Human psychopharmacology–the experimental administration of mind-altering drugs to human subjects–is an essential tool for characterizing the relationship between brain structure, neurochemistry, and symptomatology. This talk will summarize the last twenty years of completed, ongoing, and planned research at Yale on the drugs ketamine, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol, salvinorin A, dimethytryptamine (DMT), and psilocybin, discussing their use not only as a tool for better understanding human consciousness but also as therapy for specific diseases.
About Andrew Sewell
After graduating with a BA in Physics from Cornell University, Dr. Sewell decided to pursue his interest in entheogens by obtaining an MD from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine in 1998 then completing a combined residency in Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine in 2004, where he served as Chief Resident in Neuropsychiatry. Following this, he attended a substance abuse research fellowship at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School, where he served as Managing Editor of the McLean Annals of Behavioral Neurology. He also published the first paper ever on the response of cluster headache to psilocybin and LSD, presenting the data both at the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting and the International LSD Symposium in Basel in 2006. He followed this with a discussion of the effect of LSA-containing seeds on cluster headache at the 2008 World Psychedelic Forum. For the last three years he has worked at Yale University in the Schizophrenia Research Group under Dr. Cyril D’Souza, studying the effects of psychotropic agents such as THC, amphetamine, iomazenil, and salvinorin A in human subjects. His research interests include the pathophysiology and treatment of cluster headache, mechanisms and characterization of psychosis (both induced and in schizophrenia), and therapeutic applications of entheogens. Dr. Sewell is board-certified in both neurology and psychiatry, serves on the Erowid Expert Network and the Scientific Program Committee of the American Neuropsychiatric Association. He has published widely on cluster headache and the relationship between cannabis and psychosis.