Amy Emerson is the Executive Director and Head of Clinical Development and Regulatory Affairs at the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit. As the Executive Director, Amy has lead the growth and development of this new subsidiary and is responsible for overall global regulatory strategy and implementation of research programs with a focus on the MDMA-assisted psychotherapy program within MAPS PBC.
Amy started as a pro bono consultant at MAPS in 2003, and since then has built MAPS’ clinical department while managing the MDMA Clinical Development Program with a focus on the PTSD indication. In 2014, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation was incorporated to focus on psychedelic drug development, therapist training programs, and future sales of prescription psychedelics prioritizing public benefit above profit.
Amy brings decades of pharmaceutical development and research experience in Phase 1 through Phase 3 Randomized Controlled Trials including supporting three successful regulatory approvals for new biologics. Her professional experience at Novartis, Chiron and other pharmaceutical companies (1993-2009) spans various fields including immunology, oncology and vaccines. Pursuing her love of science and nature cultivated while growing up in the woods of Alaska she earned her B.S. in genetics and cell biology from Washington State University in 1992 to prepare for a career in research. Amy is passionate about being a mother and the work of bringing the potential of psychedelics for healing further into the consciousness of the world, leaving a better world for the following generations. She has a lifelong love of travel, living abroad with her husband, exploring in nature and cooking with her family.
Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., is the Director of Research Development and Regulatory Affairs of the 501(c)(3) non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Dr. Yazar-Klosinski is responsible for development of strategic, catalytic, and capacity-building activities to facilitate research on the risk/benefit profile of psychedelics in compliance with the global regulatory landscape. She has been actively involved in the various stages of nonclinical and clinical development of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, LSD-assisted psychotherapy, cannabis, and ibogaine.
After gaining experience in clinical research laboratories with Geron Corporation and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Yazar-Klosinski joined MAPS in 2009 to work with an organization where profit wouldn't dictate the agenda of scientific research. Over the last 10 years, she has supported MAPS clinical research and regulatory affairs through all stages of growth. Dr. Yazar-Klosinski has developed a strong track record of success with FDA, state regulatory agencies and multiple regulatory agencies outside of the USA.
Dr. Yazar-Klosinski earned her B.S. in Biology with a minor in Drama from Stanford University and her Ph.D. in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2010. She is a Turkish hunter-gatherer who is supporting the growth of her family and pets in harmony with the natural world as she works tirelessly to transform the future.
Heather Clouting earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in 2002 from Kingston University London, UK and a master’s degree in Clinical Trials in 2009 from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC) as a consultant, Heather worked as a Project Delivery Lead at GSK, Lead Senior Clinical Trial Leader and Associate Director, Clinical Operations Manager at Novartis Vaccines and Clinical Trial Manager at the Medical Research Council, Clinical Trials Unit, London.
At MPBC, Heather manages the Phase 3 and Commercial MDMA drug manufacture, supply, and Chemistry Manufacturing and Controls (CMC) regulatory writing for submission to relevant Regulatory and Health Authorities.
Heather is passionate and excited about the field of psychedelic research for mental health and the potential benefits that can be afforded to patients for which current options are limited, especially outside of the usual for-profit model of healthcare. Heather joined MPBC to use her combined experience of over 13 years in the public and private sectors of clinical research to support this important mission and help drive forward the potential licensure of MDMA for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Angelica earned a B.S. in Molecular Environmental Biology and a B.A. in Anthropology in 2013 from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation, Angelica worked as a research associate at a clinical biotech company where she assisted in research on gene/protein therapies and provided support to the pharmacology group. She also worked in a CLIA/CAP laboratory at a cancer diagnostics company isolating tumor cells containing specific biomarkers. While living at the Berkeley Student Cooperative, Angelica was the elected health worker for her 60-person co-op where she spoke to students about mental health resources, hosted consent and harm reduction workshops, and organized talks on alternative medicines.
At MAPS PBC, Angelica is currently serving as a Training Coordinator for the MDMA Therapy Training Program, focusing on supporting trainees in their progress through the program. Angelica is interested in the potential benefits of expanded states of consciousness and how transformative experiences can be utilized for therapeutic purposes. She is passionate about making psychedelic medicine inclusive and accessible to all, especially people of color and those who have been historically underrepresented in clinical research. In her free time, Angelica loves dancing, drinking tea, going to the beach, and playing deck-building card games.
Zac Goldberg, B.A.
Clinical Systems and Data Specialist
Zac earned a bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science with a Specialization in Neuroscience in 2017 from the University of California, San Diego. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), Zac worked as a Research Assistant at the Perception and Cognition Lab where he recruited participants for visual and auditory perception and memory experiments, in addition to cleaning and analyzing data from the studies.
