Social Neuroscience and Psychotherapy Lab
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.
Chris Stauffer, MD | Director
Dr. Stauffer (he/they) is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at 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 previous clinical trial work includes Phase 2 (NCT03282123) and Phase 3 (NCT03537014) trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, a study of psilocybin-assisted group therapy for demoralization in long-term AIDS survivors (NCT02950467), and several studies of intranasal oxytocin as an intervention for substance use disorders--including a study of oxytocin-enhanced group therapy for methamphetamine-using men who have sex with men (NCT02881177). Dr. Stauffer serves as Supervisor and Assistant Trainer for MAPS’ MDMA Therapy Training Program, is a member of the Oregon Governor's Psilocybin Advisory Board, is Co-Chair of the Fireside Project's Equity & Liberation Research Committee, and has served in curriculum development, teaching, and mentorship roles for the Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research at CIIS, Integrative Psychiatry Institute’s Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy Training, Psychedelic.Support, Polaris Insight Center, SoundMind Institute, and Alma Institute.
Alissa Bazinet, PhD | Associate Director
Dr. Bazinet (she/her) is a licensed clinical psychologist with a professional background in both research and provision of clinical services. She received her PhD in 2013 from the University of California, San Diego & San Diego State University’s joint doctoral program in clinical psychology and completed a clinical internship and research postdoc at the VA Portland Healthcare System and OHSU. She is a co-founder and the Director of Research and Development at Sequoia Center, a community nonprofit clinic offering sliding-scale ketamine-assisted psychotherapy and related services, with a focus on equitable access for members of historically marginalized populations. Dr. Bazinet’s previous research focused on understanding substance use and addiction through the lens of psychoneuroimmunology, as well as evaluating psychotherapeutic and biomedical interventions to aid in recovery from prolonged substance use. Her current research interests center on developing best practices and standards of care for the delivery of psychedelic-assisted therapies within medical and non-medical contexts. Dr. Bazinet serves on the board of the National Psychedelics Association, on the training subcommittee of the Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board, and is a core faculty member for Earth Medicine Center, an Oregon-based psilocybin facilitator training program. She is a longtime lead volunteer with the Zendo Project and other organizations that provide crisis response, peer support and harm reduction services at music festivals and events.
Philip BouleH | Lab Manager
Philip (he/him) grew up in Lebanon and immigrated to the United States in 2004 with his family to pursue better opportunities. He graduated from Portland State University with a BS in philosophy/psychology, and his senior honors thesis examined the relationship between collective military identity and PTSD among Veterans. His passion is to help individuals who have experienced life in conflict-affected settings (e.g., refugees, Veterans) build resilience and find healing. Additionally, Philip is interested in the implications of psychedelic use for metaphysical beliefs regarding the nature of free will, reality and consciousness — including religious worldview and spiritual practice, and how any changes in this domain may relate to psychological well-being.
Angelica spata | research asst
Angelica (she/her) received her BA in Psychology from Cal Poly Pomona. She has been working as a research assistant since 2020, and her undergraduate research project focused on psychedelics, psychological flexibility, and substance use. Her career began unconventionally, volunteering in harm reduction spaces at various music and arts festivals. She developed a passion for connection and community, drawing her to the field of psychology with an interest in psychedelic medicines. She plans on pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology with a research focus on substance use, compassion, belonging, and psychedelic-assisted therapy.
Tyler king | research asst
Tyler (he/him) is an undergraduate at Portland State University set to graduate with Honors in the Fall of 2023 with his BA in Psychology and a minor in creative writing. Tyler plans to continue his education as a graduate student with a focus in Clinical Psychology and eventually earn his PhD. At the start of the pandemic, Tyler decided to leave his job as an in-home personal trainer to go back to school and pursue a career in mental health and trauma recovery. After realizing many of his training sessions were becoming therapy sessions for his clients, he discovered he was more interested in supporting his clients emotionally rather than writing workouts for them. Tyler is interested in the potential of psychedelics as psychotherapeutic tools and is excited to be on a research team working to explore this area. Tyler's interests include writing short stories and poetry, working out, knitting, and spending weekends on the couch watching movies with his fiancé, Eric, and their small, grumpy poodle named Jake.
Rebecca Morris, MDiv | Spirituality
Chaplain Morris (she/her) practices in a mental health outpatient setting, is trained in MDMA-assisted therapy, and is an 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 preventive 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 from the inside out.
Karin Gagnon | Experiential training
Karin Gagnon (she/her) is a Grof-Certified Holotropic Breathwork Facilitator with over 35 years of experience facilitating workshops and ceremonies internationally. She has completed certification for the MAPS MDMA Therapy Program and now facilitates experiential breathwork workshops with new MDMA Therapist trainees. Karin co-founded The WISDOM Council (Women in Service Deepening Our Mission) to train and mentor military-affiliated women who are committed to bringing innovative healing modalities into their communities. Karin is part of the American Psychedelic Practitioners Association (APPA) Advisory Council and serves as Advisor and Mentor for a number of other non-profit organizations in her community.
