Speakers

(in alphabetical order)

  Donald I. Abrams

Donald I. Abrams, MD. is an oncologist at Zuckerberg San Francisco General and a Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California San Francisco. He has an Integrative Oncology consultation practice at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. He was one the original clinician/investigators to recognize and define many early AIDS-related conditions. He has long been interested in clinical trials of complementary and alternative medicine interventions for HIV/AIDS and cancer, including evaluations of medicinal cannabis. In 1997 he received funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to conduct clinical trials of the short-term safety of cannabinoids in HIV infection. Subsequently he was granted funds by the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research to continue studies of the effectiveness of cannabis in a number of clinical conditions. He completed a placebo-controlled study of smoked cannabis in patients with painful HIV-related peripheral neuropathy as well as a study evaluating vaporization as a smokeless delivery system for medicinal cannabis. He also conducted a NIDA-funded trial investigating the possible pharmacokinetic interaction between vaporized cannabis and opioid analgesics in patients with chronic pain. His last study was an NIH-funded trial investigating vaporized cannabis in patients with Sickle Cell disease. He co-authored with Manuel Guzman the chapter on “Cannabinoids and Cancer” in the Oxford University Press Integrative Oncology text that he co-edited with Andrew Weil. He co-edits the NCI PDQ CAM Cannabinoids and Cancer website. He was a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s committee that published The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research in January 2017.

  Ziva Cooper 

Dr. Ziva Cooper is the Research Director of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative and Associate Professor in the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. Her current research involves understanding the neurobiological, pharmacological, and behavioral variables that influence both the therapeutic potential and adverse effects of cannabis and cannabinoids.

  Daniela Elisabeth Eigenmann

Dr. Daniela Elisabeth Eigenmann studied pharmacy in Bern and Basel, Switzerland, and received her PhD in Pharmaceutical Biology from University of Basel. She currently serves as deputy pharmacist at the Bahnhof Apotheke in Langnau, a pharmacy pioneering the field of medical cannabis in Switzerland directed by Dr. Manfred Fankhauser. In this position, Daniela Eigenmann is responsible for production and distribution of cannabinoid medicines, for patient care and consulting, and is a committed speaker on the subject of medical cannabis and its therapeutic uses.

  Javier Fernández-Ruiz 

Javier Fernández-Ruiz is a PhD in Biochemistry obtained in 1986 in the Complutense University, Madrid, Spain. He is currently Full Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, in such university. Together with his teaching activities in the areas of Neurochemistry and Neurobiology, both in Degree and Master, he has been working during the last 37 years in different diseases of the Central Nervous System, having authored 235 research articles and 43 review articles in international journals, with a H-index of 66. Also 42 chapters in national and international books and 6 international patents. He has given lectures at different national and international universities and research centers, as well as numerous presentations at national and international congresses. He is currently the Principal Investigator of the “Cannabinoids and Neurological Disorders” research group at the Complutense University, and also at two cooperative networks of excellence research in Spain: CIBERNED and IRYCIS. The main activity of this group is the study of the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in several neurological diseases, mainly neurodegenerative, activity addressed to the design, synthesis and biological characterization of novel cannabinoids with neuroprotective profile, and to test their therapeutic efficacy at preclinical and clinical levels. They have also conducted research addressed to explore the contribution of endocannabinoid dysregulations in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders. They are collaborating with several national and international groups, and four pharmaceutical companies: GW Pharma, Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals, VivaCell Biotechnology Spain, Roche and Symrise. He has participated in numerous research projects, acting as PI in many of them, including 7 research contracts with pharma companies. He has acted as reviewer for journals such as Annals of Neurology, Biological Psychiatry, Brain, FASEB Journal, FEBS Letters, Glia, Journal of Neuroscience, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Neurobiology of Disease, Neuropharmacology, Neuroscience, PNAS, Trends in Pharmacological Sciences and others. He has been a member, representing the UCM, in the IRYCIS Governor Committee (2011-2017), and is currently a member in the Scientific Advisor Committee of the pharma companies Emerald Health Biotechnology-Spain and Linneo Health (formerly Alcaliber), and a member of the Editorial Board in the British Journal of Pharmacology. He has been President of the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS) (2002-2003) and member of its Executive Committee (2001-2004), as well as a founding member of the Spanish Cannabinoid Research Society (SEIC) and member of its Executive Committee (2000-2013) serving as President during 2007-2011.

