Dennis McKenna, Ph.D.
Dr. McKenna brings more than 30 years experience in biosciences, biochemistry and pharmacognosy to the Center for Spirituality and Healing, where he is a senior lecturer on topics that include ethnopharmacology and botanical medicines in health care.
In 1975, he co-authored the book Invisible Landscape with his brother Terence. The book was based on their investigations of Amazonian hallucinogens in 1971.
Since that time, he has conducted extensive ethnobotanical fieldwork in the Peruvian, Colombian, and Brazilian Amazon, including specific research into the pharmacology, botany and chemistry of ayahuasca.
Dr. McKenna earned his Master’s Degree in Botany at the University of Hawaii in 1979 and his Doctorate of Botanical Sciences at the University of British Columbia in 1984.
His wide-ranging experience includes serving as the Director of Ethnopharmacology at Shaman Pharmaceuticals and as senior research pharmacognosist for Aveda Corporation in Minneapolis, Minn.
He is a founding board member and Vice-President of the Heffter Research Institute, a non-profit scientific organization dedicated to the investigation of therapeutic applications for psychedelic plants and compounds. He was a primary organizer and key scientific collaborator for the Hoasca Project, an international biomedical study of ‘hoasca’, an ayahuasca preparation used in a sacramental context by religious groups in Brasil.
Dr. McKenna is author or co-author of over 35 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals. Here is one of his most recent papers entitled “Ayahuasca and Human Destiny”.