Appointment of two leaders from the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies further strengthens AWAKN’s industry leading scientific advisory team
Toronto, Ontario–(Newsfile Corp. – September 24, 2020) – AWAKN Life Sciences Inc. (“AWAKN”) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Michael Mithoefer and Ann Mithoefer to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).
Dr. Mithoefer, Senior Medical Director for Medical Affairs, Training and Supervision at MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC), has, has worked with MAPS since 2000, while Ann Mithoefer, a registered Nurse and Lead MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy PTSD Investigator at MAPS, has worked with MAPS since 2004. Together Dr. Michael Mithoefer and Ann Mithoefer are two of the world’s leading MDMA-assisted psychotherapy investigators and trainers. Michael and Ann have completed: two of the six MAPS-sponsored Phase II clinical trials testing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD; as well as a pilot study treating couples with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy combined with Cognitive Behavioral Conjoint Therapy; and a study providing MDMA-assisted sessions for therapists who have completed the MAPS Therapist Training.
AWAKN’s SAB provides strategic scientific counsel as the company implements its vision and strategy across three business lines of clinical research, therapeutic clinics and practitioner training.
Dr. Michael Mithoefer stated: “Annie and I are delighted to join the AWAKN SAB for a combination of reasons. Their mission, in response to the urgent need for more effective treatments, is to develop and support further clinical research and training programs for psychedelic therapists, with the aim of providing access to affordable treatments using psychedelic-assisted therapy as these compounds become legal for clinical use. This is very much in alignment with the goals we’ve all been working toward at MAPS and Maps Public Benefit Corporation for many years. The other draw for us is that we’ve known David Nutt and Ben Sessa for a long time, and we have confidence in the expertise and integrity they bring to the project. And they’re inspiring and fun to work with.”
Dr. Ben Sessa, AWAKN Chief Medical Officer, commented on the appointments: “For me, my first introduction to modern psychedelic research started in the early 2000’s when I discovered the work of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and the ongoing MDMA-for-PTSD study being run by Michael and Annie Mithoefer. I subsequently met Michael in 2007 at a conference in Vienna, where we discussed bringing clinical MDMA assisted psychotherapy to the UK. It took another ten years to achieve that goal.”
“During that time, I got to know Annie and Michael well; having them stay at my house in Somerset and I stayed with them in South Carolina, receiving formal MDMA therapy, delivered by the Mithoefers, in a clinical setting as part of my training to become an MDMA psychotherapist. So I am pleased to know that Annie and Michael have joined AWAKN’s SAB. Annie, as the one of world’s most experienced MDMA therapy nurses, brings multidisciplinary approach to the AWAKN board; especially in our design of clinical protocols, which put our patients’ care at the centre of their bespoke clinical care plans. Michael, undoubtedly the most experienced MDMA doctor anywhere, will provide invaluable scientific advice; not only to AWAKN’s MDMA protocols, but to all psychedelic projects going forward. And, given their roles as MAPS trainers, both Annie and Michael will of course be essential in the development of our therapist training courses; helping to achieve the aim of training hundreds of new psychedelic therapists in the next few years. Welcome on board, the pair of you!”
Finally, Prof. David Nutt, Chair of AWAKN’s Scientific Advisory Board, stated: “I am delighted to have the great pioneers of MDMA treatment of PTSD join our research team. They will provide outstanding clinical insights.”
About Dr. Michael Mithoefer
Michael Mithoefer, M.D., is a psychiatrist living in Asheville, NC, with a research office in Charleston, SC. In 2000, he began collaborating with MAPS on the first U.S. Phase 2 clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. He and his wife Annie have since conducted two of the six MAPS-sponsored Phase 2 clinical trials testing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, as well a study providing MDMA-assisted sessions for therapists who have completed the MAPS-sponsored MDMA Therapy Training Program, and a pilot study treating couples with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy combined with Cognitive-Behavioral Conjoint Therapy. He is now Senior Medical Director for Medical Affairs, Training and Supervision at MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC). He is a Grof-certified Holotropic Breathwork Facilitator, is trained in EMDR and Internal Family Systems Therapy, and has nearly 30 years of experience treating trauma patients. Before going into psychiatry in 1991, 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, where he is currently Affiliate Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He has been board-certified in Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine, and Internal Medicine.
About Ann Mithoefer, BSN
Annie Mithoefer, B.S.N., is a Registered Nurse living in Asheville, North Carolina, where she is now focused primarily on training and supervising therapists conducting MAPS-sponsored clinical trials, as well as continuing to conduct some MAPS research sessions in Charleston, South Carolina. Between 2004 and 2018, she and her husband, Michael Mithoefer, M.D., completed two of the six MAPS-sponsored Phase II clinical trials testing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, as well a study providing MDMA-assisted sessions for therapists who have completed the MAPS Therapist Training, and a pilot study treating couples with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy combined with Cognitive Behavioral Conjoint Therapy. Annie is a Grof-certified Holotropic Breathwork Practitioner, is trained in Hakomi Therapy, and has 25 years’ experience working with trauma patients, with an emphasis on experiential approaches to psychotherapy.
About AWAKN Life Sciences
AWAKN Life Sciences is a UK and European Union focused company that is dedicated to integrating psychedelics into mental healthcare, working across three business lines of clinical research, therapeutic clinics, and practitioner training.
Anthony Tennyson | CEO
Dr. Ben Sessa | CMO
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