Charles Raison, MD, is the Mary Sue and Mike Shannon Chair for Healthy Minds, Children & Families and Professor, School of Human Ecology, and Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison in
Madison, WI. Dr. Raison also serves as Director of Clinical and Translational Research for Usona Institute and as Director of Research on Spiritual Health for Emory Healthcare in Atlanta, GA. In addition, Dr. Raison has served as a mental health expert for CNN.com for many years. Dr. Raison is internationally recognized for his studies examining novel mechanisms involved in the development and treatment of major depression and other stress-related emotional and physical conditions, as well as for his work examining the physical and behavioural effects of compassion training. More recently, Dr. Raison has taken a leadership role in the development of psychedelic medicines as potential treatments for major depression. The recipient of several teaching awards, Dr. Raison has received research funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
The psychedelic medicine industry surges with investments in start-ups promising to address the lack of effective mental health treatments. The greatest challenge facing development of psychedelics as medicines will not be what to do when they don’t work but when they do work. I will draw upon specific case studies, clinical research, and current psychotherapy models to prompt the audience to consider key questions, challenges, and opportunities that need to be addressed such as dosing strategies, long-term vs. short-term efficacy in relation to clinical diagnoses, and therapeutic support systems to optimise treatment. I will also touch on the latest developments with our work at the Usona Institute running trials for psilocybin in treatment of Major Depressive Disorder.