  Bonni Goldstein

Bonni Goldstein, M.D., is the owner and medical director of Canna-Centers Wellness & Education, a medical practice devoted to educating patients about the use of cannabis for serious and chronic medical conditions.   She completed her medical training, including chief residency, at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. After many years as a Pediatric Emergency Medicine specialist, she developed an interest in medical cannabis after seeing its benefits in an ill friend.  Since then, Dr. Goldstein has evaluated thousands of patients for medical cannabis use.  She has a special focus on pediatric epilepsy, autism and cancer.  In 2016, she published a book about medical cannabis called "Cannabis Revealed: How the world's most misunderstood plant is treating everything from chronic pain to epilepsy."  Dr. Goldstein and her patients are featured in the recently released documentary "Weed the People."  Dr. Goldstein is also Medical Advisor to Weedmap.com. 

  Franjo Grotenhermen

Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen is running a medical practice, mainly devoted to the medical use of cannabis and cannabinoids. He is founder and Chairman of the German Association for Cannabis as Medicine (ACM), founder and Executive Director of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (IACM).He is a principal of the nova-Institute based near Cologne and author of many articles, books and book chapters on the therapeutic potential, pharmacology and toxicology of the cannabinoids. 

  Arno Hazekamp

Dr Arno Hazekamp (1976, The Netherlands), independent consultant for cannabis R&D projects under the name Hazekamp Herbal Consulting. Bachelor’s from the School of Biology and Master’s from the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the University of Leiden. Conducted the first PhD study into the medicinal properties of the cannabis plant in the Netherlands (2001–2007). Actively participated in the medicinal cannabis program of the Dutch Health Ministry. Board member of the International Association for Cannabis as Medicine (IACM) (2009–2011). Head of Research and Education of Bedrocan International, the only legal cannabis grower in the Netherlands (2011–2017). Since 2011, he has organized the Masterclass Medicinal Cannabis, an annual, week-long training event in the Netherlands that covers all aspects of medicinal cannabis use. 

  Christian Kessler

Dr. Christian S. Kessler is senior physician at the Immanuel Hospital Berlin, Department for Complementary and Integrative Medicine and researcher at Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin with a focus on traditional systems of medicine.

  Ken Mackie

Dr. Ken Mackie is a Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN (IUB) and an Adjunct Professor of Anesthesiology at Indiana University School of Medicine.  He is also the Linda and Jack Gill Chair of Neuroscience and the past Director of the Gill Center for Biomolecular Science at IUB.  He received his MD from Yale University, and completed his Internal Medicine Internship in the Yale system and Anesthesiology Residency at the University of Washington.  He did post-doctoral work at Rockefeller University and the University of Washington.  For fifteen years he combined an active laboratory-based program in cannabinoid research with clinical care in anesthesiology at the University of Washington.  In 2007 he was recruited to IUB as a Gill Chair in neuroscience.  Dr. Mackie’s research interests focus on understanding the relationships between phytocannabinoids (such as THC and CBD), terpenes, endocannabinoids, and the pharmacological and physiological responses to both.  His lab takes diverse approaches (imaging, electrophysiological, behavioral, molecular, and biochemical) to address these questions.  He has served on numerous national and international review boards and has taken an active role in organizing cannabinoid-themed meetings.  Dr. Mackie is a member of several professional societies including the Society for Neuroscience, the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the International Cannabinoid Research Society, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

  Kirsten Müller-Vahl

Dr. Kirsten Müller-Vahl, M.D., is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Department of Psychiatry, Socialpsychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Hannover Medical School (MHH), Germany. She is a specialist in both neurology and adult psychiatry. Since 1995, she is the head of the Tourette syndrome outpatient department at the MHH. From 1997 to 2003 she was a grant holder of the German government (Dorothea-Erxleben-Stipendium) for scientific research related to Tourette syndrome. From 2012-2016, she was the vice president of the European Society of the study of Tourette syndrome (ESSTS). Since 1998 she is a member and 2. Chairwoman of the national German Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (ACM). She is a founding member (2000) of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (IACM), has been the 1. Chairwoman of the IACM (2007-2009) and is presently the Vice President of the IACM (since 2015). Since 2016 she is a member of the committee of experts for narcotic drugs at the federal opium bureau of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) in Germany. In 2017, she was invited as an expert to the German Bundestag for a hearing for the German cannabis law. Her scientific work related to Tourette syndrome included several clinical studies as well as controlled trials on the effects of different types of treatment on tics including cannabis-based medicines. In 2015, the German Research Foundation (DFG) approved a large multicentre randomized controlled trial for funding investigating the efficacy and safety of nabiximols (Sativex®) in the treatment of adult patients with TS (CANNA-TICS, NCT03087201). In 2018, she was PI of a phase 1b study investigating efficacy and safety of ABX-1431, a first-in-class, small-molecule inhibitor of monoacylglycerol lipase (MGLL), in adult patients with Tourette syndrome (NCT03058562). Currently, she is the PI of a phase 2, multi center follow-up study using ABX-1431 in Tourette syndrome (NCT03625453).At the 9th IACM Conference on Cannabinoids in Medicine 2017 she received the IACM Award 2017 for Clinical Research for her special achievements regarding the re-introduction of cannabis and cannabinoids as medicine. Dr. Müller-Vahl has published over 100 scientific articles, is the author of several book chapters and the leading German textbook on Tourette syndrome, reviewed a large number of scientific articles for several peer-reviewed journals, is associate editor of the journal “Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research”, and editorial board member of the Journal "Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids".

