KETAMINE 2024

Monday 25 – Wednesday 27 March 2024
Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford

Speakers

Amit Anand

Dr. Amit Anand is professor of psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School. He directs the Translational Clinical Trials Program in Psychiatry at Mass General Brigham Hospitals. Dr. Anand completed his initial medical and psychiatric training from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. Subsequently, he came to Yale University School of Medicine where he completed a Clinical Neuroscience Fellowship. After completing his training, Dr. Anand has held faculty appointments at Yale University, Indiana University, and Case Western University. Prior to coming to Boston in 2021, he was Professor and vice-chair for Research at the Cleveland Clinic. During his career he has established diverse clinical research programs in the areas of personalized medicine, brain imaging, and treatment trials for mood and other neuropsychiatric disorders. He has conducted the first brain imaging studies of resting state connectivity in mood disorders as well as pioneering studies in the use of glutamatergic agents such as ketamine for treatment resistant depression. In the past 25 years, Dr. Anand’s clinical research has been supported by Brain and Behavior Foundation, Stanley Foundation, Department of Veterans Affairs, Patient Centered Outcome Research Institute (PCORI), and National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants. He has published extensively in development of novel treatments for mood disorders as well as identifying diagnostic and treatment-effect biomarkers.

Chiye Aoki

BA Barnard College, Columbia Univ.; PhD Rockefeller U.
Professor of Neural Science & Biology at New York University and Associate Investigator at Neuroscience Institute, NYU Langone Medical Center

I am most interested in understanding the cellular bases of resilience gained when adolescent individuals encounter stressful environments. I utilize the technique of electron microscopic immunocytochemistry to examine plasticity of synaptic circuits within the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, using the paradigm of food restriction-evoked stress which elicits excessive exercise and severe body weight loss in rodents, much as is seen among patients diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. The approach of analyzing synaptic properties in these brain regions across individuals with varying degrees of resilience has shown interesting correlates, providing clues about molecules within circuits that influence maladaptive behavior and resilience. I take these clues to interrogate the circuits and molecules involved in the generation and suppression of maladaptive behaviors, using knockdown and knockout of genes, pharmacology and chemogenetic modulations. I am exploring the synaptic mechanisms underlying the ameliorative properties of sub-anesthetic doses of ketamine against anorexia-like maladaptive behaviors

Zoe Cormier

Zoe Cormier is an author, journalist, speaker and entertainer with an academic background in zoology coupled with an upbringing in the music industry. Her first book Sex, Drugs & Rock n’ Roll: The Science of Hedonism and the Hedonism of Science, published in 2014 and named by The Guardian as a “must read”, celebrates the evolutionary importance of three activities which have traditionally and erroneously been denigrated as primitive. Her work has appeared in the BBC, The Times, The Guardian, Nature, New Scientist, Scientific American, Wired, Vice, Rolling Stone, The Nation, and many more. She has long maintained that ketamine will be tomorrow’s oxycontin, and predicted we would see deaths from the drug years before Matthew Perry’s drowning. Zoe is also the only person who has appeared naked in New Scientist, and the only living writer who can say “Rolling Stone magazine paid me to drop LSD”.

Christine Ann Denny

Christine Ann Denny, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Clinical Neurobiology in Psychiatry at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) and a Research Scientist VI in the Division of Systems Neuroscience at the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI). She received a B.S. from Boston College in 2005, a M.S. from Boston College in 2006, and her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Columbia University in 2012, where she investigated the impact of adult hippocampal neurogenesis on behavior in the laboratory of Dr. René Hen. After receiving the NIH Director’s DP5 Early Independence Award, she started her own laboratory in 2013 at Columbia University.

Dr. Denny studies the neural basis of learning and memory in disease states, such as in depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Specifically, she created an activity-dependent tagging murine line, the ArcCreERT2 mice, which allows for the permanent labeling and manipulation of individual memories.

In addition, Dr. Denny’s laboratory is developing small molecule compounds to protect against stress. In this line of work, Dr. Denny is elucidating the mechanisms of (R,S)-ketamine, novel NDMAR antagonists, and more recently, 5-HT4R agonists as prophylactics against stress.

Dr. Denny has published over 50 peer-reviewed publications and her work has been published in Neuron, Nature, Science, Nature Neuroscience, and Biological Psychiatry. She has received funding from numerous agencies to include the NIH, NIA, NINDS, Whitehall Foundation, and a Kavli Award. In 2019, she received the NIH Director’s Transformative Award. Her work has been featured on PBS NOVA, and in the Washington Post, The Atlantic, Scientific American, and Business Insider.

Wayne C. Drevets

Neuroscience, Janssen Research & Development, LLC of Johnson & Johnson, Inc.

Dr. Drevets is Vice President and Disease Area Leader in Neuropsychiatry at Janssen, where he oversees the discovery and development of novel treatments for major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. A major emphasis of this program involves innovation of precision approaches for identifying patients most likely to benefit from novel therapeutics.

