A native of Los Angeles, Rick Strassman obtained his undergraduate degree in biological sciences from Stanford University and his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. He trained in general psychiatry at the UC Davis Medical Center and took a clinical psychopharmacology research fellowship at UC San Diego. At the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, his clinical research team discovered the first known function of melatonin in humans. Between 1990 and 1995, he performed the first new US clinical research with psychedelic drugs in a generation.
From 1995 to 2008, Strassman practiced general psychiatry in community mental health and the private sector. He has authored or coauthored nearly fifty peer-reviewed papers, served as guest editor and reviewer for numerous scientific journals, and consulted various government, nonprofit, and for-profit entities. His book DMT: The Spirit Molecule (2001) has been translated into fourteen languages and is the basis of a successful independent documentary of the same name. Strassman coauthored Inner Paths to Outer Space and is the author of the novel Joseph Levy Escapes Death. He is currently clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the UNM School of Medicine and lives in Gallup, New Mexico.
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