donny reed | Veteran liaIson
Donny Reed (he/him) is a combat Veteran and someone who has lived with the struggles of PTSD and moral injury. Over the past four years, he has volunteered as a co-facilitator for several outpatient mental health groups at the Portland VA. As a certified Peer Support Integration Specialist, he has honed the ability to create authentic safe spaces for Veterans with PTSD, assists them with establishing trust and rapport with civilian mental health practitioners, and has cultivated many meditation techniques and grounding strategies that he shares with other Veterans on their healing journeys. In 2020, Donny completed the MAPS MDMA Therapy Training Program and currently works as a psychedelic facilitator with the SNaP Lab.
zach skiles, psyd | training & development
Zach Skiles (he/him) first experienced psilocybin in 2001 while stationed in Okinawa, Japan in the United States Marine Corps. Not long after this experience, he found himself invading Iraq, navigating combat operations and PTSD, which ultimately led to a transformative journey as a therapist helping Veterans within his community. When helping start the first PTSD clinic in South Sudan for veterans and family members of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army, Zach developed an interest in community-based care & traditional healing modalities. Starting in the U.S. as a peer counselor for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans, he trained as a clinical psychologist with the Northern California VA & Northern Arizona VA Health Care Systems, while also facilitating psychedelic-assisted therapies for individuals & groups of U.S. Special Forces communities at The Mission Within. In addition to his work in the SNaP Lab, Zach also serves as educator with the Center of the Science of Psychedelics at UC Berkeley, where his focus aligns military & Veteran culture with traditional medicine practice.
Jenna Kachmarik | Phd candidate
Jenna (she/her) is honored and excited to be part of OHSU’s Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program under the mentorship of Dr. Chris Stauffer and Dr. Jennifer Loftis. Previously, she was 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 medical model primarily focused on symptom management. Together her research, work, and personal healing experiences have oriented her interests toward 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 experiences to help participants unlock their own capacity for physical and emotional healing; she 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.
Ayanna Bell | Phd candidate
Ayanna (she/her) is a current Clinical Psychology PhD student under the mentorship of Dr. Kathleen Carlson, Dr. Jeni Johnstone, and Dr. Chris Stauffer. She was born in Hawai’i and raised in Georgia. She earned her B.S. in Neuroscience with a minor in Artificial Intelligence at Agnes Scott College. There she was an undergraduate research assistant in numerous labs exploring novel methods to treat neurological diseases and psychiatric disorders. Her research interests include providing culturally competent care to those seeking psychiatric treatment, sociobehavioral impacts on human health, innovative initiatives for health, mindfulness and meditation, the utilization of micronutrients to treat symptoms related to psychiatric disorders, and exploring psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.
Jesse Gerber, MD | Addiction Psych fellow
Jesse (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.
Alex Molina, MD | Psychiatric Resident
Alejandro (he/him) is a first-generation Guatemalan-American who is completing his psychiatry residency training at Oregon Health & Sciences University and the Portland VA. He currently serves as a study physician for SNaP Lab clinical trials. He previously worked as a Night Attendant at the MAPS Phase II/III MDMA-assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD clinical trial site in his hometown of New Orleans while completing medical school. He also served as a research assistant under Dr. Charles Nichols in the LSU Department of Pharmacology, investigating the anti-depressant properties of psilocybin and ketamine using animal behavioral models, as well their effects on a cellular level by measuring neuronal transcription factors in vitro. He completed the MAPS MDMA Therapy Training Program in 2021 and will be pursuing facilitator certification under the Oregon Psilocybin Services act in 2023. He is interested in drug-policy reform, developing best-practices for safely incorporating psychedelics into clinical psychiatry, the role of music in psychedelic therapy, and the cultural aspects of entheogen use across human history.
Josiah Laughlin, RN | PMHNP student
Josiah (he/him) completed his undergraduate at the Oregon Health & Sciences University School of Nursing and is continuing on with the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program. He currently is working at the Portland VA Medical Center in the acute inpatient psychiatric unit. He is trained in MDMA-assisted therapy and is interested in psychedelic-assisted therapies as they pertain to treating and managing co-occurring disorders, such as substance use disorders and PTSD. Josiah identifies as in-recovery and has done so for over a decade now. He lives in Beaverton, OR with his wife and three dogs and enjoys travel, reading, dining out, running, jiu jitsu, and staying physically active.
Devon Holler | medical student
Devon (he/him) is an Oregon Health & Sciences University medical student who is planning to specialize in Psychiatry. He is from Bend, Oregon and has a B.S. in Microbiology from Oregon State University. Prior to medical school, he worked as a research assistant in human microbiome and immunology wet labs. His primary interest in psychedelic medicine developed during his time as an EMT in a rural setting and a scribe in the Bend emergency room. Witnessing patients undergoing mental health crises inspired him to look beyond the current standards of care toward fields of innovative psychiatric therapies. He is passionate about the treatment of depression, addiction, and PTSD and is excited to have the opportunity to work in the field of psychedelic medicine with its great propensity for successfully treating those with these conditions.
Dominic Tapia | Medical student
Dominic (he/him) is an Oregon Health and Sciences University medical student. Dominic is exploring his interest in the fields of psychiatry and psychedelic medicine. While working with the SNaP Lab, he will be researching the relationship between psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy and delay discounting.