McKenna Leighton, Clinical Research Associate (MAPS PBC)

McKenna Leighton

McKenna earned her B.S. in molecular biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) in 2019. Prior to joining MAPS PBC, McKenna worked with the Genomics Institute in UX design & communications, genomic ecology, and biotechnology. When McKenna wasn’t working in genomics, she designed and taught undergraduate courses with the Brain, Mind, Consciousness Society at UC Santa Cruz, and she studied political philosophy in UCSC’s History of Consciousness program.
At MAPS PBC, McKenna is currently serving as a clinical research associate, working on Phase 3 MDMA-assisted therapy studies. She also contributes to efforts ensuring that MAPS PBC studies are inclusive, safe, and equitable for marginalized populations. McKenna’s passion is to understand and to interfere with the psychological and physiological mechanisms by which socio-political power structures are reproduced in and through bodies. She is additionally passionate about ending the war on drugs, improving reciprocity in her relations with people, plants, and animals, and supporting political efforts to redistribute the wealth and the land. She loves queerness, sxsterhood, somatic experiencing, redwoods, exploring movement and breath, and studying radical philosophy.