Yale School of Medicine Launches Cannabis & Cannabinoids Science Center



Yale School of Medicine last month announced the creation of the Center for the Science of Cannabis and Cannabinoids. The center will be led by Deepak Cyril D’Souza, MD, of the Albert E. Kent Professor of Psychiatry and a leading expert on the pharmacology of cannabinoids. 

In an interview with Yale News, D’Souza said one of his goals as director is “to bring people together.”  

“An important aspect of a center is to bring people who might have complementary interests and skillsets together in a way that may not have been previously possible. I’d like to create a forum where on a regular basis people can come together to discuss ongoing projects and avenues for collaboration.” — D’Souza to Yale News 

Additionally, D’Souza said, he wants to ensure the center is “self-sustaining.” 

“You need resources to support a center and while the dean’s office and chair of psychiatry have generously contributed funding to start a pilot program, we’d like to submit a large grant application in two to three years,” he said. “That kind of grant would sustain the center over a greater period of time.” 

D’Souza indicated that the center’s “broad interest” right now is “the impact of cannabis on the developing brain and on mental health” but that as the center greenlights pilot projects, “the center’s goals may become more focused.”  

“But we’ll approach questions from different angles. For instance, there are observational studies we can do with humans and experimental studies that we cannot,” he said. “So that’s where complementary approaches come in, where animal studies or studies in brain organoids become relevant and complementary to human work.” 

He said the center would not take a pro- or anti-cannabis legalization stance and that researchers “just want to collect information on the science of cannabis and cannabinoids.”  

Yale is located in Connecticut, where adult-use sales launched last month. 

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