Examining the Psychedelic Renaissance Season 2 – Episode 2 – Dr. McKenna, Dr. Standish and Dr. Hale

Could ayahuasca integrated psychotherapy offer a viable treatment option in the battle against substance abuse and other addiction-based behaviours? Join us and our panel of experts, Dr. Dennis McKenna, Dr. Leanna Standish and Dr. Victoria Hale, as we explore critical questions regarding the western adoption of Ayahuasca-assisted therapy.

Date: Tuesday, September 29th

Time: 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM PST (6:00 PM – 7:30 PM EST)

About Dr. Dennis McKenna

Dennis has been a prominent figure in the plant medicine community for several decades. He received his master’s in botany from the University of Hawaii in 1979, and his doctorate degree in botanical science in 1984 from UBC. Dennis has received several research fellowships, including one from the National Institute of Mental Health and another from Stanford’s School of Medicine. In his tenure he wrote his master’s thesis on the topic of today’s discussion – the pharmacological chemistry of ayahuasca.

Dennis has also been a repeat guest on the Joe Rogan Podcast where he dives deep into his work, his relationship with his brother – the late Terence McKenna, and fascinating stories about his life experiences inside and outside the psychedelic space. He has also co-written several books including The invisible landscape, and Botanical medicines: The desk reference for major herbal supplements.

Dennis is widely considered one of the world’s leading experts on psychedelics and their medical potential. He is currently a senior research scientist for the Natural Health Products Research Group at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, where he continues the work that has brought him here to our panel today. 

About Dr. Leanna Standish

Dr. Standish is a pioneer in the fields of both neuroscience and naturopathic medicine. As Co-Founder and Co-Director of the AIMS Institute, Leanna promotes an integrative approach to medicine through combining oncology, rehabilitation therapy, psychiatric therapy and naturopathic medicine. Crowned Seattle’s Best Physician by Seattle Met three times, Dr. Standish holds faculty at the University of Washington School of Medicine (Radiology) as well as Bastyr University.

Intrigued by the links between mental health and serious illness, Leanna has dedicated much of her work to treating cancer patients, having worked most notably with the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Standish’s role in the ayahuasca space is focused on laboratory cultivation and studying patient interactions, to further explore its therapeutic potential.  

About Dr. Victoria Hale

Dr. Hale has a PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and retains Adjunct Associate Professorship in Biopharmaceutical Sciences at the University of San Francisco. She broke new ground in 2000 by founding OneWorld Health, the first ever nonprofit pharmaceutical company. Chairman and CEO until 2008, Dr. Hale was fundamental in furthering OneWorld Health’s mission to promote affordable healthcare for underserved communities. Victoria recently created Medicines360, an organization dedicated to closing critical gaps in women’s healthcare. Women often face limited medicine choices and Medicines360 helps identify viable alternatives through robust clinical trials.

As a testimony to her work Dr. Hale has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the President’s Award of Distinction in 2005, Economist’s Social and Economic Innovation Award in 2005, and the MacArthur Genius Award in 2006.

In this webinar episode, our expert panel will explore some of the challenging questions regarding Ayahuasca-assisted therapy. Does the adoption of a sacred Amazonian medicine by western scientists and clinicians constitute cultural misappropriation? Will an entheogenic brew, with a variety of different natural ingredients, ever meet FDA requirements for chemistry, safety and efficacy?


Examining the Psychedelic Renaissance – Season 2 has three different price points , starting from $75.00 for the full 15 episodes. Single episodes are available for $15 each, with discounted rates for students, seniors and those affected by COVID-19. If cost is a barrier for your participation, please email webinar@mapscanada.org for a complimentary ticket. Tickets can be purchased online at www.mapscanada.org/webinar

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