Last updated on: 2/19/2010 | Author: ProCon.org

Ronald J. Ellis, MD, PhD Biography

Title:
Professor in Residence in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of California at San Diego
Position:
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"
Reasoning:

“The therapeutic application of cannabis depends on palatability and safety concerns as well as efficacy. Smoking is not an optimal delivery system…

Our findings suggest that cannabinoid therapy may be an effective option for pain
relief in patients with medically intractable pain due to HIV-associated DSPN [distal, sensory predominant polyneuropathy].”

“Smoked Medicinal Cannabis for Neuropathic Pain in HIV: A Randomized, Cross-over Clinical Trial,” Neuropsychopharmacology, Aug. 2008

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
     Key Experts
Physicians [Physicians are the "key experts" in the medical marijuana debate because the issue is thought by many to be ultimately based on the medical value and risks of marijuana, and Physicians, with their training and clinical work, should (at least in theory) have the best knowledge of marijuana's medical value and risks.] [Note: Key Experts definition varies by sites that have this designation.]
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Professor in Residence, Department of Neuroscience, University of California at San Diego (UCSD)
  • Co-director, CNS HIV Antiretroviral Therapy Effects Research (CHARTER)
  • Chief of Service, UCSD Outpatient Neurology Clinic, UCSD Medical Center
  • Member, Neurologic AIDS Research Consortium and AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG)
  • Protocol Chair for the study “Clinical Validation of the ACTG NeuroScreen: A Multicenter Study of the Neurologic AIDS Research Consortium”
  • Protocol Vice Chair for the “ACTG Longitudinal Study of Brain Injury in HIV Infection by in Vivo Proton MR Spectroscopy”
  • Member, standing committee of the NIH Center for Scientific Review
  • Consultant, National Institute of Mental Health in Bangalore, India
  • Editorial reviewer for journals including Neurology, Annals of Neurology, Neuroscience Letters, Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, Journal of Infectious Diseases, and AIDS
  • Recipient, Junior Faculty Teaching Award for excellence in resident education, 1998-2001
Education:
  • PhD, Behavioral Neuroscience, Boston University School of Medicine
  • MD, Behavioral Neuroscience, Boston University School of Medicine
Other:
  • Board certified in neurology
  • Presented plenary address at Eighth Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, 2001; International Society for Neurovirology and Neuroscience of HIV Infection, 2002; First International Workshop on HIV Persistence During Therapy, 2003