WHAT WE DO
At Sativa Science, our mission is to provide ethically sourced, science-driven data to enhance the safety and well-being of cannabis users. We strive to provide all clients the information they need to create individualized, effective, precision medical treatments, which generates sustained positive outcomes.
When neurologist Dr. Thomas Swanson opened his Montana Comprehensive Epilepsy Program in Missoula 13 years ago, he was surprised by the swelling numbers of patients asking him about medical marijuana to alleviate symptoms associated with epilepsy and several other neurological disorders. Despite decades of treatment experience, Dr. Swanson could find little to no information regarding medical cannabis. This alarmed him, especially in Montana where medical cannabis has been legalized since 2004.
“I was immediately concerned about the scarcity of scientific evidence guiding the use of cannabis products. There was no information to guide dosing or strain-choice, and cannabis discussions took up more and more of my visit time with patients.”
Dr. Swanson knew a solution was needed.
His first instinct was to confide in colleagues across the country. As a seasoned clinician with experience in patient care, pharmaceutical trials, disease exploration and investigative grants, Dr. Swanson had a surplus of researchers and physicians to connect with. However, his concerns were validated as his colleagues reported that their patients could access and select medical cannabis without any form of scientific evidence. The height of Dr. Swanson’s concern was rooted in the absence of tracking adverse effects, the scarcity in monitoring efficacy in regards to strain and dosage, limited scientific studies on specific cannabinoid effects, and the lack of knowledge about drug-drug interactions behind the cannabis prescriptions.
Dr. Swanson promptly enlisted his son, Mark Swanson, to develop the solution. Mark, a computer programmer and web designer devised a cloud-based, scientific tracking system to catalogue and analyze client use of medical cannabis. Mark has drawn from his extensive experience designing tools and programs for medical research, programs used by the University of Michigan Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine and the Wisconsin based company Earthling Interactive. This background has given Mark the expertise to create our program, Lumina, the first science-based Cannabis Electronic Medical Records (CEMR) system.
Thomas Swanson, MD, FAES
Chief Science Officer, co-founder
Tom has been a practicing physician for more than 30 years as well as owned and managed several neurology clinics in multiple states including the Montana Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. He has extensive experience in using cannabis to treat a variety of neurological conditions.
His distinguished career includes a residency at the Mayo Clinic and the prestigious Dana Neuroscience Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania where he studied small molecule actions in human and animal brains. Dr. Swanson went on to direct an NIH-funded basic science laboratory and has been the leading investigator on several pharmaceutical clinical trials in the epilepsy space. He is a designated “key opinion leader” and past PAB member for Supernus, GSK, UCB Pharma, Liva Nova, and Sunovion pharmaceutical companies.
Tom holds a BS in Biology from Eastern Michigan University (1979) and an MD from Wayne State University School of Medicine (1986).
Chief Technology Officer, co-founder
Mark designs and leads all technology-related projects, including Lumina, our proprietary database and cannabis standard-of-care software. Previously, he was a Consultant to the University of Michigan’s Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine, designing their patient interface research tools. While at the Wisconsin-based Earthling Interactive, Mark supervised the electronic medical records development team.
Mark holds a BA in Asian Studies from the University of Michigan (2009) and speaks fluent Japanese.
Jacci Bainbridge PharmD, FCCP, MSCS, FAES
Professional Advisory Board Director
An experienced clinical pharmacy specialist, Dr. Bainbridge is an expert on brain drug interactions and metabolism. Dr. Bainbridge is at the forefront of cannabinoid pharmacologic development, a national thought leader on cannabinoid drug interactions, an advocate for scientific use of cannabinoids, as well as a frequent speaker at national cannabinoid conventions.
Currently, Dr. Bainbridge’s research involves compounding novel cannabinoid molecule formulations that are tested in FDA approved clinical trials. Most recently she has published on the safety and tolerability of cannabidiol in Parkinson’s disease. She is part of a clinical trial team conducting research in back pain, restless legs syndrome, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, fragile X syndrome, and autism spectrum disorder.
Dr. Bainbridge is an expert in identifying and resolving drug-related problems, evaluating patients for medication toxicity, as well as developing patient specific formulations of cannabinoid medication therapies. An seasoned clinical pharmacist, she is an integral part of our bench to bedside approach to cannabinoid science.
