top of page


Founding Research Scientist

David Bryce Yaden 

David Bryce Yaden, PhD is an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins Medicine

in the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research. He also retains a Research Fellow and Instructor affiliation at the University of Pennsylvania, where he did his doctoral training and where he started this project. His research is on the psychology, cognitive-neuroscience, and psychopharmacology of the varieties of self-transcendent and spiritual experiences. His current research focus is on the subjective and behavioral effects of psychedelics as well as their treatment potential.

Websites: &

Research Advisors

Martin Seligman

Martin E. P. Seligman, PhD is the Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology and Director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania. He was elected President of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Seligman works on learned helplessness, depression, optimism, and founded the field of positive psychology.


Crystal Park

Crystal Park, PhD is a professor of psychology at the University of Conneticut. Her research focuses on stress, coping, and adaptation, particularly on how people’s beliefs, goals, and values affect their ways of perceiving and dealing with stressful events. She has developed a comprehensive model of meaning and meaning making. Dr. Park is a former president of Division 36 of APA (Psychology of Religion).


Justin McDaniel

Justin McDaniel, PhD is a professor and chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. His research foci include Lao, Thai, Pali and Sanskrit literature, Southeast Asian Buddhism, Japanese Buddhism, ritual studies, manuscript studies, and Southeast Asian history. He has won teaching and advising awards at Harvard University.


Andrew Newberg 

Andrew B. Newberg, M.D. is currently the Director of Research at the Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine and Professor in the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Radiology at Thomas Jefferson University. He is a pioneer in the neurological study of religious and spiritual experiences, a field known as neurotheology. 


Ralph Hood

Ralph W. Hood Jr., PhD is professor of psychology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He is a past president of division 36 (psychology of religion) of the American Psychological Association. He has published over 250 articles in the psychology of religion and has authored, co-authored, or edited numerous book chapters and fifteen books, all dealing with the psychology of religion. Website:

Dave Vago

David Vago, PhD is an associate psychologist in the Functional Neuroimaging Laboratory (FNL), Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and instructor at Harvard Medical School. David has previously held the position of Senior Research Coordinator for the Mind & Life Institute and is currently a Mind and Life Fellow, supporting the Mind and Life mission by advising on strategy and programs.


Jonathan Haidt

Jonathan Haidt, PhD is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Haidt is a social psychologist whose research focuses on morality – its emotional foundations, cultural variations, and developmental course. He is the co-developer of Moral Foundations Theory. 


Lyle Ungar

Lyle Ungar, PhD is a Professor of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Ungar directed Penn's Executive Masters of Technology Management (EMTM) Program for a decade and served as Associate Director of the Penn Center for BioInformatics (PCBI). . His current research focuses on statistical natural language processing, spectral methods, and the use of social media to understand the psychology of individuals and communities.


George Vaillant

George E. Vaillant, M.D., is a research psychiatrist, one of the pioneers in the study of adult development. He is a professor at Harvard University and directed Harvard's Study of Adult Development for thirty-five years. His 1977 book, Adaptation to Life, is a classic text in the study of adult development.


bottom of page