Social Neuroscience and Psychotherapy Lab

Mission Statement

SNAP Lab aims to maximize the benefits of therapeutic alliance and psychotherapy through the adjunct use of social psychopharmacology, such as oxytocin, MDMA, and psilocybin.

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TEAM

Dr. Stauffer is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Physician-Scientist with the VA Portland Health Care System, and dual board-certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. Dr. Stauffer is an OHSU medical school alum, completed Adult Psychiatry Residency at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and was an Advanced Neuroscience Research Fellow at the San Francisco VA prior to receiving a Veterans Affairs Clinical Science Career Development Award.

 

Dr. Stauffer’s early research work focused on intranasal oxytocin as an intervention for substance use disorders, including a clinical trial of oxytocin-enhanced motivational interviewing group therapy for methamphetamine-using men who have sex with men (NCT02881177). This work led to participation as a Sub-Investigator, Study Physician, and Study Therapist at the UCSF site for Phase 2 (NCT03282123) and Phase 3 (NCT03537014) trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD and as Co-Investigator and Study Therapist for a trial of psilocybin-assisted group therapy for demoralization in long-term AIDS survivors (NCT02950467).

 

Dr. Stauffer serves as Supervisor for MAPS’ MDMA Therapy Training Program, mentor for the Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research certificate program at the California Institute of Integral Studies, core faculty for the Integrative Psychiatry Institute’s Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy Training, course contributor for Psychedelic.Support's "Foundations in MDMA and Psilocybin Safety, Therapeutic Applications & Research", member of the Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board’s research subcommittee, and is part of the training team with Polaris Insight Center.

Chris Stauffer, MD
Director, SNaP Lab
Pronouns: he/they

Delaney is a graduate from California State University, Fullerton with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. She is largely interested in the advancement of psychedelic-assisted therapies, the neurobiology of trauma, and subjective differences among psychedelic experiences. Additionally, she is focused on how the history and traditions of psychedelic medicines can inform the clinical applications being developed today. Delaney moved from Long Beach, CA to Portland, OR where she serendipitously discovered the SNAP Lab and eagerly accepted the opportunity to join the team as Lab Manager.

Delaney McKechnie
Lab Manager
Pronouns: she/her

Marca's journey as a therapist began by overcoming their own trauma and developing resilience and empowerment as a two spirit, queer, mixed-race Native American who grew up on the Osage reservation of Oklahoma as an enrolled member of the tribe. They are trained in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD and sit on the advisory council on diversity for the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). 

Before becoming a psychotherapist, they completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Oklahoma, and have been a Registered Nurse for 26 years, with specializations in ICU, emergency room, and home health nursing. They hold a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University in Berkeley, California, and are a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California (LMFT #92335) and the state of Oregon (LMFT #T1416). They completed training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) at the Native American Health Center of San Francisco, and training in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at the Indian Country Child Trauma Center at the University of Oklahoma.

Marca Cassity, RN, LMFT
Pronouns: they/them

Outpatient Mental Health Staff Chaplain, ordained Buddhist, whose teachings are inspired by numerous indigenous and nature-based traditions. Her unique perspective equips her to cultivate mythic and archetypal transformation, and ceremonial initiations and rites of passage. Uniting these diverse understandings, her model of celebratory healing and soul-centered embodiment fosters compassion in individuals as they become comfortable in the mystery and paradox of life to embrace suffering. 

 

Rebecca is the granddaughter of a WWII infantry Veteran, and was raised by Vietnam Veterans. She has experienced the interpersonal impact of combat trauma, PTSD, and Moral Injury, and is committed to preventative ethics—breaking the cycle of shame, violent communication, and hurtful actions that continue to impact individuals, families, and communities. Her vision is to help individuals discover their compassionate hearts,  and  find ways to embody their own personal versions of kindness as an effort in creating a world with more kindness, from the inside out.

