Speakers Biographies

Speakers Biographies

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Pim van Lommel, MD – Graduated at the University of Utrecht and finished his specialization in cardiology in 1976. From 1977-2003 he worked as a cardiologist and is now doing full-time research on the mind-brain relation. He has published several articles on cardiology, and more recently a number of articles, a book and book chapter on near-death experiences (NDE) in survivors of cardiac arrest. Since 2005 he has received various awards, including the Dr. Bruce Greyson Research Award, from the International Association of Near-Death Studies (IANDS), the Life Time Achievement Award at the World Congress on Clinical and Preventive Cardiology in New Delhi from the president of India; and the Book Award from the Scientific and Medical Network. His book ‘Endless Consciousness’ (in Dutch), a bestseller with more than 140,000 copies sold was translated into English (Consciousness beyond Life) in 2010. He authored the article “Near-death experience in survivors of cardiac arrest: a prospective study in the Netherlands”, published in the prestigious scientific journal The Lancet in 2001.
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Alessandra G. Lucchetti, MD – She is a General Practitioner specialized in the care of the elderly. Received her MBA from the Getúlio Vargas Foundation, Brazil and a MSc degree in psychiatry from the University of São Paulo, Brazil. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil, and a research collaborator for the Brazilian Spiritist Medical Association. She is also the author of several articles on Spirituality and Health published in prestigious scientific journals.
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Alexander Moreira-Almeida, MD, PhD – He obtained a medical degree from Federal University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF), Brazil and trained in psychiatry and cognitive-behavioral therapy at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, where he obtained his PhD in Health Sciences. Formerly a post-doctoral fellow in religion and health at Duke University, USA. In 2015, he led the publication of the WPA Position Statement on Spirituality and Religion in Psychiatry. He has published over 100 papers in the interface between spirituality, health and science that have received more than 2,000 citations at Google Scholar (h index=23). Moreira-Almeida has also worked with lay media to promote science communication on topics regarding science and religion to general public. In 2014, he led the creation and still coordinates the TV NUPES (www.youtube.com/nupesufjf), a YouTube channel on Science and Spirituality that has produced more than 100 bilingual videos (English and Portuguese) that have been seen in more than 150 countries.
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Christoph Kind, ND – He received his BSc in Biochemistry and Microbiology from the University of Victoria in 1982, and graduated from NUNM in1986 with a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree. He began his family practice in Victoria, Canada, and in 1988 moved his practice to Courtenay, Canada. He has received training in homeopathic medicine from the New England School of Homeopathy and is board certified in ozone therapy; bi-oxidative medicine and chelation therapy; and prolotherapy and neural therapy. Dr. Kind is a member of the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors and a past president of the British Columbia Naturopathic Association. He has served on the Board of Naturopathic Examiners for the Association of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia as well as the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia. Dr. Kind is a past member of the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination Committee for North America.
Etzel Cardeña, PhD – He holds the endowed Thorsen Chair in psychology at Lund University in Sweden, where he directs the Center for Research on Consciousness and Anomalous Psychology (CERCAP). He was born in México, where he became licensed as a clinical psychologist. Elected fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Association for Psychological Studies, among other societies, his work has garnered many awards from several institutions. His areas of research include extraordinary anomalous experiences, dissociative processes and acute posttraumatic reactions, hypnosis and the stream of consciousness. He has delivered keynote speeches and workshops in four continents and has more than 300 scientific publications. Among his books are Varieties of Anomalous Experience published by the APA and now in its second edition, the two-volumes Altering Consciousness: A Multidisciplinary Perspective, and Parapsychology: A Handbook for the 21st Century.
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Giancarlo Lucchetti, MD, PhD – He is a General Practitioner, with fellowship training in Geriatrics, and received his PhD in Neurology/Neurosciences from the Federal University of São Paulo. He is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil and also collaborates in research for the Brazilian Spiritist Medical Association. He is the author of several articles on Spirituality and Health published in prestigious scientific journals.
