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My name is: Dina Burkitbayeva.

My stomping ground is: California—Santa Monica and San Francisco. 

I’m known for being: CEO of Freedom Bio and founder of PsyMed Ventures.

I’m talking about: Developing next generation psychedelics.

Before I started this work, I was: An investment banker at JPMorgan, consultant at McKinsey, founder of a tech company. I also hold an MA and am doing my PhD at California Institute of Integral Studies, focusing on psychedelic-assisted therapy. I wanted to marry my business background with my personal mission to help more find people find healing.

My interest was sparked when: I saw so much compelling data (primarily from MAPS MDMA for PTSD studies and COMPASS Pathways’ Psilocybin for TRD studies). I also saw a few people who were close to me transform from going through psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. They were able to turn their lives around, find healing and start leading beautiful and connected lives.

The idea behind it is: Drug development of next generation psychedelics, developing new treatments and taking them through the FDA to allow for the larger population to have access to safe and efficacious treatment.

What makes it different is: Our topnotch team including Dr. John Krystal and Rob Berman, the two scientist-clinicians who first showed that ketamine was an antidepressant. Dr. John Krystal now serves as the chair of psychiatry at Yale and is my co-founder at Freedom Bio. Dr. Rob Berman is the co-founder and former CMO at Biohaven, a company that earlier this year sold to Pfizer for $11.6 billion. Rob is the head of Freedom Bio’s Scientific Advisory Board and chief medical advisor.

My favorite lesser-known detail about me is: I’m a dog mom to a wonderful 5-year-old labradoodle named Magic.

I hope people walk away feeling: Inspired and hopeful!

Psychedelics are such a powerful tool because: They can allow patients to take an active role in their healing process and understand that they can help the healing themselves.

One truth that is so important, but people don’t always realize is: Psychedelic medicines are not a silver bullet and most people will not be healed overnight. It takes a great deal of work, time and support to find healing. It’s a lifelong process.

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