Rebecca Morris, BCC, MCIHS
Pronouns: she/her

Dr. Sarparast is a Research Associate with the SNaP Lab under the mentorship of Dr. Stauffer. He also is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) where he practices clinical psychopharmacology and psychotherapy. His current work in the SNaP lab is focused on drug-drug interactions between medications prescribed in psychiatry and MDMA or psilocybin. He is the founder of the OHSU Psychiatry Resident Psychedelic Science Interest Group, a member of the OHSU Psychedelic Medicine & Research Collaborative, has assisted in forming a Psychedelic Medicine Elective at OHSU, and has presented locally on the topic of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. Psychiatric drugs and psychedelics can interact with each other, both positively and negatively in some cases. This reflects a metaphor that extends to Dr. Sarparast's wider interest: how can clinical psychiatry and psychedelic research integrate with the shared goal of meeting the needs of those who are suffering, especially those who are marginalized or a societal "other".

Aryan Sarparast, MD
Pronouns: he/him

Melanie is a 2nd year Master’s of Public Health - Epidemiology student at OHSU and a graduate from University of Washington’s Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology B.Sc. program. Her path from infectious disease research scientist to graduate student interested in psychiatric epidemiology and emerging therapy modalities has been greatly influenced by her and her chosen family’s experiences with trauma and healing. In addition to contributing to the emerging field of psychedelic-assisted therapies, Melanie is passionate about the destigmatization of mental health services and building upon our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of trauma neurobiology.

Melanie Brown, MPH
Pronouns: she/her

Jenna Kachmarik
Pronouns: she/her

Jenna is honored and excited to begin OHSU’s Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program in Fall 2021 under the mentorship of Dr. Chris Stauffer and Dr. Jennifer Loftis. For over two years, she has been a volunteer research associate in a biobehavioral research lab exploring the bidirectional relationship between mental and physical health in the context of stress. Additionally, several years of working in pharmacy has granted her insight into the benefits and pitfalls of a current medical model primarily focused on symptom management. Together her research, work, and personal healing experiences have oriented her interests towards the field of health psychology, as well as addressing and healing root causes for both mental and physical conditions. 

Jenna is interested in the power of psychedelic experience to help individuals unlock their own capacity for physical and emotional healing and aspires to become a practitioner of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. She is deeply curious about the potential for psychedelics to improve chronic health conditions (e.g., autoimmune disorders) and potential mechanisms therein. As a graduate student, she will have the unique opportunity to combine her dual passions for health psychology and psychedelic research/therapy by investigating outcomes of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy from a psychoneuroimmunological lens. 

Jesse Gerber (he/him) is a fourth year psychiatry resident doing his training at Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU). He completed his medical schooling at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in NY, NY. He has experience in practicing both medication management as well as psychotherapy and has a research background in neuroscience.  He has particular interests in psychodynamic therapy, substance use disorders, and interventional psychiatry.

Jesse Gerber, MD
Pronouns: he/him

Collaborators

Gina Gratza
 
Chuck Solomonson
 
Karin Gagnon
Shannon Smith
Jeffrey Osborne
Kelly Dominici
Gregory Caesar
Lynne Ludeman
Donny Reed
Stephanie Rodriguez

ALUMNI

Seble Adinew
Clinical Research Coordinator, The Stanford Brain Stimulation Lab & grad school applicant
Chloe Cattle
UCSF School of Medicine
Sarah Chan
UPenn School of Dental Medicine
Alex Dai
MCAT instructor, The Princeton Review & grad school applicant
Iliana Hernandez
Post-bacc pre-med, UC, Berkeley
Harleen Mangat
PhD candidate, Alliant's California School of Professional Psychology
Salem Samson
MGH Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program
Elaine Hsiang, MD
UCSF/SFGH Emergency Medicine Residency
Scott McKernan
PhD candidate, The New School Clinical Psychology Program
Anna Sheen
Rutgers New Jersey School of Medicine
Chavy Chiang
University of Rochester School of Medicine
Helen Harrison
Pre-Medical Post-Bacc,
San Francisco State University
Dylan Earp
UC Berkeley

Affiliations

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"Dr. Christopher Stauffer".