Ioanna Artemis Vamvakopoulou is a neuropsychopharmacology PhD student at Imperial College London. She completed her BSc degree in Neuroscience at the University of Bristol and her MSc degree in Translational Neuroscience at Imperial College London, with a focus on negative emotional processing and dopamine D3R receptors in cocaine and alcohol dependence. Her involvement with the field of addiction research commenced with her first clinical research internship at the University of Cambridge, investigating habit formation in chronic cannabis and alcohol users. Following her MSc degree, she continued her clinical research with methadone maintained opioid dependent individuals. Following her work in the addiction field, Ioanna designed and conducted a study researching a novel cognitive behavioural therapy approach for young people who self-harm, which led her to the PhD she is currently conducting, investigating psychedelic-assisted therapy for young people who self-harm.
Ioanna is a passionate advocate for mental health, substance harm reduction, and the use of psychoactive substances, like psychedelics, in the research and treatment of psychiatric disorders. Since her BSc degree, Ioanna has been volunteering for the student sector of the UK based non-profit organisation, Drug Science, to educate the public on psychoactive substance harm reduction and provide students with an open-minded, evidence-based approach to novel therapeutics, such as psychedelic substances assisting the treatment of psychiatric disorders like depression, anxiety, anorexia, and obsessive compulsive disorder.
As a scientific advisor and research and education officer, Ioanna will use her experience in clinical research and public engagement to help educate the Greek community on psychedelic substances, harm reduction, and their use in therapy, providing a safe space for everyone to learn, share and integrate their experiences.