Who is APRA?
APRA is an academic, interdisciplinary, nonprofit association, focusing on understudied substances and practices that show promise for therapy and research, created in April 2018 by a group of volunteer students and researchers from Amsterdam Universities and medical institutes. This action was prompted by several factors, such as:
1. The recognition of the research and therapeutic value of psychedelic substances, for which scientific evidence is now abundant.
2. The persistence of anecdotal beliefs and stigma regarding psychedelics, particularly within academia.
3. The current absence of dedicated research efforts within this field in Amsterdam-area institutions.
In practice, we aim to:
1. Provide information to students and researchers about developments in academic research on psychedelics through lectures, journal clubs, seminars.
2. Diminish unscientific stigma within academia and help normalize the status of education and research in this field.
3. Promote the start of a concerted, interdisciplinary research effort in this direction within the Amsterdam institutions.
ICPR 2020 is APRA’s second major collaboration with OPEN Foundation. In May 2019, APRA teamed up with OPEN, MAPS Europe, and LUMC/Arq to host Opening Up, a symposium presenting research and perspectives on therapeutic applications of MDMA, featuring leading clinical researchers. Contributing to these projects are a valuable opportunity to cultivate shared aims between APRA and OPEN to give a platform to researchers and academics to present their work to audiences of students, colleagues, and the general public.