Johns Hopkins, Yale, and NYU are teaming up to tackle a key bottleneck that will


  • Universities have become more open about their research into psychedelics in recent years.
  • As psychedelic treatments inch toward regulatory approval, schools want to tackle a coming issue.
  • Johns Hopkins, NYU, and Yale are collaborating to create a psychedelics-psychiatrist program.

As psychedelics treatments move closer to regulatory approval, there’s an issue looming in the industry: the lack of trained professionals who can handle such powerful compounds.

Psychedelics are mind-altering substances, and it can take hours for professionals to guide patients through the experience of taking them as treatments for conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder and severe depression. Experts like Dr. Stephen Ross, an associate director at the New York University Langone Health’s Center for Psychedelic Medicine, estimate we could need tens of thousands of trained professionals when psychedelic medications come to market.

Carey Turnbull, president of the Heffter Research Institute and board member of the Usona Institute

Carey Turnbull, president of the Heffter Research Institute and board member of the Usona Institute

Courtesy of Carey Turnbull


In recent years, top universities have begun to establish centers to study compounds like psilocybin and MDMA. Now, they’re turning to address the lack of trained therapists, which they see as the next bottleneck that could hamper these compounds.

Johns Hopkins University, Yale University, and New York University announced on Thursday they were collaborating to create a psychedelics curriculum for psychiatrists. A $1 million grant will fund researchers at the three schools over the next two years to develop a curriculum for psychiatrists and create educational materials for other medical professionals.

The collaboration is the latest sign that top academic institutions and the medical establishment are warming up to these compounds.

“A few short years ago, this would have been an absurd dream,” Carey Turnbull, the president of the psychedelics nonprofit Heffter Research Institute, told Insider.

Philanthropists are funding the various parts of the psychedelics movement that need to come together

Turnbull and his wife, Claudia Turnbull, who are longtime players in the psychedelics space, spearheaded the fundraising effort. With philanthropists like Tim Ferriss, Bill Linton, Michael and Lisa Cotton, and the Evolve Foundation, they raised $1 million for the program. 

Lisa and Michael Cotton told Insider they donated $75,000 to the program and had, over the past two years, donated more than $1 million into the psychedelics space.

“People who have gone through traumatic events should be able to have tools at their disposal that can help them live better lives,” Michael Cotton said.

Psilocybin mushrooms on a mossy log

Psilocybin mushrooms.



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