Dennis McKenna and his brother Terence first came to S. America in 1971. Their unexpected adventures in pursuit of exotic psychedelics led to some surprising discoveries recounted in Terences book, True Hallucinations, and Dennis 2012 memoir, The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss. In 1981, Dennis returned to Peru, this time as a graduate student, and began his scientific investigations of ayahuasca, that continue to this day as a professional and personal passion. In this lecture, Dennis tells the tale of an unusual life lived in the shadow (or perhaps the light) of this mysterious and beautiful medicine.|
Dennis McKenna, Ph.D.: Dennis McKenna's research has focused on the interdisciplinary study of Amazonian ethnopharmacology and plant hallucinogens. His doctoral research (University of British Columbia, 1984) focused on the ethnopharmacology of ayahuasca and oo-koo-he, two tryptamine-based hallucinogens used by indigenous peoples in the Northwest Amazon. Dr. McKenna completed post-doctoral research fellowships in neurosciences in the Laboratory of Clinical Pharmacology, National Institute of Mental Health (1986-88), and in the Department of Neurology, Stanford University School of Medicine (1988-90). He is a founding board member of the Heffter Research Institute, and was a senior investigator in the Hoasca Project, the first biomedical investigation of ayahuasca used by the UDV, a Brazilian religious group. He currently teaches in the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota. He is the younger brother of Terence McKenna. Dr. McKenna is author or co-author of 4 books and over 50 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals.
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