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Psychedelics Research

Psychedelics Research

Psychedelic-assisted therapies have resulted in transformative experiences for many individuals, as well as the practitioners who have worked with them. However, despite the wealth of anecdotal evidence gathered to date, the scientific basis for the use of psychedelics remains somewhat limited. In addition to the need for more basic science about how psychedelics work on the brain, psychedelic-assisted therapies will benefit from the development of best practice standards, modernized regulatory policy, practitioner training, and public education.

Queen’s Health Sciences plans to be a leader in this field. As such, the Faculty has created a research collaborative that will serve as an interdisciplinary space for research, innovation and knowledge translation in the field of psychedelics. The collaborative will serve as a space to connect expertise across campus and stakeholders and partners in the broader community.

The Dimensions Health Research Collaborative will take a multi-pronged approach to supporting research and innovation in psychedelic-focused therapies. In addition to bringing together collaborators from across the university, the collaborative will allow the faculty to build relationships with stakeholders and experts in the community.

Anticipated benefits include: 

  • Furthering existing research and broadening the scope of psychedelic-assisted therapies and the psychedelics sector 
  • Building awareness of the healing potential of psychedelics, and supporting early entry into the scientific and regulatory landscape; 
  • Laying a foundation for the development of policy that is ethical and evidence-informed;
  • Supporting training, education, and knowledge translation for healthcare providers;
  • Aiding the development of best practice standards to ensure the safety, quality, and effectiveness of therapies, helping to ensure the sector’s long-term growth and sustainability

The collaborative will be aligned with Faculty of Health Sciences' commitment to supporting Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) learners, staff and faculty, and the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) initiative, launched in fall 2020.  

The collaborative was founded with support from the Dimensions Health Fund in support of the Study of Psychedelics, established by Dimensions Health Centres (“Dimensions”). For further information on the collaborative, including opportunities to partner, please contact David Clements, executive director, psychedelics research, at dmc14@queensu.ca.

David Clements appointed Executive Director, Psychedelics Research

Dr. Jane Philpott, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen’s University, has appointed David Clements as Executive Director, Psychedelics Research, effective June 1, 2021. In this part-time role, he will work closely with scientists and stakeholders at Queen’s, in the Kingston community, and beyond. Mr. Clements will serve concurrently as senior advisor, innovation strategy and policy, for the faculty. 

Queen’s contributions in this area include the launch of a psychedelics research collaborative, enabled by the Dimensions Health Fund in support of the Study of Psychedelics, established by Dimensions Health Centres (“Dimensions”). The collaborative will serve as a space to connect expertise across campus and stakeholders and partners in the broader community. 

Mr. Clements has more than two decades experience working in health policy, planning, strategy, communications and stakeholder engagement. Her has held senior management roles in organizations including Health Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian Institute for Health Information and the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation. In 2014 and 2015, he served as executive director of the federal advisory panel on healthcare innovation, and he has also served as a senior advisor and communications director for Canada’s minister of health. 

Mr. Clements earned a BA at the University of Victoria, as well as an MPA from the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s, with a concentration in health policy. He also pursued doctoral studies at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.