Panel Speaker Bios:
Dr. Rael Cahn, MD, PhD, is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist with the University of Southern California Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Cahn works clinically in the Psychiatric Emergency Room at the busy LA County-USC Hospital and does research on mindfulness and other meditative practices in association with the USC Brain and Creativity Institute. He has researched the neurophysiological changes related to engaging in meditation and mindfulness practies for the past twenty years with a primary focus on EEG and ERP outcomes. He is currently working on studies assessing the neural correlates to narrative free awareness, the neural mechanisms underlying the efficacy of mindfulness practices for mood disorders and addiction, as well as the impact of psychedelic-assisted therapy for PTSD.
Antonino Raffone completed a Master in “Psychology” and a Doctorate in “Cognitive Psychology and Science” at Sapienza University of Rome. He is currently Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology of Sapienza University of Rome (Italy), and Visiting Professor and Advisory Faculty at Nalanda University (India). He is also Director of the Interuniversity Center ECONA at Sapienza University of Rome, President of “Consciousness, Mindfulness, Compassion – CMC – International Association”, and Chief Editor of the Specialty Section on “Consciousness Research” of “Frontiers in Psychology”. His internationally recognized research is interdisciplinary, with a particular focus on cognitive neuroscience of consciousness and meditation. Finally, he is a dedicated Soto Zen practitioner.
Geoffrey Samuel is Emeritus Professor at Cardiff University, Wales, U.K. and Honorary Associate at the University of Sydney, Australia. His academic career has been in social anthropology and religious studies. Current research interests include Tibetan healing and medical practices, and the dialogue between Buddhism and science. He is the author of Mind, Body and Culture (1990), Civilized Shamans (1993), Tantric Revisionings (2005), The Origins of Yoga and Tantra (2008) and Introducing Tibetan Buddhism (2012). His most recent publications are the co-edited volumes About Padmasambhava (with Jamyang Oliphant; Garuda Verlag, 2020) and Hidden Lands in Himalayan Myth and History (with Frances Garrett and Elizabeth MacDougal; Brill, 2020), and the translation Another End of the World is Possible (Polity, 2020).
Michael Sheehy is a research assistant professor and director of scholarship at the Contemplative Sciences Center at the University of Virginia.