Roland R. Griffiths, Ph.D., is Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His principal research focus in both clinical and preclinical laboratories has been on the behavioral and subjective effects of mood-altering drugs. His research has been largely supported by grants from the National Institute on Health and he is author of over 300 journal articles and book chapters. He has been a consultant to the National Institutes of Health, and to numerous pharmaceutical companies in the development of new psychotropic drugs. He is also currently a member of the Expert Advisory Panel on Drug Dependence for the World Health Organization. He has an interest in meditation and is the lead investigator of the psilocybin research initiative at Johns Hopkins, which includes studies of psilocybin occasioned mystical experience in healthy volunteers and cancer patients, and a pilot study of psilocybin-facilitated smoking cessation.
The overall finding that psilocybin can occasion, in most people studied, mystical-type experiences having sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance, indicates that such experiences and the changes they produce are now amenable to rigorous prospective scientific study. Several ongoing studies are discussed, including a study of psilocybin on meditation and spiritual practice in healthy volunteers, a study of psilocybin in psychologically distressed cancer patients, and a study of psilocybin-facilitated treatment of drug cigarette smoking cessation.