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The UW Madison Transdisciplinary Center for Research in Psychoactive Substances is an established cohort of scientists, teachers, and clinicians on the UW Madison campus that has completed several clinical trials of psilocybin and MDMA and is moving forward with new studies and educational endeavors. These efforts are building on the successful track record of psychedelic research at UW-Madison, leveraging abundant cross-campus collaborative efforts and the unique internal partnerships available (Center for Healthy Minds, Center for Sleep and Consciousness, American Institute of the History of Pharmacy). These studies have benefited from gracious early buy-in from not-for-profit partners. Moving forward, the Transdisciplinary Center for Research in Psychoactive Substances is seeking additional donor support to maximize impact and launch the full scope of this ambitious program.
Motivated by evidence of therapeutic success, the UW Center is engaged in clinical trials seeking to support applications to the FDA for approval of MDMA for treating PTSD, and psilocybin for treating depression and substance use disorders (opioids or methamphetamine). These ongoing efforts are integrated with pre-clinical and clinical studies into the molecular and psychological mechanisms by which the observed benefits occur. Additional donor support is needed to move these novel efforts beyond the pilot phase and put them in a favorable position to secure some of the earliest Federal grant dollars expected to be allocated to psychedelic research.
Why “Psychoactive” and not “Psychedelic” Substances in the Center’s title? Although our research to date has focused on drugs with psychedelic effects, there are new compounds being developed that may have profound therapeutic benefits without the complexity of causing a profound psychedelic or mystical experience. Our Center’s title includes these compounds.
The Center is also actively developing a robust slate of transdisciplinary educational and outreach programs that address the scientific, historical, ecological, and sociocultural impacts of psychedelics. Such efforts include the recent approval by the UW Madison of the first Master of Science degree in Psychoactive Pharmaceutical Investigation, as well as organizing local educational symposia.
A key effort of the Center across all of these activities is to engage underserved populations regarding barriers to acceptance and access to psychedelic clinical research studies and training. Donations to support these desperately needed health equity programs are needed and welcomed as well.
Prioritized donor funding needs for the UW Madison Transdisciplinary Center for Research in Psychoactive Substances:
- Expansion of psychedelic dosing room sites for improved access and throughput
- Stipends or salary offset for training and retaining additional study guide/facilitators
- Stipends to improve access to studies by under-represented groups, including transportation and child-care
- Educational programs for lay and professional groups to describe and promote Center activities