Biosketch

I am a neurobiologist and cognitive scientist at the University of California in Berkeley, where I have taught as a member of the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology since 1991.  Between 1990 and 2000, I also worked as a clinical psychologist in the treatment of addiction and of post-traumatic-stress disorder (PTSD) at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Francisco.  I have doctorates in molecular biology and biophysics from the California Institute of Technology and in clinical psychology from the University of Oregon.  For 10 years (1999-2010), I was a core faculty member in the California School of Professional Psychology (Alliant University) graduate program in psychopharmacology, providing training to clinical psychologists interested in the possibility of prescribing psychotropic medications.  I am actively engaged through several channels in an evolving dialogue between scientists and contemplative practitioners, a conversation inspired and initiated in the 1980s by the Dalai Lama.  As part of this dialogue I have, since 2004, been teaching neuroscience to Tibetan monastics in India.  My areas of expertise include the chemistry of the human nervous system, the effects of drugs on the brain and the mind, the treatment of addiction, and the scientific study of the mind and consciousness.