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Psychedelics: Hope or Hype? with Dr. Joshua Siegel, MD, PhD

A Part of SunCloud's CEU Program of Events

In this talk, entitled “Psychedelics: Hope or Hype?”, Dr. Siegel provides a general overview of psychedelic psychopharmacology and the clinical and neuroscientific data that have led to growing interest in psychedelics and psychedelic-assisted therapy.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review hallucinogen pharmacology (including a comparison between classic psychedelics,  MDMA, dissociative anesthetics such as ketamine, deliriants, and other classes of hallucinogens)
  2. Consider strengths and weaknesses of clinical data supporting the use of psychedelics as treatment for mood and addiction disorders
  3. Consider risks and challenges of the use of psychedelics as medicine
  4. Describe the state of science investigating mechanisms of action from the psychological and neurobiological levels
  5. Consider future challenges and impacts that this unique treatment may have on the mental health system.

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Highlights from the Presentation


About the Speaker

Joshua Siegel, MD, PhD

Dr. Siegel received a BA in Philosophy, Neuroscience and Psychology from Washington University, completed an MD & PhD in systems neuroscience in WUSM’s Physician Scientist Training Program and completed residency in Psychiatry. He joined the WUSM Department of Psychiatry faculty in July 2022. Dr. Siegel has 13 years experience in neuroscience and has published more than 30 peer-reviewed articles in the fields of neuroimaging and neuropsychopharmacology.

During psychiatry residency, Dr. Siegel initiated Missouri’s first human psychedelics research, using precision functional mapping to study how psilocybin alters brain networks. In addition to conceiving and designing this research program, he served as a psychedelic ‘facilitator’, completing training with Usona Institute in Madison WI. He was selected to be among 12 US recipients of the NIMH Outstanding Resident Award in 2020.

His research focuses on using human neuroimaging to understand ketamine, psilocybin, and similar molecules that rapidly stimulate homeostatic plasticity. The central goal is to understand the link between neurotrophic stimulation, brain networks, mood and human behavior. In addition to founding WU’s Program in Psychedelics Research, he has serves as Deputy Editor at the Journal of Psychedelic Psychiatry, created a graduate course “Mechanisms of Rapid Antidepressants”, founded the WU Rapid Antidepressants Journal Club, and served on the advisory board for psychedelics startups.

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