At MPBC, Zac is currently serving as a Clinical Systems and Data Specialist, focusing on file management, system administration, regulatory document creation, and general organizational work. Zac oversees the electronic trial master file system and assists the Clinical Research Associates with their work. He is passionate about helping make MDMA and other psychedelics a viable option to treat mental illness. In Zac’s free time, he enjoys hiking, mountain biking, and playing ultimate frisbee and disc golf.
Wesley Hale, B.S.
In 2017, Wesley Hale moved to San Francisco to pursue his master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at San Francisco State University. Wesley has been a Graduate Research Assistant in the Health and Organizational Psychology Lab, Workforce Technology Research Lab, and Employee Selection and Retention Lab. Prior to joining MAPS PBC, Wesley was an Assistant Business Psychologist at a game-based assessment company and has gained experience working in the education field. He taught children with autism spectrum disorders and went on to teach a variety of subjects in the Orange County Public School District. Before moving to San Francisco, he spent two summers in China as a guest lecturer at Xi’an Jiaotong University.
Wesley is deeply passionate about the potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness for healing and growth and the importance of education and training for helping individuals effectively utilize these states. Wesley has served as a volunteer at the MAPS office, fundraising dinners, and tabling events. He has also been a volunteer for the Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research at CIIS. Wesley enjoys tea, meditation, and music from around the world.
Regulatory Data Specialist
Connor Harada earned a bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science in 2017 from the University of California Santa Cruz. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), Connor worked in an artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction lab where he assisted researching emotion and stress monitoring. He has also worked at MPBC as the Clinical Study Assistant and Clinical Intern in the past.
At MPBC, Connor is currently serving as a Regulatory Data Specialist, focusing on regulatory affairs and data sciences. He is involved in regulatory writing, submission processes, and data analysis and quality assurance. In Connor’s free time, he enjoys caring for his Australian Shepherd, Troy, and is interested in sound wave and music production.
Clinical Trial Lead
Charlotte Harrison is an experienced clinical research professional who is thrilled to be contributing to psychedelic research at MAPS Public Benefit Corporation. Prior to joining MPBC, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Greek and Latin in 2012 from Tufts University while pursuing pre-medical studies. After an exciting internship working on oncology trials at Clinical Assistance Programs (CAP), she decided her skills were better suited to clinical research. She monitored and managed clinical trials in supportive cancer care, nephrology, dermatology, and cardiology at CAP, MedTrials, and Harvard Clinical Research Institute.
At MPBC, Charlotte is currently serving as Clinical Trial Lead, supporting the management of MDMA and marijuana studies. She supports, trains, and monitors multiple sites, ensuring quality research and compliance. She is hopeful that her passion for improving the quality of life for those suffering with mental illness and determination to make scientific research more efficient will be beneficial to MAPS’ important and necessary work. In her free time, Charlotte can be found doing yoga, snuggling her cats, or playing board games late into the night.
Clinical Research Associate
Libby is a committed research professional with a background in Adult and Pediatric Oncology. Prior to beginning her career, she studied Psychological Science and Religious Studies at Albion College, where she received a rich and rigorous education in research design and ancient Jewish scripture. Prior positions included work on studies at Karmanos Cancer Institute, Children’s Hospital Oakland, and Genentech. After working as the Study Coordinator for a MAPS study, she joined the MAPS staff as a Clinical Research Associate. Libby is passionate about research ethics and innovations in mental health treatment, and is delighted to be a part of this dynamic team working to improve both of those things. In her free time, she can be found sewing her own clothes and quilts, knitting more hats than anyone needs, cooking, hiking, and traveling.
Colin Hennigan, M.A.
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.
Julie Holland, M.D.
Julie Holland, MD is a psychiatrist specializing in psychopharmacology with a private practice in New York City. Her book “Weekends at Bellevue” chronicles her nine years as an attending physician on the faculty of NYU School of Medicine, running the psychiatric emergency room. Frequently featured on the Today show and CNN’s documentary series “Weed,” Holland is the editor of "The Pot Book" and "Ecstasy: The Complete Guide." (Both books are non-profit projects that help to fund clinical therapeutic research.) Dr. Holland is the medical monitor for several MAPS PTSD studies utilizing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy or testing strains of cannabis with varying CBD/THC ratios. She has worked for decades on US drug policy reform based on harm reduction principles. Her 2016 book, “MoodyBitches: The Truth About The Drugs You're Taking, the Sleep You're Missing, the Sex You're Not Having, and What's Really Making You Crazy” has been translated into eleven languages.
Alli Feduccia, Ph.D.
