Director, Center for Consciousness Studies
Emeritus Professor, Department of Anesthesiology
Emeritus Professor, Department of Psychology
Stuart Hameroff, Research Website:
UA Department of Anesthesiology: Consciousness Research/Hameroff
Center for Consciousness Studies/TSC: www.consciousness.arizona.edu
Stuart Hameroff MD grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, working summers at Republic Steel and Cleveland Stadium. At the University of Pittsburgh in the late 1960s, he studied chemistry, physics and the mind/body problem. In medical school in the early 1970s at Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia, Hameroff became interested in microtubules, polymers of the protein ‘tubulin’, and major components of the cytoskeleton within living cells. Comparing their dynamic lattice structure to computer matrices, he began to propose that microtubules processed information inside brain neurons, and were the source of intelligence at the biomolecular level. Choosing an academic career combining clinical medicine and research, Hameroff trained in anesthesiology at the University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona, and joined the faculty there in 1977, a position he still holds as emeritus professor and practicing anesthesiologist. His research has included mechanisms by which anesthetic gases erase consciousness and prevent memory, and further studies of information processing in microtubules. In the mid 1990s Hameroff teamed with famed British physicist Sir Roger Penrose to develop a quantum theory of consciousness based on microtubules, a controversial proposal (recent work has shown that anesthetics act via microtubules inside neurons).
Beginning in 2009, the team of Anirban Bandyopadhyay and colleagues at the National Institute of Material Sciences in Tsukuba, Japan began to show vibrational resonances in microtubules in the megahertz frequency range. Hameroff concluded that microtubule megahertz vibrations supported information processing, cognition and consciousness in the brain. Recognizing megahertz mechanical vibrations as ultrasound, commonly used in clinical anesthesiology for imaging, and aware of noninvasive brain therapies such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and transcranial electrical (e.g. direct current) stimulation (tDCS), Hameroff found that work by WJ Tyler and others had shown that transcranial ultrasound (TUS) caused behavioral and electrophysiological effects in animals. Using a clinical ultrasound imaging device (GE Logiq) at low intensity, sub-thermal levels, Hameroff and colleagues then did the first TUS human study on mood and mental states in chronic pain patients, published in 2012 in Brain Stimulation. He then collaborated with University of Arizona Psychologists John JB Allen and Jay Sanguinetti to do several followup TUS studies on healthy volunteers, showing TUS to right fronto-temporal cortex improves mood, that vertex stimulation aimed at anterior cingulate cortex can have profound effects (uncontrolled laughter, meditative states, ‘out-of-body’ experiences) and that TUS elicits gamma synchrony EEG near the stimulation site.
Hameroff also has collaborated with neuroscientist Sourav Ghosh (and student Uma Raman) to test ultrasound effects on rat embryonic cortical neurons, showing significant increase in neurite sprouting, suggesting TUS could be helpful in neuronal repair and synaptic formation after TBI. This suggested clinical trials of TUS on TBI as described in the present pre-application proposal. In collaboration with biophysicists Jack Tuszynski at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and Travis Craddock at Nova Southeastern University in Ft Lauderdale, Florida, Hameroff also proposed that microtubules encode memory from synaptic inputs by the holoenzyme CaMKII. He further suggested psychotherapy, including for PTSD, could involve TUS-based stimulation of microtubule vibrational mechanisms to over-write traumatic memories.
In addition to clinical and research roles, Hameroff is Director of the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona, and co-organizes, with philosopher David Chalmers, the well-known ‘Toward a Science of Consciousness’ conferences. He is a perennial selection for ‘Best Doctors in Tucson’, where he has lived and worked for 40 years. He received the first Rustum Roy award at Deepak Chopra’s ‘Sages and Scientists’ conference in 2010. Hameroff has written or edited 5 books and over a hundred scientific articles. He appeared in the film ‘WhattheBleep?’, and in numerous TV shows about consciousness on BBC, PBS, Discovery, and History Channel. His research website is www.quantumconsciousness.org
Penrose-Hameroff 'Orch OR' model listed as one of six theories of consciousness, World Book of Science 2000
Penrose-Hameroff 'Orch OR' model featured in 'The Scientist': "Consciousness Studies - an Emerging Discipline?" Related to consciousness research: BBC, PBS, Discovery Channel, Through the Wormhole, and several documentary films, radio interviews and popular magazine features (Discover, Scientific American)
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.
Dr. Stuart Hameroff ‘s research projects are potentially open to resident involvement time permitting.