Paul Lyons MD, PhD, FAES, FAAN
Professional Advisory Board Member
Dr. Paul Lyons is the Founder and Director of the Virginia Comprehensive Epilepsy and Neurodevelopment Clinic. As an epileptologist and neuroscientist with decades of experience in treating neurological disorders, Dr. Lyons has extensive experience in treating patients with medical cannabis.
He is currently investigating new technology to improve brain cannabinoid molecule delivery in preclinical studies using a rodent model of Alzheimer’s Disease. He also has extensive experience in designing clinical drug trials and has published articles in numerous scientific journals. Licensed in Virginia, New York and the State of Washington, he is Board Certified in Neurology, Sleep Medicine, Clinical Neurophysiology and Epilepsy.
In addition to his interest in medical marijuana, he focuses on epilepsy surgery, neuropsychological, psychiatric, and behavioral consequences of epilepsy, biomedical devices, novel class of molecules research for treatment of pharmacologically refractory epilepsy, sleep disturbances, neuroimmunology and neurophysiology. Dr. Lyons graduated from medical school at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and trained at the University of Virginia.
John Mendelson MD
Professional Advisory Board Member
Dr. John Mendelson is the Chief Medical Officer and Founder of Ria Health, (formerly DxRx), an alcohol addiction treatment center based in San Francisco. As a Board Certified Internist with over 30 years of research and practice in the field of addiction, Dr. Mendelson brings his commitment to evidence-based treatment to Sativa Science.
Born of his strong conviction that patients should have access to safe, effective and affordable addiction treatment, Dr. Mendelson’s formula for compassionate addiction treatment combines science based methods with new technology, medication, recovery and coaching.
Infamily: Average; font-weight: 400; color: rgb(65, 64, 66); font-size: 98%;”>He has worked with patients in his private&n actice for several decades, and recently served as Medical Director of BAART (Bay Area Addiction Research and Treatment) where he supervised 5 opioid treatment clinics in San Francisco. He believes that success can and should be measured by scientific data and to that end, Dr. Mendelson is a seasoned research professional. He was Medical Director of the Drug Dependence Research Center at UCSF from 1991 to 2007, as well as Founder and Director of the Addiction and Pharmacology Research Laboratory at California Pacific Medical Center from 2004 to 2016. More recently, he has acted as Senior Research Scientist at Friends Research Institute. He also currently serves as Clinical Professor of Medicine at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
David Anschel MD
Professional Advisory Board Member
Dr. Anschel is the founding director of the St. Charles Epilepsy Center, an affiliate of the NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson, NY and is the Director of Epilepsy and EEG Services at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip, NY. Dr. Anschel also serves as Adjunct Associate Professor at New York University School of Medicine. He currently has over 90 scientific and technical publications, and holds Board Certifications in Neurology, Clinical Neurophysiology, and Epilepsy.
Dr. Anschel earned his B.S. in Biological Sciences, summa cum laude, from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He then went on to earn an M.D., with Honors in Physiology and Neuroscience, from New York University School of Medicine. He completed his neurology residency at Harvard University-Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Boston Children’s Hospital, followed by a fellowship in epilepsy and clinical neurophysiology at Stanford University.
Ann DeWerth JD
Branding & Communications Lead
Ann DeWerth is a practicing attorney in the legal cannabis industry and, more specifically, she is working with the scientific use of marijuana to assist those suffering from opiate and alcohol addiction.
Ann graduated from NYU with a BA in English and French literature. She then studied at Sorbonne in Paris earning a Certificate in French Language, before graduating from Columbia University with a Masters in Journalism.
After college, Ann worked as a journalist and then as a creative, public relations, and marketing executive who represented internationally known brands, athletes, and events, such Derek Jeter, Tiger Woods, the Cleveland Grand Prix, and Stars on Ice. Ann then attended Cleveland Marshall College of Law and has been a practicing attorney for over a decade. Ann has been instrumental in developing our brand and formulating our initial marketing efforts.
Laura Perkovic JD
Professional Advisory Board Member
Laura A. Perkovic is a health care attorney who brings twenty-one years of courtroom experience in criminal and civil cases, including health care fraud and abuse, to Sativa Science. She previously served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney and Deputy Attorney General for a state Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
In private practice, she represented physicians, pharmacists, nurses, clinics, pharmacies, and other health care providers and organizations in regulatory compliance, transactions, and the defense of government investigations and prosecutions. She currently serves as Chief Legal Officer for one of the largest independent medical practices in the country.