Senior Clinical Data Scientist
Alli Feduccia, Ph.D., received a bachelor’s degree in Biological Psychology in 2009 from Louisiana State University. 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, she 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 mechanisms of action of medications used to treat substance use disorders. In 2012, she received a Postdoctoral Research Training Award from the National Institutes of Health that enabled her to work on clinical trials at NIAAA/NIDA investigating novel therapeutics for alcoholism, as well as, human fMRI studies oriented to understanding the neural underpinnings of addiction. At MAPS PBC, Alli is currently serving as the Senior Clinical Data Scientist, performing various tasks to ensure clinical data is analyzed and communicated in the highest quality for regulatory documents, scientific publications, and public presentations. She also makes online e-learning modules and creates content for a web-based learning management system to host training and educational material for site and therapy teams, Zendo Project, and other public educational outreach. Alli is passionate about starting a MAPS-sponsored trial of ayahuasca for treatment of alcohol use disorders and is currently applying her translational perspective to the development of a new protocol. Recognizing this as a monumental time in history, Alli highly regards the opportunity to participate in efforts to generate scientifically based evidence on the therapeutic and spiritual potential of psychedelics.
L. (Ilsa) Jerome, Ph.D.
Medical Coder and Data Analyst
L. (Ilsa) Jerome earned a doctorate in psychology from the University of Maryland in 1999, with an interest in social cognition. Inside and beyond formal education, Jerome immersed herself in literature on psychopharmacology and what would soon become affective and social neuroscience. Ilsa was a member of the team that developed the initial 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) Investigator’s Brochure. Jerome was the Clinical Research and Information Specialist at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). At MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), Jerome has retained the title, focusing on archiving, communicating and sharing information about studies into the effects, risks and benefits of MAPS’ primary study drugs, particularly MDMA and classic psychedelics. Seeking, understanding and communicating scientific information has been at the core of this role, while the details have changed. As clinical research and information specialist, Jerome has collected and summarized research as part of designing and developing the Investigator’s Brochure and Phase 2 studies. She has assisted in the revision and management of Psychedelic Bibliography scope and content, supported and communicated with medical monitors, and communicated with researchers within and outside of MAPS and sending findings into the world as published reports. She believes in the necessity of interpreting and sharing research knowledge that will best help MPBC produce transparent, thorough and honest documents and reports, and that spotting good questions is as important as knowing good answers. Ilsa is fascinated by sound and music, and fragrance and olfaction. She spent a couple of years as a DJ at a university radio station, but remains emphatically unhip.
Alia Lilienstein, M.D., M.P.H.
Associate Medical Monitor
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.
Joselyn Lindgren, M.S.
Clinical Research Associate
Joselyn earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1990 from the University of California Santa Cruz and a master’s degree in Nutrition and Food Science in 1997 from San Jose State University. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), Joselyn worked as a staff research associate in a neuroimaging lab at San Francisco Veterans Affairs. Here she supported large observational studies on Gulf War Illness, HIV, Alcohol, PTSD and Alzheimer’s. Next Joselyn worked at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institution where she managed all clinical related activities for several Phase II oncology trials. Joselyn most recently worked at Kaiser Permanente, supporting Phase 2-3 trials with expertise in regulatory documents. At MPBC, Joselyn is currently serving as a Clinical Research Associate supporting ongoing clinical trials using MDMA-assisted therapy to treat PTSD.
Joselyn is committed to helping find long-term permanent solutions for debilitating mental health disorders and is excited to be a part of this transformative movement that MAPS/MPBC has created with psychedelic research.
In Joselyn’s free time, she enjoys cooking, dancing, reading, and power walks.
Pierre Llorach, B.S.
Clinical Study Assistant
Pierre earned his B.S. in Cognitive Science with an emphasis on Neuroscience from the University of California, Davis, in 2018. Before joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), Pierre worked in a psycholinguistics lab where he assisted with moving participants through eye tracking research. Pierre also worked in a human memory lab where he assisted with research correlating stress and memory.
At MPBC, Pierre is currently serving as a Clinical Intern focusing on general administrative duties necessary to execute clinical research trials that include document tracking and filing, file migration, document development, and IT support duties. Pierre is passionate about the brain and its workings and is thrilled to be part of the MPBC team. During his free time, Pierre enjoys nature walks and spending time outdoors.
Annie Mithoefer, B.S.N.
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.
Michael Mithoefer, M.D.
(Acting) Medical Monitor
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.
IT Program Manager
Larry brings over 20 years of IT leadership to MPBC. He is skilled in strategic planning and execution of IT specific regulatory compliance. Larry has a strong technical background with his work at medical device manufacturers General Surgical Innovations and Kyphon, as well as experience with Software-as-a-Service organizations. Larry is passionate about the mission at MPBC and in his spare time Larry plays drums, rides his road and mountain bicycles and enjoys the outdoors.
Video Systems Manager
Andrew J. O’Keefe II earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in Picture Editing & Sound Design in 2009 from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts School of Filmmaking. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), Andrew founded a media services company called Amotion, previously worked as a Media Producer & Archivist at Singularity University, and offered extensive media services to the Android Jones and Tribe 13 teams.