Good Vibrations - Transcranial Ultrasound
Tuning the Brain-updating...
1. Uma Raman, Saatviki Gupta, Sara Parker , Nandita Gupta, Arun Kumar Gupta, Chris Duffield, Sourav Ghosh, Stuart Hameroff (2014). Low-intensity ultrasound (US) stabilizes microtubules and promotes neurite outgrowth [in preparation]
2. Sanguinetti, JL, Smith E, Allen JJB, Hameroff, S (2014). Transcranial Ultrasound (TUS) Affects Mood in Healthy Human Volunteers. Brain Stimulation. [in preparation]
Stuart Hameroff's research website: Quantum Consciousness
Stuart Hameroff's Link to PUB MED.gov - Search Terms: SR Hameroff, Stuart Hameroff, Stuart R. Hameroff
BOOKS AUTHORED AND EDITED
1. Hameroff, SR, Ultimate Computing: Biomolecular Consciousness and NanoTechnology, Elsevier-North Holland, Amsterdam (1987)
2. Koruga DL, Hameroff SR, Withers J, Loutfy R, Sundareshan M. C60 Fullerene--From Nanobiology to Nanotechnology. Elsevier-North Holland, Amsterdam (1993)
3. Hameroff SR, Kaszniak AW & Scott AC, (Eds), Toward a Science of Consciousness: The First Tucson Discussions and Debates, MIT Press/Bradford Books, Cambridge, MA (1996)
3. Hameroff SR, Kaszniak AW & Scott AC, (Eds), Toward a Science of Consciousness II: The Second Tucson Discussions and Debates, MIT Press/Bradford Books, Cambridge, MA, (1998)
4. Hameroff SR, Kaszniak AW & Chalmers D, (Eds), Toward a Science of Consciousness III: The Third Tucson Discussions and Debates, MIT Press/Bradford Books, Cambridge, MA (1999)
Roger Penrose, Stuart Hameroff, Henry Stapp, Deepak Chopra, Consciousness and the Universe, Quantum Physics, Evolution, Brain & Mind, Cosmology Science Publishers (2011).
Moreira-Almeida, Alexander, Santos, Franklin Santana (eds), Exploring Frontiers of the Mind-Brain Relationship (Mindfulness in Behavioral Health) Springer (2011).
Hameroff S, "Consciousness, free will and quantum brain biology - The 'Orch OR' Theory", in De Gruyter, (2014) Quantum Physics Meets the Philosophy of Mind. New Essays on the Mind-Body Relation to Quantum-Theoretical Perspective. Ed. by Corradini, Antonella University of Milan and Uwe Meixner, University of Augsburg, Philosophical Analysis Series 56, pp 99-134 (2014).
2014 Bhaumik Foundation - Toward a Science of Consciousness TSC-20th Anniversary Conference
2011 Rustum Roy Award, Chopra Foundation
2011 Institute of Noetic Sciences, TUS Pilot Study
2011 USAF-AFOSR - Toward a Science of Consciousness, 2011 TSC-Stockholm Conference, European Office - Aerospace R-D; Asian Office of Aerospace R&D
2005 YeTaDeL Foundation Award
2003 Samueli Foundation Award for 2003 Quantum Mind conference
1998-2001 Fetzer Institute Award to establish the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona
1990-1991 National Science Foundation (NSF) Solitons in biomolecules (Co-PI with Alwyn Scott, PhD)
1982 Pfizer-Roerig - Effects of doxepin on chronic pain
Co-Chair of the biennial Tucson Conference Series (1994-present) and the alternating overseas TSC with collaborating university and research groups. Tucson, Arizona: 1994, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 – Overseas; 1995 Ischia, Italy; 1997, Elsinore, Denmark; 1999, Tokyo, Japan; 2001, Skovde, Sweden; 2003, Prague, Czech Republic; 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark; 2007 Vienna, Austria; 2007, Budapest, Hungary; 2009, Hong Kong, China; 2011, Stockholm, Sweden; 2013, Agra, India; 2015 TSC will take place in Helsinki, Finland
Quantum Approaches to understanding the Mind, Flagstaff 1999, Organizer “Quantum Mind 2003: Consciousness, quantum physics and the brain”; 2006
BioSystems, Journal of Consciousness Studies
American Society of Anesthesiologists
Association of University Anesthesiologists
Society for Neuroscience
Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness
contact: Abi Behar-Montefiore, email@example.com, 520-621-9317; text/cell: 520-247-5785