UCLA Ecological Medicine & Psychedelic Studies Initiative


Ziva Cooper, PhD

Scientific Director, UCLA Ecological Medicine & Psychedelic Studies Initiative
Director, UCLA Center for Cannabis and Cannabinoids
Professor, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
Ziva Cooper’s research involves understanding the variables that influence both the therapeutic potential and adverse effects of cannabis and cannabinoids through doubleblind, placebo-controlled studies. Her current studies, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the State of California, center on understanding the differences between men and women in their response to the pain relief and abuse-related effects of cannabis, the potential for cannabis users to reduce reliance on opioids, and the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids in patient populations. Ziva received her Ph.D. degree in biopsychology from the University of Michigan, with a focus on preclinical psychopharmacology, which informs her focus on translating preclinical studies of cannabinoids to the clinic using controlled human drug-administration studies. Ziva served on the Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids committee for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which recently published a comprehensive consensus report on the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids. She has received awards for her research from national and international organizations, is past president of the International Study Group Investigating Drugs as Reinforcers, and serves on the board of directors for the College on Problems of Drug Dependence. Ziva also serves as associate editor for The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse and on several journal editorial boards, including Neuropsychopharmacology, and Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. Ziva was recently recognized as one of the 100 women of achievement of UCLA Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, highlighted as part of Women’s Equality Day, honoring the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution establishing women’s right to vote.