At MPBC, Andrew is currently serving as Video Systems Manager; focusing on facilitating video operations. Andrew has helped create, manage and distribute large media databases for different organizations across industries. Andrew is passionate about leveraging media for good while simultaneously scaling positive impact worldwide. Andrew strives to help build a better world that works for everybody.
Video and Informatics Systems Associate
John earned a bachelor’s degree in Bioengineering in 2018 from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation, John worked as a grader and tutor for the UCSC Biomolecular Engineering Department where he aided students in learning how to use and apply computational biological tools to their research. John also participated in The International Genetically Engineered Machine competition, where he and his peers pursued the development of salt tolerant cellulolytic enzymes for second-generation biofuel production. At MPBC, John is currently serving as a Video and Informatics Systems Associate, focusing on developing software applications and platforms for recording, processing, and delivering video of sponsored MDMA-assisted psychotherapy sessions. He has played a role in maintaining the security and confidentiality of these sensitive data whilst providing access to authorized personnel in the MDMA Therapy Training Program. John is passionate about applying his knowledge in data sciences, technology, and engineering to clinical contexts with the hope of creating a general purpose platform to facilitate diagnostics and the administration of personalized medicines. In his free time, John can be found brewing beer or mead, playing guitar, or out enjoying the natural beauty of this world.
Shaw Ramey-Wright, B.A.
Clinical Study Assistant
Shaw earned two Bachelor's of Arts degrees in Psychology and Sociology at the University of California, Davis in 2017. During his undergraduate career, Shaw worked as the Director of Legislative Affairs for student government, where he trained students to lobby the California State Legislature for affordable higher education, mental health funding, and other important issues. He also served as the Social Chair, Vice President, and President of the Swim Club at UC Davis; a community and activity he still holds dear. Over the summers, he researched CBT-I for cannabis cessation with the Department of Veteran's Affairs and wrote part of a research paper now published in Current Addiction Reports. In his last year as an undergraduate, he took the responsibility of Lead Coordinator for a mental health program on the UC Davis campus. Shaw just finished his most recent position as Campaign Manager for Measure G, the Santa Cruz County sales tax to fund public safety, parks, and social services; which was passed by voters this November. In his spare time, Shaw loves dancing, public speaking, going on hikes with friends, and reading.
Sarah Scheld, M.A.
MDMA Therapy Training Program Assistant
Sarah earned her M.A. in East-West Psychology program in 2016 from the California Institute of Integral Studies, focusing on psychedelic-assisted therapy and integration approaches. Prior to joining MPBC, Sarah has worked as a somatic counselor specializing in relational trauma work, a program coordinator for ecopsychology trainings, and as a production designer and filmmaker.
At MPBC, Sarah assists in administration and program coordination for the MDMA Therapy Training Program, which educates health professionals and researchers to provide MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in approved settings. In addition to her role at MPBC, Sarah’s speaking and writing focus on trauma-informed approaches to psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, and social justice within the psychedelic movement. Trained in the Hakomi method and Somatic Experiencing, she is dedicated to continuing her own education in somatic psychotherapy, trauma resolution, and working therapeutically with expanded states of consciousness. She is passionate about the role of trauma awareness and the skillful use of psychedelic medicines in helping to heal people, communities, and environments. She lives in Berkeley, CA.
Chris Shelley, Ph.D.
Training Systems Support Specialist
Chris earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 2005 from the University of Bristol, a master’s degree in mathematics in 2011 from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a doctorate in mathematics in 2013 from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Prior to joining MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), Chris worked as an Assistant Professor, teaching mathematics and investigating the connections between arithmetic and geometry.
At MPBC, Chris is currently serving as Training Systems Support Specialist, focusing on the IT component of MPBC’s therapy training and supervision programs. He is passionate about computing and software development, and is excited to draw from his academic background to aid in the development of online training resources for MPBC. Chris hopes the work and research conducted by MPBC will help transform the lives of those suffering from PTSD.
Brieta Ventimiglia, M.A.
Clinical Research Associate
Brieta earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing with a minor in Statistics in 2005 from Winona State University and a master’s degree in Applied Statistics in 2008 from the University of Western Michigan. Prior to joining the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), Brieta worked as a Clinical Database and Project Manager where she monitored and managed multiple device trials.
At MPBC, Brieta is currently serving as a Clinical Research Associate, supporting ongoing clinical trials. She believes the research conducted by MPBC is essential to provide healing to those who are suffering. Brieta is firmly committed to MAPS/MPBC’s vision and values and is excited to be a part of such a talented team. In her free time, she can be found exploring the outdoors, camping, hiking, or skiing.