Dr. Jeff Chen MD/MBA is a physician, researcher, and social entrepreneur pioneering cannabis research and commercialization. He is a thought leader on cannabis policy, science, and business, and has worked at the intersection of these areas for the last 5 years to accelerate research and education into the diverse impacts of cannabis legalization on society. At age 29, Dr. Chen became one of the youngest Directors of a major university research initiative in America when he became the Founder and Executive Director of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative, one of the first university programs in the world dedicated to cannabis. He currently leads a team of 40 interdisciplinary faculty drawn from 15 departments and 8 schools at UCLA.
Dr. Chen is a graduate of the specialized MD/MBA program at UCLA—while a graduate student, he created some of the nation’s first cannabis science & business conferences, cannabis science and business clubs, and cannabis courses at an American University. Dr. Chen graduated from medical school in the 95th percentile of all U.S. graduating physicians based on national medical licensing exams, and received the highest award of distinction for his performance in the specialties of Surgery, Neurology, Pediatrics, and Family Medicine. Dr. Chen has spoken on the topic of cannabis at venues ranging from the RAND Corporation and Senator Feinstein’s Office to the Yale School of Management and Nexus. He has traveled the world educating about cannabis–from teaching the country of Colombia’s first cannabis course for doctors, to presenting to the Royal Family of the Kingdom of Bhutan, to giving the keynote cannabis science talk at Asia’s first cannabis investment summit. He has appeared in fireside chats with public figures ranging from media personalities like Jonathan Van Ness, to athletes like Matt Barnes, to politicians like former Governor of Colorado John Hickenlooper. His work has been covered by outlets ranging from Rolling Stone and Vogue, to TIME Magazine and the Wall Street Journal.
Dr. Chen is a David Geffen Fellow, U.S. patent holder, and published author in cancer research. He is a member of the Helena Group, Sandbox, and Nexus. He is a World Economic Forum “Global Shaper” and is a Schusterman Foundation Reality Impact Alumnus. Dr. Chen graduated Magna Cum Laude from Cornell University, where he studied Biology, Business, and Music. He has been a lifelong musician, having sung at venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to the Vatican, and on weekends you can often find him singing and playing guitar on the Venice Beach boardwalk.