Research Interests

STUART R. HAMEROFF, MD 

Director, Center for Consciousness Studies

Professor Emeritus

Department of Anesthesiology, College of Medicine,

University of Arizona and Department of Psychology

Quantum Consciousness Theorist & Researcher

Banner – University Medical Center Tucson

hameroff@u.arizona.edu

 

Research Interests:

Consciousness studies, quantum mechanical/general relativity approaches to consciousness, protein conformational dynamics, molecular mechanisms of anesthetic gas molecules, information processing in cytoskeletal microtubules, quantum information science, essential features of living systems, nanotechnology, nanomedicine, philosophical pan-protopsychism, coherence and decoherence.

 

Background to Stuart Hameroff's interest in Consciousness Research

 

Stuart Hameroff, MD -  Anesthesiologist, Professor and Researcher joined the faculty at University Medical Center in 1977.   Dr. Hameroff's research for 35 years has involved consciousness (how the pinkish gray meat between our ears produces the richness of experiential awareness). Studying anesthetic gas mechanisms, he focused on how quantum effects control protein conformational dynamics. Following an interest which began in medical school in the computational capacity of microtubules inside neurons, Dr. Hameroff proposed in the early 1980's that microtubules functioned as molecular computers.

 

Hameroff’s 1987 book  Ultimate computing: Biomolecular consciousness and nanotechnology, suggested downloading consciousness into microtubule arrays.

 

In the mid-1990s Hameroff teamed with British physicist Sir Roger Penrose to develop the controversial theory of consciousness called   “orchestrated objective reduction” -  Orch OR theory - in which consciousness derives from quantum computations in microtubules inside brain neurons, quantum computations connected to the fine- scale structure of spacetime geometry. Dr. Hameroff has published five books and well over 100 research articles, and appeared in the film ‘What the Bleep do We Know?’ and numerous TV documentaries on the problem of consciousness including BBC, Discover Channel, History Channel, PBS, OWN and Huff Post Live.  VideosJournal Articles

 

As Director of the Center for Consciousness Studies, established in 1997 at the University of Arizona, Hameroff co-organizes (with philosopher David Chalmers) the international, interdisciplinary biennial conference series ‘Toward a Science of Consciousness’ since 1994. For the past 20 + years TSC, CCS has been providing opportunities for researchers to meet in an international and interdisciplinary setting and has provided scholarships, grants, webcourses, seminars, symposiums. The Center is grateful for the past research support from Pfizer-Roerig, NSF, Fetzer Institute The Chopra Foundation, The Bhaumik Foundation, YeTaDeL Foundation, Google, Elata Foundation, Journal of Consciousness Studies, Journal of Cosmology, Ions, Monroe Institute, NIMS, Mind Event AB, AOARD, EOARD and AFOSR. 

 

Dr. Hameroff is grateful to his current and past fellow faculty and residents in the Department of Anesthesiology, surgeons and nurses and techs in the operating rooms, artist Dave Cantrell, webmeisters Ed Xia, Abi Behar-Montefiore and Rita Ellsworth; graphic designers Roma Krebs, Darla Keneston; technical support of Scott Morgan, Michael Griffith. Brian Dunkle, Ricky Bergeron, Erica Coleman ; TSC conference manager and CCS assistant director, Abi Behar-Montefiore and Toward a Science co-director Philosopher David Chalmers.  Numerous scientific collaborators over the years including Sir Roger Penrose, Jack Tuszynski, Anirban Bandyopadhyay, Travis Craddock, John JB Allen, Jay Sanguinetti and Sterling Cooley and colleagues from the University of Arizona. See 'Research'

 

Aside from his full-time clinical role, he is involved in numerous research projects. 

Current research includes performance of the first clinical trial of trancranial ultrasound (TUS) on mental states, we hope to enhance mood, and treat various neurological disorders by stimulating brain microtubule dynamics through TUS.  Colleagues Travis Craddock, Jack Tuszynski and Stuart Hameroff also study how anesthetics act in microtubules to erase consciousness, and with Jay Sanguinetti, John JB Allen, Sterling Cooley and colleagues at UA College of Medicine we are currently studying how transcranial ultrasound (TUS) can be used noninvasively to resonate brain microtubules and treat mental, cognitive and neurological disorders. 

 


 

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