Meet the opend-minded CEO of MAPS PBC

2 min readAug 24, 2022

Amy Emerson is the CEO of MAPS PBC.

Here is the story of how she got there & where she’s taking MDMA-AT for PTSD next.

Some quick background if you’re unfamiliar with @MAPSPBC

  • The organisation is wholly owned by MAPS (the non-profit)
  • 140 people work there vs 45 at MAPS
  • The 2nd part of Phase III studies with MDMA-AT for PTSD are in the works
  • FDA decision on approval expected in 2023

Amy came from the “radical independent” Kodiak, Alaska. Growing up, she became interested in working at Genentech. So, she studied genetics & cell biology.

The first few years of her career took place at the bench, developing vaccines and doing HIV research for Chiron (later Novartis). A chance encounter at Burning Man in the late 90s changed the directory of her life.

Whilst cleaning up MOOP (matter out of place), she bumped into a flyer of the Mind States Conference. At the conference, she heard Rick Doblin speak and thought, “I have to help him do this… It was a moment of clarity; I could see the mission when Rick described it.”

She reached out to Rick and started helping out MAPS in the evening, helping shape the first clinical trial with the Mithoefers.

Only years later, in 2009, there was enough money to hire Amy. She joined MAPS and, in 2014, set up MAPS PBC.

Although MAPS PBC is a for-profit, it has the public benefit as the #1 goal.

“If we would’ve taken investors, they would’ve been like, ‘You can’t use the word psychedelic, or you have to do it this way.’ It would’ve taken us off of our mission.”

Today, in 2022, MAPS PBC is nearing the completion of their flagship clinical trials.

With some luck, the FDA will approve MDMA, in combination with therapy, next year.

Amy got there by leveraging two of her most important skills 1) curiosity and 2) open-mindedness.

It has been a long ride, but the team at MAPS (PBC) is almost there.

If you want to hear Amy speak about what is next, join her at a free webinar that we’re putting together with @OPEN_fndn next Wednesday

Read this post and more on my Typeshare Social Blog




Psychedelics information for everyone. Making info about psychedelics more accessible!