Dennis Jon McKenna, Ph.D. spent a number of years as a senior lecturer for the Center for Spirituality and Healing, a department within the Academic Health Center at the University of Minnesota. From 2006 to 2008, Dr. McKenna was a visiting senior research scientist with the Natural Health Products Research Group at The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). He then returned to the University of Minnesota where he currently lectures.
Dr. McKenna received his Master’s Degree in Botany from the University of Hawaii in 1979, his Ph.D. in Botanical Sciences from the University of British Columbia in 1984, and continued into post-doctoral research fellowships in the Laboratory of Clinical Pharmacology, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and in the Department of Neurology, Stanford University School of Medicine. His research has included the pharmacology, botany, and chemistry of ayahuasca and oo-koo-hé. He has also conducted extensive ethnobotanical fieldwork in the Peruvian, Colombian, and Brazilian Amazon.
McKenna’s research led to the development of natural products for the Aveda Corporation, as well as greater awareness of natural products and medicines. He has authored numerous scientific articles and books, including co-author of “The Invisible Landscape” with his brother Terence McKenna. His publications have appeared in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, European Journal of Pharmacology, Brain Research, Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Neurochemistry, Economic Botany, Alternative and Complementary Therapies, and elsewhere. Dr. McKenna and two colleagues are co-authors of a widely recognized reference work on herbal medicines, titled “Botanical Medicines: the Desk Reference for Major Herbal Supplements”.
Dennis also serves on the Advisory Board of the American Botanical Council, and on the Editorial Board of Phytomedicine, International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology.