“I feel very passionate about my work because it enables us to explore realms of human experience which have gone relatively unnoticed in scientific research.”
I studied Psychology in Santiago, Chile, my home country. After working for a couple of years there, I enrolled for a Master’s in Neuroscience at the University of Bologna in Italy, where I did some experimental work on the mechanisms associated with time perception and learning.
Since 2015, I have been at Imperial as a PhD student and Research Assistant. I am leading a project focusing on understanding the effects of DMT, a powerful psychedelic compound, in the brain and human consciousness. One of the aims of my research is using psychedelic compounds to understand the link between brain activity and human experience.
I feel very passionate about my work because it enables us to explore realms of human experience which have gone relatively unnoticed in scientific research, but which nonetheless are experiences people have had for hundreds of years for different purposes.
One of the aspects that I really enjoy about working for Imperial is that at the Centre for Psychedelic Research we explore this novel area of research with a strong emphasis on collaboration, both within and outside the College. This has allowed me to develop projects, ideas and skills beyond what I expected.
I have learned the important balance between autonomy and collaboration for leading such an ambitious project, and I have dealt with important challenges ranging from concrete technical problem-solving to learning to engage in science communication for the public at large. Our recently published paper looking at the effects of DMT in the human brain has received widespread attention in the mainstream media, and I was very happy to see how well the scientific value was preserved.
Outside of work, I am a musician and play Latin-American psychedelic folk under the moniker, Timmer. You can listen to my music on Soundcloud.