  Attila Oláh

Dr. Attila Oláh graduated as a medical doctor, and currently works at the Department of Physiology of the University of Debrecen (Hungary) as an assistant lecturer. He is interested in studying the role of cutaneous cannabinoid signaling in health and in various skin diseases (e.g. acne, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, etc.).

  Roger Pertwee

Roger Pertwee has three degrees from the University of Oxford: MA (in biochemistry), D.Phil. (in pharmacology) and D.Sc. (in physiological sciences). He is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Aberdeen, where he is still actively engaged in scientific cannabinoid research. He is also co-chairman of the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR) Subcommittee on Cannabinoid Receptors, has served twice as President of the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS; 1997-1998 and 2007-2008), and once as chairman of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (IACM; 2005-2007), and is currently serving as International Secretary of the ICRS and as a member of the IACM Board of Directors. He received the 2002 Mechoulam Award “for his outstanding contributions to cannabinoid research”, the British Pharmacological Society (BPS) 2011 Wellcome Gold Medal “for outstanding contributions to pharmacology, based mainly on research achievements”, the 2013 IACM Special Award “for his major contributions to the re-introduction of cannabis as a medicine”, the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award from the ICRS “for outstanding contributions to cannabinoid research and to the ICRS”, and Highly Cited Researcher Awards from Thomson Reuters in 2014 “in recognition of ranking among the top 1% of researchers for most cited documents in their specific field”, and from Clarivate Analytics in 2018 “in recognition of exceptional research performance demonstrated by production of multiple highly cited papers, those that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in Pharmacology and Toxicology”. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the BPS. His research has focused mainly on the pharmacology and therapeutic potential of cannabinoids. This cannabinoid research began in 1968 at Oxford University and continued when he moved to Aberdeen University in 1974. His achievements include the joint discovery both of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabivarin in cannabis, and of endocannabinoids (anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol), the discovery of a CB1 receptor allosteric site, and significant contributions to the pharmacological characterization both of phytocannabinoids (e.g. delta-9-tetrahydrocannabivarin, cannabidiol, cannabidiolic acid and cannabigerol) and of notable synthetic cannabinoids (e.g. methanandamide, ACEA, ACPA, AM251, AM281, AM630, HU-308, HU-580, O-1057 and Org27569).

  Daniele Piomelli

  Ethan Russo

Ethan Russo, MD, is a board-certified neurologist, psychopharmacology researcher, and Director of Research and Development of the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute (ICCI) based in Prague, Czech Republic. Previously, from 2015-2017, he was Medical Director of PHYTECS, a biotechnology company researching and developing innovative approaches targeting the human endocannabinoid system ("ECS"). From 2003-2014, he served as Senior Medical Advisor, medical monitor and study physician to GW Pharmaceuticals for numerous Phase I-III clinical trials of Sativex® for alleviation of cancer pain unresponsive to optimized opioid treatment and initial studies of Epidiolex® for intractable epilepsy. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania (Psychology), and the University of Massachusetts Medical School, before residencies in Pediatrics in Phoenix, Arizona and in Child and Adult Neurology at the University of Washington in Seattle. He was a clinical neurologist in Missoula, Montana for 20 years. He has held faculty appointments in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Montana, in Medicine at the University of Washington, and as visiting professor, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is a former president of the International Cannabinoid Research Society and former Chairman of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the American Botanical Council. He is author/editor of seven books on cannabis and medicinal herbs, and has also published numerous book chapters, and over fifty articles in neurology, pain management, cannabis, and ethnobotany. He has consulted or lectured on these topics in 38 states and provinces and 33 countries.