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Harald Walach, PhD – He holds a double Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, and History and Theory of Science. He has been, until recently, Director of the Institute of Transcultural Health Sciences at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany, where he also coordinated a postgraduate training program for doctors in complementary medicine and cultural studies. He has authored more than 150 peer reviewed papers, several books and numerous book chapters. His research interest is in methodology and evaluation of complementary medicine and the impact of consciousness.
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Jorge Daher Jr., MS, MD – Endocrinologist, with a M.S. degree in Health Sciences. He is currently a Medical Auditor for the Center of High Cost Drugs, at the Health Services System of the State of Goias, and an Attending Physician at the Anapolis Central Hospital. In addition, he occupies the position of General Secretary and member of the Research Department of the Brazilian Spiritist Medical Association and President of the Spiritist Medical Association of the state of Goias.
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Kirsten DeMelo, RN – Born and raised in the USA, she has been actively studying Spiritism since her youth. She is currently an active member of the Spiritist Society of Baltimore and has given lectures on Spiritism in events all over the country. Professionally she is a Registered Nurse with a background in case management, critical care and utilization management.
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Marcelo Saad, MD, PhD – Physician specialized in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and in Acupuncture. He has a PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences, and is a Faculty member of the Post-Graduation stricto sensu at the Santo Amaro University in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Member of the Board of Directors of the Medical College of Acupuncture of Sao Paulo. He is the President of the Spiritist Medical Association of Sao Paulo. His areas of interest include: Acupuncture, Spirituality and Health, and Complementary Therapies.
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Mario Peres, MD, PhD – Graduated in Medicine at the School of Medical Sciences of Santa Casa de São Paulo and obtained his PhD degree at the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP). He completed his post-doctoral fellowship at the Thomas Jefferson University, in Philadelphia and is currently a Senior Researcher at the Israelite Hospital Albert Einstein in Sao Paulo, professor of Neurology and Neuroscience at UNIFESP and Vice-President of the Spiritist Medical Association of São Paulo. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.
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Peter Fenwick, MD – He is the Consultant Neuropsychiatrist Emeritus to the Epilepsy Unit at the Maudsley Hospital, which he ran for twenty years. He is presently Emeritus Senior Lecturer, at the Institute of Psychiatry Kings College London. Dr. Fenwick has a long standing interest in brain function and the problem of consciousness and has published a large number of research papers related to altered states of consciousness, Near Death Experiences, End of Life Experiences and the process of dying. He has researched into meditation and continues to be interested in the relationship between meditative states, cognition and brain function.
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Claudio Petrillo, MD – Board Certified physician in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R). He completed his residency training and a fellowship in Spinal Cord Injuries at New York University Medical Center’s, Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine and served as Clinical Professor at NYU until 1982. He was the Chairman of the Department of PM&R at Norwalk Hospital, Norwalk, CT from 1982 to 2012 and has been recognized by his peers as one of the Top Doctors in the New York Metro Area for ten consecutive years. Married to Dr. Silvia Knoploch in 1981, they have been partners professionally and in life. Claudio and Silvia currently have a practice of “Integrative/Regenerative Rehabilitation” in Norwalk, CT. Except for scientific medical articles and book chapters, Dr. Petrillo had never written a book until 2007 when he began to channel “Eternal Bonds of Love” from his son Ricardo that had passed away at age twenty, in 2005. Ricardo, Claudio and Silvia have since published eight books.
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Marcia Regina Colasante Salgado, MD – Graduated in Medicine at the School of Medical Sciences of Santos, and specialized in Occupational Health and Pneumology. She is board-certified in Internal Medicine by the Brazilian Medical Association and the Brazilian Society of Internal Medicine, with post-graduation in Healthcare Auditing. She currently works as pneumologist at the Hospital Guilherme Alvaro of the Sao Paulo Health Services System, and as occupational health doctor at the Docks Company, Sao Paulo state.