Two-day conference explores frontiers in consciousness research

Yoga pose

Leading researchers in the fields of perceptual studies and neurobiology will explore the latest scientific findings on consciousness and near-death experiences at a two-day conference March 22-23 hosted by Wake Forest University and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Beyond Being: Frontiers in Consciousness Research: Science, Spirituality, and Wellness,” will bring scientists and thought leaders together to address the profound long-term impacts of these experiences and discuss the emerging research into a post-mortem existence.

This conference, which is free and open to the public, is designed for practitioners and others interested in the intersection of contemplative sciences, spirituality, and wellness, as well as the powerful effects of mindfulness meditation and other cognitive approaches in pain management, healing and related outcomes.

Wednesday, March 22 – 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Broyhill Auditorium, Farrell Hall, Wake Forest University

Moderator: Fadel Zeidan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy at Wake Forest School of Medicine, Associate Director of Neuroscience Research at Wake Forest Baptist’s Center for Integrative Medicine and adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology at Wake Forest University.


  • Kim Penberthy, Ph.D., ABPP, Chester F. Carlson Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, University of Virginia; Founding member of UVA Contemplative Science Center
  • Ed Kelly, Ph.D.; Professor in the Division of Perceptual Studies, University of Virginia
  • Shamini Jain, Ph.D.; Founder and Director of the Consciousness and Healing Initiative; Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at University of California San Diego

Thursday, March 23 – 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Bowman Gray Center for Medical Education, Wake Forest School of Medicine
(475 Vine St., 5th floor tiered classroom)

Keynote speaker: Jeff Olsen, Best-selling author of “I Knew their Hearts,” a book about his near-death experience and Founder of @One.

A panel session on topics ranging from near-death experience to the experiences of children who remember past lives to spiritual mysticism will follow Olsen’s keynote address.

Moderator: Remy Coeytaux, M.D., Ph.D.; Caryl J. Guth Chair in Integrative Medicine and Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine.


  • Jim Tucker, M.D., Bonner-Lowry Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, University of Virginia; Director of the UVA Division of Perceptual Studies
  • Bruce Greyson, M.D., Chester F. Carlson Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences and Director Emeritus of the Division of Perceptual Studies, University of Virginia; Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association
  • Ulrike Wiethaus, Professor of Religion and American Ethnic Studies, Wake Forest University

The conference will be live streamed at Additional information about the conference, panelists and sponsors is also available on the website.

Categories: Events, Faculty, Research