UC San Diego Researchers Gifted $1.5M to Study Effects of DMT on the Brain

The University of California, San Diego Psychedelics and Health Research Initiative has received a $1.5 million philanthropic gift funding an investigation into the effects of DMT on the brain.

Full story after the jump.

The University of California, San Diego Psychedelics and Health Research Initiative has received a $1.5 million gift to study the effects of DMT on the brain. Philanthropist Eugene Jhong gifted the funds to the university for the research.

Jon Dean, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar in the UC San Diego Department of Anesthesiology and director of the Division of DMT Research at the UC San Diego Psychedelic Health and Research Initiative, is one of the principal investigators of the study. In previous research, Dean discovered that endogenous DMT also exists in the rat brain at levels comparable to serotonin, a neurotransmitter vital to brain function.

“Our goals are to employ multi-modal approaches to study extended state consciousness elucidated by DMT to further appreciate the nature of reality as well as the role of endogenous DMT in the human body. Reliable methods for measuring DMT directly in the human brain and bodily fluids do not exist, so the intriguing possibilities that endogenous DMT may play a role in consciousness, dreaming and protecting the brain from trauma are still scientific speculation.” — Dean in a press release

UC San Diego is currently the only university in the U.S. that has a dedicated division to conduct extended-state DMT research.

In a statement, Jhong said he is “pleased to support this innovative effort to explore extended DMT and am confident it will shed new and important insight into the question of our true nature.”

Fadel Zeidan, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at UC San Diego School of Medicine, said the researchers’ “long-term objective is to gain a better understanding of how DMT and other psychedelics could be used in a therapeutic manner to address pain, trauma and various medical conditions related to the brain.”

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