Global Health Tuesday: Psilocybin & Improving Mental Health

We welcome you to join us for GHI’s next Global Health Tuesday Webinar on Tuesday, January 30, from 9-10am, when Alberto Vargas, GHI Advisory Committee Member and Associate Director, Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program (LACIS) at UW-Madison, leads the conversation on psilocybin and improving mental health.

Panelists include Jennifer Garrett, Tura Patterson, and Charles Raison, MD. To view the session recording, please click here.

Alberto Vargas is UW-Madison’s LACIS Associate Director and holds a Bachelor’s degree in general agriculture from the Monterrey Technological Institute in Mexico and an M.S. from Texas A&M University. His Ph.D. is in both Forestry and Land Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Alberto’s doctoral research examined the interactions of federal, state, and local actors in the sustainable use and conservation of tropical forests by local communities in Quintana Roo, in southern Mexico.

Vargas has extensive training and work experience in the institutional, social and technical aspects of community-based natural resource management and the conservation of natural resources. Alberto has conducted research and implemented projects in agriculture, forestry, energy and coastal resource management in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States.

Jennifer Garrett was appointed Assistant Deputy Secretary of the State of Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services in August 2022. She serves as the chief of staff for the Secretary, managing external affairs for the agency including media, legislative, and external stakeholders. Additionally, s​he serves as the liaison with Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers’ staff and other agencies. Before that, Garrett served as director of public affairs. She joined the agency in July 2019 as communications director.

Garrett is an Indiana native. She has a bachelor degree in communications and English from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. She also earned her J.D. from the Indiana University School of Law in Bloomington, Indiana.​​

Charles Raison, MD, is the Director of Clinical and Translational Research at Usona Institute. He is also a Professor of Human Ecology, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Director of the Vail Health Behavioral Health Innovation Center and Director of Research on Spiritual Health for Emory Healthcare. Dr Raison was  named one of the world’s most influential researchers by Web of Science for the decade of 2010-2019. With Vladimir Maletic he is the author of “The New Mind Body Science of Depression” published by W.W. Norton.

Tura Patterson builds upon her background in strategic planning and business development in leading the cultivation and management of strategic partnerships for Usona Institute as their senior director, strategic partnerships. Tura engages directly in identifying and fostering key relationships with research collaborators, donors, and drug development partners to ensure streamlined and well-managed alignment with Usona’s clinical program goals, early commercialization planning, and new research initiatives.

Prior to Usona, Patterson worked as a business development consultant with specialization in strategic planning, development of new markets and services, sustainable design, and global engagement for high-technology, non-profit, academic, and professional service organizations. Patterson has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in International Economic and Commercial Relations and Scandinavian Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is an LEED Accredited Professional. She also serves on advisory boards for Nikean Foundation and the Global Initiative for Psychedelic Science Economics at UCSF.