Skip to main content
Medicinal cannabis plant
Centres and institutes_

About the Lambert Initiative

The vision, the goal, the aims and the outcomes so far

Established as part of the Brain and Mind Centre, the Lambert Initiative conducts high quality research to discover, develop and optimise safe and effective cannabinoid therapeutics in medicine. 

The Lambert Initiative provides national and international leadership both in the science of medicinal cannabis and in the discovery and development of cannabis-based medicines.

Our activities extend from plant science and cannabinoid production, through cellular and preclinical pharmacology, to medicinal chemistry and drug discovery, including human laboratory studies and clinical trials.

We also act in an advocacy and educational capacity. We provide evidence and guidance for clinicians, consumers, health professionals and politicians about the potential of cannabinoid therapeutics. We also seek to influence regulatory approaches and public health policy.

We develop knowledge aimed at maximising the potential of cannabinoid medicines to treat a range of human diseases, particularly where there is currently an unmet need for novel treatments.

These conditions include, but are not limited to:

Our vision is to conduct the high quality research required to discover, develop and optimise safe and effective cannabinoid therapeutics in Australia and beyond. 

Over the next three years, we aim to:

  • expand our preclinical research program to develop new therapeutic applications for single cannabinoids, cannabinoid combinations and full-spectrum extracts
  • prepare for phase 1 human clinical trials of novel cannabinoids
  • prepare for phase 2 clinical trials to further the evidence base
  • expand our reach in educating the public, patients, politicians and health professionals on the science and therapeutic role of medicinal cannabinoids, and
  • disseminate our findings via peer reviewed publications, clinical guidance and the media.

In our first year of operation, we have:

  • established a state-of-the-art research facility at the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre
  • recruited quality national and international researchers
  • established multidisciplinary collaboration to support our research
  • established a supply of purified cannabinoids from industrial hemp and organic syntheses
  • discovered novel therapeutic indications for some cannabinoids and novel modes of action
  • made important translational discoveries that deepen our understanding of the efficacy of cannabinoid therapeutics, and
  • used scientific expertise and evidence to influence the regulatory landscape.


Barry and Joy Lambert on 60 Minutes

From the age of six months, the Lamberts’ young granddaughter Caitlyn suffered with Dravet Syndrome seizures. Here they explain how illegal cannabis paste stopped her seizures, and how the incredible transformation led the couple to donate $33.7M to the University of Sydney for medicinal cannabis research. Professor Iain McGregor shows us inside the Lambert Initiative lab making headway in cannabinoid therapeutics. (Footage courtesy of Channel 9).