Published at Microdose
Groundbreaking clinical research has become the bedrock of the modern psychedelic renaissance. One scientist pioneering the way forward in psychedelic and consciousness research is Robin Carhart Harris. Currently the head of the Center for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London, Carhart-Harris has a remarkable record of academic contributions to the emerging space. Having co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications, Carhart-Harris has played a pivotal role in the reinvigoration of psychedelic science. Here are some notable scientific achievements Harris has made towards advancing the psychedelic renaissance.
The hallmark of Carhart-Harris’s research is his use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate brain function when under the influence of psychedelics. Indeed, fMRI data was at the heart of his 2014 paper The entropic brain: a theory of conscious states informed by neuroimaging research with psychedelic drugs. Likewise, fMRI brought us his 2016 research on the neural correlates of LSD experiences. While psychedelic enthusiasts have always understood that these compounds were special, brain imaging was vital to understanding why they were special, how these drugs derive their therapeutic value, the true potential of these drugs, etc.
Curious how Harris’s work is being utilized in the emerging psychedelic medicine industry? Harris is one of the scientific advisors to Entheon Biomedical, a company using DMT to treat addiction. Read our exclusive story detailing the underlying mechanism behind their approach.
After decades of prohibition, Carhart-Harris conducted revolutionary clinical studies – becoming the first scientist to administer LSD to humans in the UK since 1971, when the Misuse of Drugs Act prevented further administrations. This historic achievement marks a turning point in the evolution of psychedelic science and research. On paper, this moves the clinical community closer to understanding the gnosis of these drugs. But beyond scientific vigor and academic advancement, this moment marks a defiance to previously upheld societal standards. For many outside of the psychedelic community (or simply newer to it), this 2014 moment forced them to reconsider their preconceptions about LSD and perhaps drugs at large.
The Beckley Foundation, Hefter Research Institute, and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) all vehemently support Dr. Carhart-Harris. He is most commonly applauded for his work with psilocybin and LSD, including his especially celebrated research on psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression. It should no surprise that, beyond collaborations, Harris is a highly anticipated speaker at events hosted by the aforementioned institutions.
Robin Carhart-Harris recently spoke at our latest Mydecine Speaker Series – Psychedelic Solutions virtual event. Learn more about our events here.
Harris will surely continue to push the psychedelic neuroscience Overton window. This Christmas, as you’re with your friends and family (in person or virtually), consider spreading the word of these great psychedelic research efforts. The more we inform our loved ones about these once niche-interests, the more we can build our community, whether that be via event attendance or donating to Imperial College London’s psychedelic research efforts.