The University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego) has been granted a significant boost in its research efforts surrounding the effects of dimethyltryptamine (DMT) on the brain. Philanthropist Eugene Jhong has generously gifted $1.5 million to the UC San Diego Psychedelics and Health Research Initiative, facilitating in-depth studies on the properties and impact of DMT.
Jon Dean, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar in the UC San Diego Department of Anesthesiology and director of the Division of DMT Research at the UC San Diego Psychedelic Health and Research Initiative, is one of the principal investigators spearheading this study. Previous research conducted by Dean unveiled the presence of endogenous DMT, a naturally occurring compound, in the brains of rats at levels comparable to serotonin—a crucial neurotransmitter for brain function.
Dean shared the objectives of the study, stating, “Our goals are to employ multi-modal approaches to study extended state consciousness elucidated by DMT to further appreciate the nature of reality as well as the role of endogenous DMT in the human body.” However, due to the lack of reliable methods for directly measuring DMT in the human brain and bodily fluids, the potential connections between endogenous DMT, consciousness, dreaming, and brain protection remain in the realm of scientific speculation.
UC San Diego currently stands as the sole university in the United States with a dedicated division solely focused on conducting research into extended-state DMT.
Philanthropist Eugene Jhong expressed his satisfaction in supporting this innovative endeavor, stating, “I am pleased to support this innovative effort to explore extended DMT and am confident it will shed new and important insight into the question of our true nature.”
Fadel Zeidan, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at UC San Diego School of Medicine, outlined the researchers’ long-term objective, explaining, “To gain a better understanding of how DMT and other psychedelics could be used in a therapeutic manner to address pain, trauma, and various medical conditions related to the brain.”
The generous funding provided by Eugene Jhong will enable UC San Diego’s Psychedelics and Health Research Initiative to embark on comprehensive investigations into the effects of DMT on the human brain. This research holds the potential to unravel valuable insights into consciousness, dreaming, and the therapeutic applications of psychedelics in addressing various brain-related conditions.