The Usona Institute located in Madison, Wisconsin is a 501(c)(3) non-profit medical research organization specializing in conducting and supporting pre-clinical and clinical research on the therapeutic effects of psilocybin and other drugs that expand human consciousness. Usona is focused on providing relief for people suffering from depression whose current medical treatment is ineffective and/or inadequate. The founder and CEO Bill Linton was inspired to create the institute in 2014 after a friend with cancer experienced a positive impact from participating in a Johns Hopkins psilocybin study.
In pursuit of their goals, Usona collaborates with researchers around the world including Roland Griffiths of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Franz Vollenweider of the University of Zurich. Dr. Vollenweider also serves on the Institute’s Scientific Advisory Board. Usona also works in conjunction with several organizations including the Heffter Research Institute and the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics.
Dr. Alexander Sherwood is a medicinal chemist at the Usona Institute. In February 2020, Dr. Sherwood and his research team published a landmark paper in the Journal of Natural Products. The paper describes synthesizing and studying four lesser-known magic mushroom (aka psilocybin mushroom) compounds; aeruginascin, norpsilocin, baeocystin, and norbaeocystin.1 Psychedelic Science Review wrote about this research in detail in a previous article.
Usona’s current research work centers on using psilocybin for treating a condition called major depressive disorder (MDD). Multi-site phase II and phase III clinical trials are in the planning phase. More information on the trials and to volunteer is found on Usona’s clinical trials website.