Drevets received a B.S. (Biology) from Wheaton College, an M.D. from University of Kansas, and completed residency (psychiatry) at Washington University School of Medicine (St.Louis). He remained on faculty at Washington University, attaining the rank of associate professor with tenure in Psychiatry, and subsequently held associate or full professorships and other leadership positions at the University of Pittsburgh, the NIMH Intramural Research Program, the Laureate Institute for Brain Research and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. He joined Janssen in 2012 as the first Disease Area Leader in Mood Disorders, and now has an expanded role as Disease Area Leader in Neuropsychiatry.

His research has involved investigations of the neurocircuitry of mood disorders, the mechanisms underlying antidepressant therapies, the discovery and development of novel therapeutics for mood and psychotic disorders, and the biomarker correlates and predictors of treatment outcome. He has published 400 articles and chapters (H-Index=130).

Hans Eriksson

Hans Eriksson, Chief Medical Officer at HMNC Brain Health

Dr. Eriksson is a highly respected drug developer and clinical psychiatrist with over 20 years of pharmaceutical experience. He holds an MD and Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology from Lund University. He also holds an Executive MBA from Stockholm School of Economics. Dr. Eriksson’s specialties include drug development, clinical psychiatry (e.g. mood and anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and emergency psychiatry). Prior to HMNC Brain Health, Dr. Eriksson served as Chief Medical Officer at COMPASS Pathways and previously as Senior Director of Clinical Research at Lundbeck and Medical Science Director at AstraZeneca. He has worked on five late-phase clinical development programs for depression indications,  three of which have resulted in regulatory approvals for Major Depressive Disorder. 

Dr Marco Fabus

Dr Marco Fabus completed their doctorate at the University of Oxford, focusing on brain dynamics induced by anaesthetics. Supported by the Wellcome Trust, this work aimed to improve clinical monitoring in surgical and psychiatric settings. Before this, he obtained a first-class master’s degree in physics at Oxford, with a final project on modelling neural inertia. His research interests span novel medical technologies, neuroimaging, and brain-body interactions. Currently, he is a graduate medical student at St Anne’s College, Oxford.

Adriana Feder

Adriana Feder, MD, is Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Trauma and Resilience Program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in New York City, USA. She has led research studies on the psychobiology of resilience, as well as clinical, epidemiological, and biological studies of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in diverse trauma-exposed populations. Dr. Feder has contributed to the development of ketamine as a treatment for chronic PTSD by leading the first randomized controlled trials of single and repeated intravenous ketamine infusions for this disorder. She published the first neuroimaging findings on correlates and predictors of response to ketamine in individuals with chronic PTSD, and is presently investigating a potential synergistic effect of adding written exposure therapy to a course of ketamine infusions.

Sophie Holmes

Dr. Sophie Holmes is assistant professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at Yale University. Her research focuses on the use of brain imaging to unravel the neural basis of psychiatric symptoms across psychiatric and neurological disorders. Building on her psychology background, Dr. Holmes realized the potential of imaging for understanding human behavior and mental illness and trained in applied neuroimaging, receiving her doctorate in neuropsychiatry from the University of Manchester (UK). At Yale, Dr. Holmes has been using cutting-edge neuroimaging to advance understanding of psychiatric disorders such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. She is identifying the brain mechanisms underlying the rapid antidepressant effects of ketamine, notably its effects on neural connections and glutamate function. More recently, she established a first-of-its kind program at Yale that uses multimodal imaging to discover and evaluate new treatments, including ketamine, for psychiatric symptoms in neurological disease, with a specific focus on Parkinson’s disease.

Hailan Hu

Hailan Hu is Professor and Director of School of Brain Science and Brain Medicine at Zhejiang University. She received a BA in Biochemistry from Beijing University and a PhD in neuroscience, with Corey Goodman, from UC Berkeley. After a postdoc training with Roberto Malinow at CSHL, she joined the faculty of Institute of Neuroscience, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Since 2015, she has been professor at Zhejiang University. Her laboratory seeks to understand how emotional and social behaviors are encoded and regulated in the brain, with a main focus on the neural circuitry underlying depression and social dominance. Her team has identified the neural mechanism underlying the winner effect, by which individuals increase their chance of winning after previous victories. Her recent work has uncovered a new model to explain the etiology of depression and the rapid antidepressant actions of ketamine, involving NMDA receptor-dependent burst activity of lateral habenular neurons. Her work has led to the identification of several molecular targets for developing new antidepressant drugs. She is a recipient of the IBRO-Kemali International Prize and the L’Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science International award.

