Ian Anderson

Ian Anderson is Honorary Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Manchester, UK and was previously an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust.

He founded the Manchester Specialist Service for Affective Disorders, a tertiary clinic for complex mood disorders, and was Director until retiring from clinical work in 2011.

His research interests include treatment trials and brain mechanisms in affective disorders. He is co-author of the BAP depression and anxiety disorders treatment guidelines. He chaired the Clinical Guideline Development Group for the NICE (2009) depression treatment guidelines (CG90). He has authored over 130 peer-reviewed papers and edited ‘Fundamentals of Clinical Psychopharmacology’ which won the psychiatry section of the BMA medical book awards 2016.

Elias Dakwar

Elias Dakwar is Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry in the Division on Substance Abuse, Columbia University. After his residency training (University of Chicago Medical Center, 2008), he completed a clinical research fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry (Columbia University, 2011). His research interests include the pharmacological facilitation of mindfulness training with ketamine for alcohol and cocaine misuse. He is currently funded by National Institute on Drug Abuse.  

Gordon Fernie

After his PhD in Psychology at Nottingham, Dr Fernie  explored the relationships between impulsivity, attentional bias and alcohol consumption in adolescents, at Liverpool until 2010.  He moved to work with the late Ian Reid in University of Aberdeen where he ran a Chief Scientist Office-funded randomised controlled trial investigating ketamine as the anaesthetic for electro-convulsive therapy (ECT). He also had a role facilitating research with the Scottish Mental Health Research Network. He is now a clinical Trial Manager at the Centre for Healthcare Randomised Trials (CHaRT) based in the Health Services Research Unit (HSRU) at the University of Aberdeen. 

Dan Iosifescu

Dr. Dan Iosifescu is the Director of Clinical Research at the Nathan Kline Institute

and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine. His research is focused on novel pharmacological treatments (such as ketamine and other glutamatergic drugs) and devices (such as novel forms of magnetic stimulation) for patients with severe mood disorders (major depression and bipolar disorder) and anxiety disorders (PTSD). In his research Dr. Iosifescu uses neuroimaging (MRI, MRS) and neurophysiology (quantitative EEG) techniques to evaluate structural, biochemical, and functional brain abnormalities in mood disorders and their impact on clinical treatment.  In parallel Dr. Iosifescu also focuses on the recognition and treatment of cognitive deficits associated with mood disorders.  

Colleen Loo

Colleen Loo is a psychiatrist and Professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. She conducted the first randomised controlled trials of TMS, tDCS and ketamine in psychiatry in Australia and has also developed local use of the ultrabrief pulse width ECT. Her group published the first trial of ketamine for resistant depression in the elderly and leads a multicentre, longer duration, trial of ketamine for depression. They have also published a systematic review of the side effects of ketamine, leading to development of the Ketamine Side Effect Tool (KSET). 

Rupert McShane

Rupert McShane is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at University of Oxford. A consultant at Oxford Health NHS Foundation trust, he leads a ketamine clinic and the ECT service for Oxfordshire. He is PI on several ketamine related trials and is an advocate of the use of registries and patient completed mood monitoring to complement trial data in the tracking of long term safety and effectiveness of ketamine. 

Gerard Sanacora

Jerry Sanacora is Professor of Psychiatry; Director, Yale Depression Research Program; Co-Director, Yale New Haven Hospital Interventional Psychiatry Service.

He is part of the Yale group which first identified the antidepressant effect of ketamine.   He runs both basic science and clinical laboratories.  The former uses a chronic stress model to explore  cellular and molecular biology.  The latter uses novel MRS and pharmacological challenge paradigms. He leads several early phase trials of novel candidate therapies. 

James Stone

Dr Stone studied medicine at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, London. He trained in Psychiatry at Cambridge and at the Maudsley. He was awarded an MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship in 2005, and obtained his PhD in 2008. Over the last 10 years, he has worked on brain imaging and glutamatergic neurotransmission, and has completed a number of studies investigating the effect of ketamine on brain function. He is currently working as a Clinical Senior Lecturer with the BRC at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London. His main research interests at present are the role of glutamate in psychosis and depression, the early stage testing of novel drug treatments for these conditions, and the development of neuroimaging biomarkers to enable a stratified medicine approach for psychiatric conditions.

