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Roland R. Griffiths, Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Roland R. Griffiths, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences


Roland Griffiths, Ph.D., is Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His principal research focus in both clinical and preclinical laboratories has been on the behavioral and subjective effects of mood-altering drugs. His research has been largely supported by grants from the National Institute on Health and he is author of over 360 journal articles and book chapters. He has been a consultant to the National Institutes of Health, and to numerous pharmaceutical companies in the development of new psychotropic drugs. He is also currently a member of the Expert Advisory Panel on Drug Dependence for the World Health Organization. He has conducted extensive research with sedative-hypnotics, caffeine, and novel mood-altering drugs. In 1999 he initiated a research program at Johns Hopkins investigating the effects of the classic hallucinogen psilocybin that includes studies of psilocybin-occasioned mystical-type experiences in healthy volunteers, psilocybin-facilitated treatment of psychological distress in cancer patients, psilocybin-facilitated treatment of cigarette smoking cessation, psilocybin effects in beginning and long-term meditators, and psilocybin effects in religious leaders. Drug interaction studies and brain imaging studies (fMRI and PET) are examining pharmacological and neural mechanisms of action. The Hopkins laboratory has also conducted a recent series of internet survey studies characterizing the effects hallucinogen-occasioned mystical experiences, challenging experiences, and effects on substance abuse. more


  • Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Professor of Neuroscience



  • B.S., Occidental College (California) (1968)
  • Ph.D., University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) (Minnesota) (1972)

Additional Training

B.A., Occidental College, Los Angeles, California, 1968
Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1972

Research & Publications

Research Summary

My broad clinical and preclinical expertise is the application of behavioral pharmacology and behavioral analysis to a scientific investigation of mood-altering drugs. Areas of specialization include hallucinogens and novel “club drugs”, caffeine self-administration, withdrawal and addiction, sedative self-administration and sedative effects, cigarette smoking and nicotine self-administration, alcohol self-administration, and baboon drug self-administration and drug discrimination.

Selected Publications

Griffiths R.R., Johnson, M.W., Carducci, M.A., Umbricht, A., Richards, W.A., Richards, B.D., Cosimano, M.P., Klinedinst, M.A. (2016). Psilocybin produces substantial and sustained decreases in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer: A randomized double-blind trial. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 30(12), 1181-1197.

Carbonaro, T.M., Bradstreet, M.P., Barrett, F.S., MacLean, K.A., Jesse, R., Johnson, M.W., & Griffiths, R.R. (2016). Survey study of challenging experiences after ingesting psilocybin mushrooms: Acute and enduring positive and negative consequences. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 30(12). 1268-1278.

Meredith, S.E., Sweeney, M.M, Johnson, P.S., Johnson, M.W., Griffiths, R.R. (2016). Weekly energy drink use is positively associated with delay discounting and risk behavior in a nationwide sample of young adults. Journal of Caffeine Research, 6(1), 10-19.

Maqueda, A.E., Valle, M., Addy, P.H., Antonijoan, R.M., Puntes, M., Coimbra, J., Ballester, M.R., Garrido, M., González, M., Claramunt, J., Barker, S., Lomnicka, I., Waguespack, M., Johnson, M.W., Griffiths, R.R., & Riba, J. (2016). Naltrexone but not ketanserin antagonizes the subjective, cardiovascular, and neuroendocrine effects of salvinorin-A in humans. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 19(7), 1-13.

Duke, A.N., Johnson, M.W., Reissig, C.J., & Griffiths, R.R. (2015). Nicotine reinforcement in never-smokers. Psychopharmacology. 232(23), 4243-4252.

Maqueda, A.E., Valle, M., Addy, P.H., Antonijoan, R.M., Puntes, M., Coimbra, J., Ballester, M.R., Garrido, M., González, M., Claramunt, J., Barker, S., Johnson, M.W., Griffiths, R.R., & Riba, J. (2015). Salvinorin-A induces intense dissociative effects, blocking external sensory perception and modulating interoception and sense of body ownership in humans. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology. 18(12) 1-14.

Johnson, M.W., Garcia-Romeu, A., Cosimano, M.P., & Griffiths, R.R. (2014). Pilot study of the 5-HT2AR agonist psilocybin in the treatment of tobacco addiction. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 11, 983-992.

MacLean, K.A., Johnson, M.W., Reissig, C.J., Prisinzano, T.E., & Griffiths, R.R. (2013). Dose-related effects of salvinorin A in humans: Dissociative, hallucinogenic and memory effects. Psychopharmacology, 226, 381-392.

Reissig, C.J., Carter, L.P., Johnson, M.W., Mintzer, M.Z., Klinedinst, M.A. & Griffiths, R.R. (2012). High doses of dextromethorphan, an NMDA antagonist, produces effects similar to classic hallucinogens. Psychopharmacology, 223(1), 1-15.

Griffiths, R.R., Johnson, M.W., Richards, W.A., Richards, B.D., McCann, U., & Jesse, R. (2011). Psilocybin occasioned mystical-type experiences: Immediate and persisting dose-related effects. Psychopharmacology, 218(4), 649-665.

Contact for Research Inquiries

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Campus
Behavioral Biology Research Center
5510 Nathan Shock Drive
Baltimore, MD 21224 map
Phone: 410-550-0034
Fax: 410-550-0030

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