2024 CAN Public lectures: Cannabis and Psychedelics: Hype or hope for addictions, brain diseases, and mental health

Date: Saturday, May 18, 2024
Time: 2:30PM-4:30PM
Location: Science World Theater
Title: Cannabis and Psychedelics: Hype or hope for addictions, brain diseases, and mental health
Ticket information: Free, limited space (tickets required)

Join us at TELUS World of Science for the Canadian Association for Neuroscience 2024 Public lectures, titled: Cannabis and Psychedelics: Hype or hope for addictions, brain diseases, and mental health.

The event will be hosted by Dr. Mark S. Cembrowski, Assistant Professor, Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, and member of the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health.

Learn about the latest research from Canadian experts in the field!

Schedule of events

  • 2:30-3:00: Catharine Winstanley: “The puzzle of problem gambling: addiction without the drugs?”
  • 3:00-3:30: Matt Hill: “Cannabis: Separating fact from myth”
  • 3:30-4:00: Leah Mayo: “Psychedelics as new mental health treatments: hype or hope?”
  • 4:00-4:30: Q and A with invited speakers

Speakers and Topics

Dr. Catharine Winstanley

Catharine Winstanley
Catharine Winstanley

Dr. Catharine Winstanley, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and a member of the Centre for Brain Health at the University of British Columbia.

The puzzle of problem gambling: addiction without the drugs?

“Gambling disorder is the first behavioural addiction to be formally recognized by the American Psychiatric Association, but many questions remain about how addictive drugs and gambling cause similar effects in our brains.  There is no chemical agent capable of hyper-stimulating our dopamine systems, so why is gambling so addictive? In this talk we will discuss the elements of gambling that seem to drive compulsive engagement, and what recent scientific studies suggest happens to the dopamine and reward systems when we gamble.”


Dr. Matthew Hill

Matt Hill
Matt Hill

Dr. Matthew Hill, PhD, is a Professor at the Cumming School of Medicine, Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of Calgary, and Full Member of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute & of the Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research and Education. He is also a Child Health & Wellness Researcher at Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute

Cannabis: Separating fact from myth

“There is a lot of opinions and belief in the public about cannabis, many of which are polar opposite of one another and claim that it is either the panacea to cure all diseases or is the bane of society that destroys young lives. But what does the science actually say? Does cannabis destroy a developing brain? Does cannabis cause or cure mental illness? These as well as other hot topics will be addressed”.


Dr. Leah Mayo

Leah Mayo
Leah Mayo

Dr. Leah Mayo, PhD is Assistant Professor at the Cumming School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, University of Calgary, Full Member of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research and Education. She is also Parker Research Chair in Psychedelics at the University of Calgary

Psychedelics as new mental health treatments: hype or hope?

“This talk will focus on psychedelic drugs – an area of growing scientific and societal interest. We will discuss what drugs fall under this umbrella term, why we think they may be useful interventions for addictions and mental health, and share what evidence there is (or isn’t) to support this.”