Haggai Sharon

Haggai Sharon, MD is a specialist in Internal medicine and Pain Medicine. He is a senior physician and researcher at the Tel Aviv Medical Centre and Tel Aviv University, where he also recently submitted his PhD thesis in Neuroscience. Dr. Sharon's current work combines research into what builds the subjective experience of the self in health and disease. He is especially interested in altered states of consciousness and neuropsychopharmacology, as well as the neurobiology of pain and methods that can rapidly change this aversive experience in a noninvasive, brain-focused and patient-tailored manner. To that aim he combines advanced functional brain imaging, pharmacotherapy and noninvasive brain stimulation and modulation techniques in healthy individuals and in patients.

Dr. Sharon leads the #Consciousness & Psychopharmacolog research team at the TLV-CBF, and is currently a clinical research fellow at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Pain Management and Neuromodulation Centre in London. 

John Donello

John E. Donello, Ph.D. is Vice President of Research Pharmacology and External Science & Innovation at Allergan, LLC.   His background spans molecular biology,  pharmacology, and translational science within neuroscience, ophthalmology, and dermatology. His specific interest is to identify and develop novel potential therapies and to translate the science into clinical proof of concept for diseases with significant unmet need. He is an inventor of multiple molecules currently undergoing clinical investigation and over 100 issued patents.  He received his Ph.D from The Salk Institute of Biological Studies and University of California, San Diego for work in molecular virology. He received a Bachelor of Science, Biology from Indiana University.

Alison McInnes

Dr. Alison McInnes graduated from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed her residency at the University of California San Francisco where she received a Howard Hughes Research Fellowship to study the genetics of mood disorders. She then ran her own NIMH funded laboratory as an Associate Professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine before returning to the Bay area and founded Kaiser Permanente’s Regional Ketamine Therapy Program in 2014. As Medical Director of this program, she convened international conferences for ketamine therapy, a tradition which will be carried forward in years to come. Given her academic background, she was delighted to join Actify Neurotherapies network to continue ketamine-related clinical research and patient care.

Organising Committee

  • Rupert McShane (Chair)
  • Phil Cowen
  • Declan McLoughlin
  • Celia Morgan
  • Gerard Sanacora
  • Robert Shoevers

Jeffrey Becker

Jeffrey Becker trained at UCLA in both Medicine and Psychiatry with a focus on Neuropsychiatry and Functional Medicine. He is board-certified through the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) and the American Board for Integrative and Holistic Medicine (ABIHM) and is affiliated with Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA as Volunteer Clinical Faculty.  His interest in Ketamine began in 1998.  He has developed a working paradigm mapping the psychotropic effects of ketamine upon both the phenomenology of mysticism and the neurology of NMDA-receptor physiology with specific respect to GABAergic interneurons known to be involved in the maintenance of ego and some forms of depression.

Michael Grunebaum

Dr. Michael Grunebaum completed his training at Harvard Medical School and The Payne Whitney Clinic=Cornell Univeristy Medical Center psychiatry residency. He is a Research Psychiatrist at New York State Psychiatric Institute-Columbia University Medical Center, with expertise in translational intervention research in mood disorders with a focus on suicidal risk. Dr. Grunebaum has completed and published randomized clinical trials of ketamine for bipolar and unipolar depression with suicidal thoughts with NARSAD and NIMH funding, respectively. Both studies found a therapeutic effect for ketamine for suicidal ideation and included biomarker measures including cognition, saliva cortisol, brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), ketamine, and metabolites in plasma, and BDNF Val66Met polymorphism genotyping.

Steven Levine

Dr. Steven Levine is the founder and CEO of Actify Neurotherapies (formerly Ketamine Treatment Centers), a network of 10 medical centers across the U.S. He is Vice President of the American Society of Ketamine Physicians, of which he is a founding member. He is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University and Tulane University Medical School. He completed a psychiatry residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital - Weill Cornell Medical Center and also completed fellowship subspecialty training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center/Weill Cornell.  

Declan McLoughlin

Declan McLoughlin is Research Professor of Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin and St Patrick's University Hospital. His group's translational research focused on both brain stimulation therapies and molecular biomarkers in psychiatry. Recent publication of a large RCT comparing right unilateral and bitemporal ECT and related systematic reviews have practice-changing implications. Recent research has also focussed on pragmatic pilot trials of ketamine for depression relapse prevention (KEEP-WELL, KINDRED) as well as using ketamine as an adjunctive therapy for acutely hospitalised patients with depression (KARMA-Dep).

