Beckley Foundation Team

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Amanda Feilding

Founder and Executive Director

Since its inception Amanda has led the Scientific and Policy Programmes. By establishing key research collaborations with some of the world’s most prestigious academic institutions, she has propelled the field forwards over the last 20 years, conducting several landmark studies, such as the world’s first LSD brain imaging study. Read more about Amanda and the history of the Beckley Foundation here.

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Valerie Bonnelle PhD

Scientific Assistant and Researcher

Convinced of the therapeutic potential of psychedelics, Valerie joined the Beckley Foundation in 2017 to contribute actively to this exciting and much-needed field of research, through the coordination of the Beckley Foundation’s many research programmes.

During her PhD at Imperial College, Valerie studied the neural underpinnings of cognitive changes observed following brain injury using neuroimaging. She then moved to the University of Oxford to investigate how differences in brain function and structure may underlie inter-individual differences in motivation.

With a keen interest in spiritual practices, she is hoping psychedelic research may contribute to bridging the gap between ancient wisdom and modern medicine.

Rosie Apponyi

Manager

A classics graduate with a background in publishing, Rosie manages the day-to-day running of the Foundation. Within the field she is particularly interested in the areas of brain injury, addiction and autism.

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Sasha Frost

Content Manager

As the Content Manager for the Beckley Foundation, Sasha explores effective ways to tell stories about psychedelic science and drug policy reform. With a background in literature and psychology, he is keen to make use of emerging forms of communication to inform the dialogue around drug prohibition and the place of psychedelics in modern society. Most recently Sasha has been creating videos and animations to disseminate the work of the Foundation. He has presented on reframing psychedelics and about psychedelics in film, TV and the media.

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Gunnar Gronlid

Social Media Editor

Inspired by the Beckley Foundation’s brain imaging research, Gunnar completed a Master’s degree in Neuroscience at UCL, where he studied psychosis and the effect of psychoactive drugs on mental illnesses like PTSD and anxiety.  

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Irene de Caso

Scientific Assistant

Having always been passionate about life, consciousness and the human psyche, Irene first studied biology, where she specialised in neuroscience, followed by an MSc and a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging at the University of York.
During her PhD, she worked with Jonathan Smallwood at the Mind Wandering Lab, where she studied the relationship between excessive self-focused attention and impaired inhibitory control and how this relationship manifests in large-scale connectivity networks. In the latter stages of her career, she became fascinated by the therapeutic potential that altered states of consciousness such as meditation, holotropic breathwork or psychedelic experiences can have on the individual, leading her to complete a master’s in mindfulness applied to mental health and research. She is also the author of a popular science book titled “Psychedelics and Mental Health: The Neuroscience Behind a New Psychotherapy”. At the Beckley Foundation, she now assists Amanda, helping her advance the Foundation’s future lines of psychedelic research.

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Alannah Hope Crockatt

Researcher and Assistant to the Director’

In her final year of a Chemistry Master’s degree, Alannah specialised in a computational chemistry research project, developing novel code to quantify the magnetic anisotropy of molecular oxygen.

She actively volunteers with PsyCare UK Welfare & Harm Reduction, a charity that supports individuals through challenging psychedelic experiences at music festivals, and recently led their latest fundraising campaign.

Alannah looks forward to expanding her creativity at the Beckley Foundation, building on her previous art studies to communicate themes brought about by the psychedelic experience and beyond.

Beckley Collaborators

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Matias Lopez-Portillo

Legal and Business

An Oxford University graduate, Matias has a background in public policy, business and consulting. Prior to working at the Foundation, he was a founder and director of a technology and public policy think tank focused on Latin America, and the VP of Business Strategy for a legal tech startup.