenomenology Research Consortium
Julieta Galante, Cambridge University 
Jay Sanguinetti, University of Arizona
Evening session,  7:00 - 10:00 pm  

NEUROSPIRITUALITY  -   Grand Ballroom C                  

Michael Ferguson, Harvard Medical School 
Janae Nelson, Brigham Young University  (R)
David Yaden, Johns Hopkins University  (R)
Rick Strassman, University of New Mexico (R)
Session 3 -  Workshop 9
MONDAY EVENING, April 18, 2022   
Time:  7:00 pm -9:30 pm -  Grand Ballroom B


Michael Ferguson, Harvard Medical School 

Dr. Michael Ferguson, PhD, (a.k.a., NeuroMichael) is a Harvard and Cornell-trained neuroscientist and an academic pioneer in the emerging fields of neurospirituality and spiritual therapeutics. Dr. Ferguson is an Instructor in Neurology at Harvard Medical School and a Lecturer at Harvard Divinity School. Prior to this he was a Course Instructor in Human Development at Cornell University. Dr. Ferguson is preparing to launch the new Laboratory for Neurospirituality in tandem with the Center for Brain Circuit Therapeutics in Boston. He is also organizing a Spiritual Therapeutics medical science research program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a teaching hospital for Harvard Medical School. In Fall semester 2021, Dr. Ferguson will be introducing a new course at Harvard titled Neurospirituality.

Janae Nelson, Brigham Young University (R)

Jenae Nelson received a PhD in Developmental Psychology from Brigham Young University. Nelson uses diverse methodological approaches to study the development of transcendence, virtues, religiosity, and compassion in adolescence and emerging adulthood. Specifically, she is interested in the contributions of unitive consciousness, spiritual perception, God proximity, and sacred rituals in psychosocial maturation.

David Yaden, PhD Johns Hopkins University

David B. Yaden, PhD, studies the measurement and experimental manipulation of mental states called altered states of consciousness. These mental states are often among the most transformative and meaningful moments in people’s lives, yet little is known about how they are triggered, the neurophysiological processes that underlie them, or how they impact the beliefs and behavior of those who have them. His research is currently focused on the therapeutic potential of psychedelic substances for mood and substance use disorders. His scientific research and scholarly writing generally aim to provide a quantitative and empirical 21st-century update to William James’s classic book on the topic, The Varieties of Religious Experience, using: 1) psychometric instruments, 2) computational linguistic analysis, 3) neuroimaging, 4) non-invasive brain stimulation, and 5) psychopharmacology. Psychopharmacologist Roland R. Griffiths, PhD is his current Postdoctoral advisor. He previously studied with neuroscientist Andrew B. Newberg, MD and completed his doctoral training with psychologist Martin E. P. Seligman, PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. He has authored over 40 scientific and scholarly publications and edited two books that provide a scientific perspective on practices and experiences traditionally associated with religion/spirituality: Rituals and Practices in World Religions and Being Called. His research has been covered by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, New York Magazine, Scientific American, CNN, BBC, and NPR.

Rick Strassman, University of New Mexico

At UNM, Dr. Strassman performed clinical research investigating the function of the pineal hormone melatonin in which his research group documented the first known role of melatonin in humans. He also began the first new US government approved clinical research with psychedelic drugs in over twenty years, focusing on DMT and to a lesser extent, psilocybin. He received grant support from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse, as well as from the Scottish Rite Foundation for Schizophrenia Research. Before leaving the University in 1995, he attained the rank of tenured Associate Professor of Psychiatry and was awarded the UNM General Clinical Research Center’s Research Scientist Award.  In 1984, he received lay ordination in a Western Buddhist order, and co-founded, and for several years administered, a lay Buddhist meditation group associated with the same order. Dr. Strassman underwent a four-year personal psychoanalysis in New Mexico between 1986 and 1990.  From 1996 to 2000, while living in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, Dr. Strassman worked in community mental health centers in Washington State in Bellingham and Port Townsend. For the next four years, he had a solo private practice in Taos, New Mexico. After two years working near the Navajo Nation in Gallup NM, he returned to northern New Mexico in 2006, where he provided psychiatric services at a mental health center in Espanola. Since mid-2008, he has been writing full-time.  Dr. Strassman’s “DMT: The Spirit Molecule,” an account of his DMT and psilocybin studies, has sold a quarter-million copies as of mid-2021, and been translated into over a dozen languages, including Mandarin. He co-produced an independent documentary by the same name, which was the most-streamed independent drug documentary on Netflix. He also is the author of “DMT and the Soul of Prophecy,” “Joseph Levy Escapes Death,” and a co-author of “Inner Paths to Outer Space.”  He has published over 40 peer-reviewed scientific papers and has served as a reviewer for 20 psychiatric research journals. He has been a consultant to the US Food and Drug Administration, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Veteran’s Administration Hospitals, Social Security Administration, and other state and local agencies. He has provided consultation to many of the psychedelic startups that began appearing in 2020, including Atai, MindMed, and The Noetic Fund. He is on the Scientific Advisory Boards for Alexander Shulgin Research Institute and Ninnion Therapeutics.  He currently is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and lives in Gallup, New Mexico.