Jaz Singh

Jaz Singh is Clinical Leader for an investigational antidepressant at Janssen R&D. He is a former Harvard Research Fellow, and spent 3 years as part of a translational strategy team focused on novel mood disorders’ targets at the NIMH.  Jaz has been Clinical leader for 7 years, and has a particular interest in development of novel antidepressants including those with rapid onset of efficacy, clinical trial methodology and human experimental models of mood disorders.  He authored over 50 publications and won numerous awards for his work and dedication to helping patients with mood disorders.  

Jenny Southgate

Jenny Southgate trained at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) in London and has a PhD in epithelial cell biology from the University of Leeds.  Since 1999, she has been Professor of Molecular Carcinogenesis and Director of the Jack Birch Unit of Molecular Carcinogenesis at the University of York.  Her main research focus is the human urothelium and how it functions in the bladder and urinary tract as a self-regenerating urinary barrier, with experimental normal human urothelial (NHU) cell and tissue culture systems used to explore mechanisms of normal tissue homeostasis and dysregulation in disease. The work has included examination of chronic inflammatory bladder conditions, such as interstitial cystitis and more recently, ketamine cystitis.   

Samuel Wilkinson

Dr. Wilkinson graduated from medical school at John Hopkins University and did his psychiatric residency training at Yale. He is now junior faculty at Yale and is the Assistant Director of the Yale Depression Research Programe. His research interests focus on developing ways to improve the quality of care in the community for psychiatric patients, with a special interest in improving access to and dissemination of preventative measures and evidence-based therapies for treatment-resistance depression. These include electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and ketamine. 

Raquel Bennett

Raquel Bennett, Psy.D. is a psychologist and a ketamine specialist. She is the founder of KRIYA Institute and the organizer of the KRIYA Conferences, which is an annual event devoted to the use of ketamine in psychiatry and psychotherapy. Dr. Bennett has been studying the therapeutic uses for ketamine since 2002. She has an office in Berkeley, California.

Dr Jose Miyar

Dr Miyar qualified at University College London and completed his training in psychiatry in London and Nottingham. He worked as a consultant psychiatrist specialising in addiction and substance misuse, and in general adult psychiatry, in Nottingham, Crawley, Hertfordshire and Lewisham from 2010-13  before moving to the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).  He is now a Senior Medical Assessor at the Benefit/Risk Management Team within the Vigilance Risk Management of Medicines Division of the MHRA.

Prof David Feifel

David Feifel obtained his MD and PhD (neurobiology) from the University of Toronto and completed psychiatry residency at University of California, San Diego (UCSD).  He went on to run the UCSD inpatient psychiatry service, create the UCSD Adult ADHD program and conduct NIH-funded translational research in animals and humans.  He also established the first clinical service to offer ketamine for psychiatric disorders in 2008, eventually integrating it into The UCSD Center for Advanced Treatments.  He is professor emeritus at (UCSD). In 2017 he founded the Kadima Neuropsychiatry Institute, La Jolla, a private institute focusing on providing and developing advanced treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders.

Suresh Durgam

Suresh Durgam is an Associate Vice President of CNS Clinical Development and Section Head for Antidepressants at Allergan. His research and development focus is in CNS disorders. He is the Clinical Lead for Rapastinel, a rapid acting investigational drug in development for MDD. He is interested in the clinical trial design and methodology for mood disorders, schizophrenia, and PTSD. He was the team lead that developed cariprazine for schizophrenia and mania. He received his psychiatry residency training at Scott & White Memorial Hospital, Texas A&M University Health Science Center and medical school education (MD) at Siddhartha Medical College, Vijayawada, India.

Meng Li

Dr Meng Li graduated from the Beijing University of Chemical Technology in 2006 and gained a PhD in Medical Engineering at the Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing in 2012.  He has been a post doc at the Clinical Affective Neuroimaging Laboratory, Department of Neurology, Otto-von-Guericke-Universität in Magdeburg, Germany.  His work has concentrated on fMRI tractography and spectroscopy in optic neuritis and in MDD.

Nuri B. Farber

Nuri B. Farber is a Professor of Psychiatry and the Director of the General Psychiatry Residency Training Program at Washington University in Saint Louis.He has spent 25 years studying the effects of NMDA receptor antagonists both in animals and humans.This led to the NMDA Receptor Hypofunction Hypothesis: that NMDAR antagonism disinhibits certain neuronal circuits which become hyperactive, causing neuropsychiatric symptoms including psychosis. A recent focus has been on improving long-term response to ketamine in people with MDD, and reducing its side effects.