Amy Emerson
Executive Director and Director of Clinical Research of MAPS Public Benefit Corporation

Amy earned her BS in genetics and cell biology from Washington State University in 1992. Prior to her work at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC) she worked in clinical development and research beginning in 1993. Amy's previous experience is in the fields of immunology (Applied Immune Sciences), oncology (RPR), and vaccine development (Chiron and Novartis). Amy worked with MAPS as a volunteer starting in 2003 facilitating the development of the MDMA clinical program. In 2009 she began managing the Clinical Research group at MAPS. She is currently the Executive Director and Director of Clinical Research of MAPS Public Benefit Corporation.


Clinical Research Department 
Berra Yazar-Klosinski Ph.D., 
MAPS Clinical Research Scientist and MAPS Liaison
Berra earned her Ph.D. in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2010, and utilizes her scientific training and experience in for-profit pharmaceutical research to support the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation to develop, design, and implement clinical psychedelic research in the U.S and beyond. She earned her B.S. in Biological Science from Stanford University in 2001, with an emphasis on the neurobiology of drugs. Prior to entering graduate school, Berra worked as a Research Associate with Geron Corporation screening for drugs that activate telomerase, and with Millennium Pharmaceuticals on Phase 1 clinical trials in patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Berra joined MAPS in 2009 in order to work with an organization where profit wouldn't dictate the agenda of scientific research.​ Since then, she has been actively involved in the ongoing Phase 2 clinical development of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy with an eye towards Phase 3 clinical trials.


Alia Lilienstein, M.D., M.P.H.
MAPS Clinical Research Associate - Physician
Alia is a board-certified Family Medicine physician. She earned her B.A. in American Studies from Georgetown University in 2002, where she studied social and cultural influences on health care. Prior to medical school, she earned her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology and Biostatistics in 2004 from the University of California, Berkeley, and worked in clinical research and development at Chiron (later Novartis). She received her M.D. in 2011 from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and completed residency training in Family Medicine at Cambridge Health Alliance, a Tufts- and Harvard-affiliated Accountable Care Organization. Before joining MAPS, Alia worked as a primary care doctor in Berkeley. Alia holds a certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research from CIIS in San Francisco. As a family physician, Alia has borne witness to her patients’ struggles with the human condition and the effects these struggles have on their loved ones. She is passionate about helping develop better tools for psychological healing so that everyone may have the opportunity to approach themselves and others with empathy and love. ​


AAllison Feduccia, Ph.D.
Clinical Trial Leader
Allison assists in coordinating operations at multi-site trials sponsored by MAPS Benefit Corporation and applies her translational perspective to the development of new study protocols. After earning a Ph.D. in Neuropharmacology from the University of Texas at Austin by utilizing rodent models to study the effects of MDMA on behavior and neurochemical release, Dr. Feduccia held a postdoctoral research position in the Preclinical Development Group at Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center at the University of California San Francisco where her experiments aimed to discover novel treatment strategies for alcohol dependence by elucidating the mechanism of action of medications used to treat substance use disorders. In 2012, Allison received a Postdoctoral Research Training Award from the National Institutes of Health that enabled her to work on clinical trials at NIAAA investigating novel therapeutics for alcoholism, as well as, human fMRI studies oriented to understanding the neural underpinnings of addiction. Recognizing this as a monumental time in history, Dr. Feduccia highly regards the opportunity to participate in efforts to generate scientifically based evidence on the therapeutic and spiritual potential of psychedelics.


Charlotte Harrison
Senior Clinical Research Associate
Charlotte Harrison is an experienced Clinical Research Associate who is thrilled to be contributing to psychedelic research through MAPS. Charlotte earned her B.A. in Greek and Latin at Tufts University while considering medical school. She decided her skills were better suited to clinical research after an exciting internship working on oncology trials at Clinical Assistance Programs. She has monitored and led multiple clinical trials in supportive cancer care, nephrology, dermatology, and cardiology. She is hopeful her interest in improving the quality of life of those suffering with mental illness and her determination to make scientific research more efficient will be beneficial to MAPS’ important and necessary work. Charlotte also writes for the American Humanist Association, enjoys yoga and calligraphy, and plays too many board games.


L (Ilsa) Jerome Ph.D.
Research and Information Specialist
Ilsa earned a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Maryland-College Park. She has played a role in study development, with a focus capturing information about the study drug, measures and data analysis, and she oversees submission of research documents to regulatory agencies. She follows literature related to MAPS' study drugs and gains further knowledge through discussion with other researchers. She has helped to create and maintain documents related to some MAPS-supported studies, and plays a role in maintaining and updating the MAPS psychedelic literature bibliography. She has written informational documents on psilocybin, LSD and MDMA. She is interested in using methods from behavioral science and neuroscience to learn how humans feel and think about themselves and each other.


