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Advancing the Science & Application of Psychedelics to Improve Mental Health

The Center for Psychedelic Research and Therapy at Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin aims to advance the application of psychedelics for the treatment of mental health disorders through impactful clinical research.

Additionally, the center — the first of its kind in Texas — looks to improve the health of those suffering from severe depression, anxiety, PTSD and substance use disorders through psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy and research focused heavily on military veterans and adults affected by early childhood trauma.

Areas of Focus

To better understand optimal psychedelic compounds and their administration for consistent therapeutic effects — and to develop new psychedelic drugs and methods of administration — the center investigates:

  • Types of psychotherapy and drugs offered;
  • Settings under which therapy is conducted;
  • Potential for combining or sequencing other treatment methods; and
  • Preparatory or post-psychedelic augmentations that prolong or enhance therapeutic effects.

The center pursues research to develop clinical decision-making tools that assist clinicians to better psychedelic-assisted therapy, from treatment selection to administration. This includes the identification of biological markers of treatment response and the development of artificial intelligence-based or machine-learning approaches to individualized prediction.

With the goal of developing more effective forms of treatment and discovering breakthroughs, the center investigates the mechanisms that underlie the therapeutic effects of psychedelic-assisted therapies across levels and processes, including brain function and structure, neuroendocrine signaling, neuroimmune signaling, inflammation, epigenetics, and psychological and neuropsychological domains.

The center contributes to the improvement of mental health in the Austin and greater Central Texas community by affording eligible individuals access to psychedelic-assisted therapies through clinical research studies.

The center contributes to educating both the public as well as aspiring and practicing mental health professionals regarding the latest scientific advances and practical applications of psychedelics for mental health purposes.

This research will bring further scientific rigor and scientific expertise to study psychedelic therapy.

Charles B. Nemeroff, chair of the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences