Corrigan Minehan Heart Center
Cardiovascular Effects of Psychedelics Research Fellowship
Explore This Fellowship
About the CNP
Under the supervision of Jeremy Ruskin, MD and Leon Ptaszek, MD, PhD, the fellow will conduct research within the Center for Neuroscience of Psychedelics (CNP) and the Cardiovascular Research Center (CVRC) at Massachusetts General Hospital.
The CNP is an interdisciplinary center hosted within the Department of Psychiatry, composed of senior scientific and clinical faculty representing diverse specialties including psychiatry, medicine, radiology and neuroscience. The mission of the CNP is to collaboratively investigate the effects of current and future generations of psychedelics at the molecular, cellular and systems levels across different patient populations and in relevant experimental models. The goal of the CNP is to promote healing and alleviate patient suffering through the advancement of basic and clinical science.
The CVRC is dedicated to researching the mechanisms of cardiovascular disease and related metabolic disorders, identifying new treatments for patients with heart disease and related disorders such as diabetes and obesity.
Background and Objectives
Chronic stress states such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorder contribute significantly to adverse cardiovascular risk factors and outcomes including elevated heart rates and blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, coronary artery and cerebrovascular disease, myocardial infarction, stroke and cardiac arrhythmias. Despite a growing body of research supporting the therapeutic benefits of psychedelic drugs, the mechanisms by which they may offer potential benefits in cardiovascular disease have not been explored. To address this gap, we propose to complement ongoing and planned clinical investigations at the CNP at Mass General by studying the downstream impact of psychedelic therapies for mental health conditions on biological markers of chronic stress and cardiovascular health. We propose to gather and analyze data on a range of cardiovascular risk factors (e.g. resting heart rate, heart rate variability, blood pressure, physical activity and BMI) obtained from short and long-term monitoring with current and newer generation wearable physiologic monitors, as well as plasma levels of inflammatory cytokines, lipids and glucose, prior to, during and at regular intervals following psychedelic-assisted therapy. Cardiovascular risk factors and outcomes will also be assessed during long-term follow up. In addition, nonclinical studies on the autonomic, anti-inflammatory and cardiac electrophysiologic effects of first and second-generation psychedelics will be designed and carried out in experimental animal models.
Responsibilities and Goals
- To develop research objectives, methods, projects and proposals
- To plan, coordinate and conduct collaborative preclinical and clinical research projects
- To evaluate research outcomes and prepare manuscripts for scientific presentation and publication
- To participate in the formal educational and research activities of the CNP and CVRC at Mass General
Fellows will work under the close supervision of Dr. Ruskin and Dr. Ptaszek and in collaboration with senior faculty and research fellows in the CNP at Mass General.
Candidates with MD, PhD, or MD, PhD degrees with an interest in cardiovascular physiology, pharmacology and psychedelic research are invited to apply. Prior training and research experience in physiology, pharmacology and translational research are encouraged. Individuals must have good written and verbal communication skills and an ability to work as part of a team and collaborate with investigators from other disciplines. The trainee will be selected based on scientific and scholarly promise, productivity and commitment to a career in scientific research.
Fellowship appointment: Two to three years
How to Apply
Interested candidates should contact Dr. Jeremy Ruskin by email and provide a CV, personal statement including research interests and experience and the names of at least three individuals who will serve as references.
- Department of Medicine
- Founder and Director Emeritus, Telemachus & Irene Demoulas Family Foundation Center for Cardiac Arrhythmias and EP Training Program
- Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
- Omran Alomran Endowed Chair in Cardiology at MGH