Shaohua Hu

Shaohua Hu, M.D & Ph.D.
Professor, Director of Psychiatry Department, First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, China

Dr. Hu is the director of Psychiatry Department, First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine. He graduated from Zhejiang University School of Medicine and finished clinical training program in First Affiliated Hospital, ZJUSM. He visited Los Angeles (UCLA) and studied Problem Based Learning (PBL) program in 2008. As a research visitor, he studied in Psychiatry Department, Columbia University in 2012. He has undertaken several national research projects and has published more than 150 papers on journals, such as The Lancet Psychiatry, Molecular Psychiatry, British Journal of Psychiatry, Advanced Science, Sciences Advanced, Cell Discovery, JAMA Network Open. He is the editors of many journals, including The Lancet Psychiatry, Journal of Psychiatric Research, Neuroscience Bulletin, BMC Psychiatry. He has also published several books on psychiatry and mental health.

Danica Johnson

Danica Johnson is a first-year PhD student supervised by Dr. Roger McIntyre and Dr. Joshua Rosenblat at the University of Toronto (U of T) in Canada. Her lab, the Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit, is based out of Toronto Western Hospital.

Danica’s academic journey commenced with an undergraduate degree specializing in biology and psychology at Queen’s University in Kingston (Canada), laying the foundation for her current pursuits. Danica’s research has garnered recognition through prestigious awards, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Canada Graduate Scholarship and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship, highlighting the quality and impact of her work in the realm of ketamine research.

With a keen interest in understanding the intricate dynamics of treatment response, Danica’s research extends to exploring the impact of psychiatric comorbidity and trauma on the efficacy of ketamine and psilocybin treatments. Here, she will discuss her lab’s work examining the therapeutic efficacy of ketamine for treatment-resistant depression with comorbid PTSD.

Steve Levine

Dr. Steve Levine is a board-certified psychiatrist with a special interest and extensive experience in building models of care to deliver interventional treatments with a focus on patient access. He currently serves as Senior Vice President of Patient Access and Medical Affairs for Compass Pathways. Dr. Levine completed internship and residency in psychiatry at New York – Presbyterian Hospital – Weill Cornell. He then completed fellowship subspecialty training in psychosomatic medicine/psycho-oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center/New York Presbyterian Hospital. He has published extensively in both peer-reviewed journals and popular media, presented to both professional and lay audiences around the world, served in leadership roles for professional societies and not-for-profit entities, and received numerous awards for leadership and service.

Theresa Lii

Dr. Theresa Lii is an anesthesiology-trained pain management physician and postdoctoral research fellow at Stanford University. She received her undergraduate and medical degree at Brown University and completed residency and fellowship training at Stanford. Her current research is focused on delineating the therapeutic versus placebo mechanisms underlying ketamine and other psychedelic compounds used for the treatment of chronic pain and depression. She is currently applying for mentored research training grants to advance her research and career. Her long-term career goal is to become an intervention-focused clinical trialist specializing in psychedelic compounds for broad applications in psychiatric disorders, chronic pain, and neurological disease.

David Mathai

Dr. Mathai is volunteer faculty with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, a research psychiatrist with Segal Trials, and a private practice psychiatrist with Sattva Medicine. As a researcher, Dr. Mathai has studied the clinical properties of psychedelic-type therapies like ketamine, MDMA, and psilocybin. He received advanced pharmacology research training as a postdoctoral fellow with the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, where he worked as a scientific collaborator, study physician, and session therapist for multiple clinical trials of psilocybin-assisted interventions. He completed medical school and residency training with Baylor College of Medicine and the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Sanjay Mathew

Sanjay J. Mathew, M.D. is the Marjorie Bintliff Johnson and Raleigh White Johnson, Jr. Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine, and Director of the Mood & Anxiety Disorders Program.   He also serves as a staff physician at the Michael E. Debakey VA Medical Center in Houston and a Senior Scientist at The Menninger Clinic.   He graduated from Dartmouth College and Baylor College of Medicine, and trained as a resident in psychiatry at Columbia University/New York-Presbyterian Hospital.   He completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in mood and anxiety disorders at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute.   Prior to his current position, he served as faculty at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he co-directed the Mood & Anxiety Disorders Program.   His research program, funded by NIH, VA, PCORI, and industry, focuses on experimental therapeutics and pathophysiology related to treatment-resistant mood/anxiety disorders and PTSD, with a particular focus on developing rapid-acting and novel pharmacotherapies.  His program employs multiple neuroimaging techniques to uncover potential biomarkers associated with clinical outcomes.  

Dr. Mathew has authored or co-authored over 180 manuscripts and book chapters, serves on the editorial board of several journals, and is a frequent grant reviewer for NIH.   In 2016, he co-edited the book “Ketamine for Treatment-Resistant Depression.”   He serves on the Boards of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (where he currently serves as President-Elect), and is an elected Fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. 

Lilian Weber

Lilian is a postdoctoral researcher in the MoDeS lab with Prof. Klein-Fluegge in the Department of Psychiatry at University of Oxford. A psychologist and physicist by training, she obtained her PhD in Translational Neuromodelling at ETH Zurich with Prof. Klaas Enno Stephan, and worked with Prof Laurence Hunt during her first postdoc in Oxford. She is interested in how human brains form and update beliefs about the external and internal world, how these processes are supported by neurochemistry, and altered in mental health.

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