Rebecca Matthews
Clinical Trial Leader
Rebecca earned her BA at UC Berkeley in 2000.  Prior to her work at Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC) she worked in clinical research and development at Chiron/Novartis starting in 2001, working on sepsis and monitoring and managing vaccine trials.  In 2009, she joined MAPS as a part-time contractor and has since been working with them on MDMA/PTSD studies. In 2015, Rebecca joined MPBC full-time to work on Marijuana/PTSD studies as well as continuing to support MDMA studies. ​


Ben Shechet
Clinical Research Associate
Ben received his BA in Psychology from Princeton University in 2009, where his work included research on motor learning in children, investigation of ‘flow state’ phenomena, and a thesis that developed a neuroeconomic framework for understanding the phenomenon of boredom. Following his graduation, Ben spent a year as a Clinical Research Coordinator at a private clinical trials site, working primarily on studies investigating potential treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease. Working in the field of psychedelic research allows Ben to investigate the experience of consciousness from a variety of perspectives—empirical, psychological, spiritual, and phenomenological.


Allison Wilens
Clinical Study Associate
Allison earned her B.S. in Biopsychology in 2014 from Tufts University. She worked in the Tufts Psychopharmacology Lab for three years, conducting data collection and analysis for several projects. Her Senior Honors Thesis focused on the role of the NMDA receptor in mediating aggressive withdrawal symptoms in alcohol-dependent, outbred, male mice. She was also co-president of the Tufts chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), where she helped to pass medical amnesty reform on campus and spread awareness of the harmful side effects of the War on Drugs. Allison is currently serving as MAPS’ Clinical Study Associate, providing general administrative support to the clinical department. She considers working for MAPS to be a dream come true and relishes the opportunity to help deconstruct the damaging, reductionist paradigms of the contemporary mental health care system and to improve access to viable treatment options for those suffering from trauma- and anxiety-related disorders.
Data Management Department
Colin Hennigan
Clinical Data Manager
Colin brings a background in research design methodology and database management to MAPS. He earned his B.A. in Political Science at the University of Chicago, with an emphasis in social theory and philosophy of science, and his M.A. in Political Science at University of California, Davis, where his graduate work focused on state sovereignty and international systems theory. Prior to joining MAPS, he worked as a Research Analyst with the Genetic Disease Screening Program at the California Department of Public Health, as a freelance technical writer, and as a private mathematics instructor. He is currently working with the MAPS Clinical Team on the creation of an online clinical database and the implementation of the Therapist Adherence Program.
Safety and Therapist Training
Michael Mithoefer, M.D.
Clinical Investigator, Therapist Training
Michael is a psychiatrist practicing in Charleston, SC, where he divides his time between clinical research and outpatient clinical practice specializing in treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with an emphasis on experiential methods of psychotherapy. He is a Grof-certified Holotropic Breathwork Facilitator and is trained in EMDR and Internal Family Systems Therapy. He and his wife, Annie Mithoefer, recently completed a MAPS-sponsored Phase II clinical trial testing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. A paper about their study was published in July 2010 in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. They are currently conducting a second trial with veterans who have PTSD resulting from service in the U.S. Armed Forces, as well as psychotherapy training programs for MAPS researchers. Dr. Mithoefer is the medical monitor for MAPS-sponsored clinical trials in Europe, the Middle East, Canada, and Colorado. Before going into psychiatry in 1995 he practiced emergency medicine for ten years, served as medical director of the Charleston County and Georgetown County Emergency Departments, and has held clinical faculty positions at the Medical University of South Carolina. He is currently board certified in Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine, and Internal Medicine.
Annie Mithoefer, B.S.N.
Clinical Investigator, Therapist Training
Annie is a Registered Nurse living in Charleston, SC, where she divides her time between clinical research and outpatient clinical practice specializing in treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with an emphasis on experiential methods of psychotherapy. She is a Grof-certified Holotropic Breathwork Practitioner and is trained in Hakomi Therapy. Recently she and her husband, Michael Mithoefer, M.D., completed a MAPS-sponsored Phase II clinical trial testing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD.  A paper about their study was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. They are currently conducting a second trial with veterans who have PTSD resulting from service in the U.S. Armed Forces, as well as psychotherapy training programs for MAPS researchers.
Shannon Clare Petitt, M.A.
MDMA Therapy Training Program Manager, Zendo Project Integration Coordinator
Shannon Clare Petitt is passionate about life and growth. She cares deeply about humankind and the natural world. Shannon is dedicated to working with people through addiction, trauma, relationship, and the body. Shannon received her Master’s Degree in Integral Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies in 2014, including a practicum working with youth on moderation management for drug and alcohol use. At MPBC she serves as MDMA Therapy Training Program Manager, overseeing administration and program development to educate professionals and researchers to provide MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in approved settings. Shannon is also committed to psychedelic harm reduction, and continues to provide integration services through the Zendo Project. Shannon is a co-therapist on a MAPS-sponsored Phase 2 trial researching MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with life-threatening illness. She is a dancer and a California native. She can be found running outdoors anywhere she travels and jumping in the ocean when she gets the chance!
Sarah Sadler
Study Coordinator
After studying psychology at the College of Charleston, Sarah was certified as a yoga instructor, and has passionately pursued her in interests in child development, human health and wellness, gardening, and design.  She started working for MAPS in 2010 in her current role as Study Coordinator for MDMA/PTSD studies in Charleston, SC conducted by Dr. Michael MIthoefer and Annie Mithoefer, as well as providing administrative support for their work on the MAPS Therapist Training Program.  In her “spare time” she loves caring for her son, Henry, and designing and knitting clothes with hand-spun yarn from her family's sheep.