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Ep #4 Show Notes | Bryan Roth: Drugs, Receptors, Zen Meditation & Psychedelics

About the Guest: Dr. Bryan Roth is a distinguished professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC). He runs a large research group which, among other things, is studying the mechanisms of action of psychedelic drugs.


Episode Summary: Bryan Roth, MD, PhD discusses his career studying how psychedelics and other psychoactive drugs affect the brain, the massive $27 million research effort he is leading to understand psychedelics and develop novel drugs for psychiatric disease, and the practice of zen meditation.


Relevant Links:


Audio Clip:



Conversation Timeline:

0:00:00 Intro

0:00:24 Bryan's background

0:01:47 What are drugs & drug receptors?

0:04:18 What are GPCRs?

0:07:35 Psychedelic drugs & serotonin 2A receptor

0:16:18 Long- vs. short-acting psychedelics

0:17:44 What Bryan's lab studies

0:25:52 Psilocybin trials for depression

0:35:16 Origins of Bryan's interests

0:45:27 Present-day psychedelic research & companies

0:51:10 Bryan's $27 million drug "Manhattan project"

1:01:01 How DARPA research funding works

1:08:38 Bryan's morning meditation routine

1:10:08 What is Zen meditation?

1:19:48 Non-dual awareness

1:26:13 The brain's 'default mode'

1:30:04 Origins of Bryan's meditation practice

1:42:56 What's exciting about research?


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