MAPS Canada’s leadership, staff, and volunteers are dedicated to furthering the scientific understanding and practical application of psychedelic medicine to improve lives.

WHO WE ARE

Our organization is made up of a diverse group of scientists, researchers, students, advocates, and leaders from all sectors. We believe that to solve some of the biggest challenges in human mental health requires people from a diversity of backgrounds, identities, and experiences, who share a common vision: to improve lives through equitable access to legal and regulated psychedelic medicine.

OUR STAFF

Ilayda Gökçen

(she/her)

Volunteer Coordinator

Ilayda Gokcen is the incoming Volunteer Coordinator at MAPS Canada. She is a 5th year UBC student pursuing a Cognitive Systems degree in the Cognition and Brain stream. She is originally from Istanbul, Turkey and she moved to Vancouver to attend UBC with an Outstanding International Student scholarship.

Her interests include mental health and consciousness research, cognitive neuroscience, psychopharmacology, the intersection of science and spirituality, and she is very passionate about sensible drug policy, diversity, and uplifting marginalized communities.

Her overarching goal is to be a part of the Psychedelic Renaissance and the fight against the War on Drugs, and to help pave the way towards equitable access to psychedelic medicines.

VOLUNTEER COMMITTEE LEADS

Taylor Rodrigues

(he/him)

Policy + Advocacy Committee Lead

Taylor Rodrigues is the National Policy and Advocacy Lead for MAPS Canada. He completed the Government of Canada’s Advanced Policy Analyst Program and worked in policy for over five years in a variety of federal and provincial government departments.

He holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and a certificate in ethics from Western University.

Taylor is a firm believer in drug decriminalization, harm reduction and police reform. Currently, he is pursuing a Juris Doctor at the University of Toronto.

Shel Scott

(she/her)

Policy + Advocacy Committee Lead
Toronto

Michelle (aka Shel) Scott (she/her) is an occupational therapist working in mental health in Toronto Ontario. She also leads the Toronto-based Policy and Advocacy group for MAPS Canada.

Her goal is to expand access to above-ground psychedelic medicines in a way that’s ethical, sustainable, and responsible. Her interests include mental health, cognitive science, philosophy, neuroscience, Indigenous ontologies and worldviews, meditative and contemplative practices, dialectics, and the intersection between science and spirituality.

In her free time she can be found going to concerts, dancing, playing music (alone or with friends), spending time outdoors, reading science fiction, watching hockey, and enjoying amazing food.

Mandhakini Vasudevan

(Mandy) (she/her)

Tech Committee Lead

Mandy holds a degree in Aerospace Engineering from University of Sussex, England. She has over twelve years working with and managing technology teams in airline and telecom companies. Mandy passionately believes that it is imperative that emerging technologies are leveraged as we bring reform to the mental health field and disrupt the status quo.

Mandy also rescued and rehabilitated many four-legged friends for over ten years before moving to Canada. Mandy has extensive involvement with non-profits; with experience ranging from advocacy, policy change, fundraising and grant writing. Through her own journey, Mandy shares MAPS’ vision of bringing ethical and mainstream access to Psychedelic medicine to those who need it the most. She believes in adequate focus on research, harm reduction and support. In her free time, Mandy enjoys long walks in wild spaces with her rescued labs, listening to country music and planning her backpacking trips.

Laszlo Nap

(he/him)

Social Media Manager

Laszlo Nap is MAPS Canada’s Social Media Manager. He has a background in marketing and a passion for mental health, and is currently pursuing a career in psychotherapy: his goal is to help others access psychedelics in a therapeutic setting.

Laszlo is an avid learner and believes that by helping others we can create a more balanced future. He hopes that by working with psychedelics he will be able to create positive change in the world and make a difference in the lives of others.

Doris Payer

(she/her)

Research Committee Lead

Doris received her PhD in Addiction Neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and worked as a Clinical Research Scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto — until 2015, when she left academic research to pursue her passion for knowledge mobilization. This journey took her to the UK to take on a Neuroscience Advisor role at the Beckley Foundation, where she supported evidence-based advocacy for psychedelic science, and she later joined the Mental Health Innovation Network to support development and evaluation of novel mental health services.

In 2018 she returned to Canada and joined the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), where she is now a Knowledge Broker leading national initiatives on childhood trauma (ACEs), the increasingly toxic drug supply, and psychedelic-assisted therapies for mental health and substance use disorders.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Rielle Capler, MHA, PhD

(she/her)

Co-Chair

Dr. Rielle Capler brings to her role as co-chair of MAPS Canada over 20 years of experience in the cannabis field, where she has engaged in research, knowledge translation, service provision, standards development, and community organizing. Rielle received the Governor General of Canada’s Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal acknowledging her contribution to Canadian society through her work with medical cannabis. 

After the completion of her doctoral degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at University of British Columbia, Rielle held a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the British Columbia Center on Substance Use. Rielle’s research relates predominantly to cannabis and psychedelics, with a focus on the instrumental uses of drugs, access to health care, use of legal and illegal sources of drugs, and harm reduction. Rielle is currently a research advisor to Ketamine Assisted Therapy Association of Canada and works as a research consultant with PsyDev Corp.

Rielle’s policy and advocacy focus is on the inclusion of systemically marginalized voices and communities, the transition of illegal and stigmatized plant medicines and psychedelics to a legal context, equitable access and economic development. Rielle has consulted and advised on cannabis policy nationally and internationally and co-founded several long-standing non-profit organizations to represent patients, producers, and retailers.

Sabrina Ramkellawan

(she/her)

Co-Chair

Sabrina Ramkellawan is president of the Clinical Research Association of Canada, a non-profit organization that provides clinical research education. In addition, she is the COO & Co-Founder of Knowde Group, a female-led contract research consultancy that supports psychedelic and cannabinoid clinical trials globally. She has also served for the past several years as the Research Committee Lead for MAPS Canada.

Sabrina has been working in clinical research for over 20 years, conducting phase 1–4 clinical trials to bring new drugs, treatments, and devices to market. She has conducted clinical trials in therapeutic areas including PTSD, neurological pain, traumatic brain injury, and addiction.

She has designed and taught postgraduate healthcare and clinical research programs for Seneca College and the Michener Institute of Education at UHN. Sabrina is currently teaching courses on ethics, diversity, and regulation in clinical research and medical cannabis education for healthcare providers.

Eesmyal Santos-Brault

(he/him)

Treasurer

Eesmyal Santos-Brault is a serial social entrepreneur with over 15 years experience serving on non-profit boards. He has co-founded ten ventures in a variety of areas, including: green building, coworking, locative media, civic engagement, education, SaaS, and research.

Some of these include Vancouver’s premier social impact coworking space The HiVE; Recollective, a B-Corp certified company that facilitates the design and construction of some of the greenest buildings in Canada; and a healthtech startup, Quantified Citizen, that is building a platform for democratizing health science research through mobile technology.

Rick Doblin

(he/him)

Board Member

Rick Doblin is the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) USA. He received his doctorate in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he wrote his dissertation on the regulation of the medical uses of psychedelics and marijuana, and his Master’s thesis on a survey of oncologists about smoked marijuana vs. the oral THC pill in nausea control for cancer patients.

His undergraduate thesis at New College of Florida was a 25-year follow-up to the classic Good Friday Experiment, which evaluated the potential of psychedelic drugs to catalyze religious experiences. He also conducted a thirty-four year follow-up study to Timothy Leary’s Concord Prison Experiment.