Speaker Bios

Jan Holden, EdD, LPC-S, LMFT, NCC

Janice Holden, EdD
Janice Holden, EdD

Professor, Counseling Program
Interim Chair, Department of Counseling, Development, & Higher Education
University of North Texas

Dr. Holden is a long-time investigator of veridical perception during NDEs and co-creator with Rozan Christian, PhD, of the consummate NDE research tool Near-Death Experiences: Index to the Periodical Literature through 2005. Dr. Holden co-authored with Sam Parnia, MD, the talk on "Veridical Perception in NDEs" at the 2006 IANDS conference.

Upon earning her doctorate in counselor education from Northern Illinois University in 1988, Dr. Holden joined the counseling program faculty at the University of North Texas in Denton, just north of Dallas/Fort Worth, where she now serves as counseling program administrator. Her primary area of specialization is the transpersonal perspective in counseling, with particular emphasis on near-death experiences. Dr. Holden is serving in her third year as President of the International Association for Near-Death Studies. She leads a monthly IANDS local group in Lewisville, a suburb north of Dallas. Dr. Holden is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and National Certified Counselor. She maintains a small private practice in counseling in Lewisville where she works primarily with individual adults and with couples.

Raymond Moody, MD, PhD

Raymond Moody, MD, PhD
Raymond Moody, MD, PhD

In 1975, with his book Life after Life, Dr. Raymond Moody coined the term near-death experience (NDE) and formally launched the field of near-death studies. Thirty years later, Life after Life is probably still the single most recognized book title on the topic of NDEs. Dr. Moody will be the luncheon speaker on the first day of the conference.

Raymond Moody earned a PhD in philosophy in 1969 and an MD in 1976. He was inspired to study near-death experiences in 1965 when he heard George Ritchie, MD, describe his own NDE. Since 1975, Dr. Moody has pursued interests in other transpersonal phenomena such as the psychomanteum, a specific setting that can help people experience apparitions of deceased loved ones. However, he continues to be in demand worldwide to speak about his pioneering work and ongoing interest in NDEs.

Russell Noyes, MD

Russell Noyes, MD
Russell Noyes, MD
Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry
Carver College of Medicine
University of Iowa


Dr. Noyes was an explorer of the new world of near-death studies, having published before 1975 four articles about experiences that, in 1975, came to be known as NDEs. Still involved in the field, Dr. Noyes co-presented with Peter Fenwick, MD, “Pleasurable Western Adult NDEs: Aftereffects” during the 2006 IANDS Conference.

After completing residency training in psychiatry at the Institute of Living in Hartford, Connecticut, and the University of Iowa, Dr. Noyes spent two years in the United States Navy, then joined the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa. His research interests early in his career included near-death experiences and, later, panic and other anxiety disorders as well as hypochondriasis. He has published nearly 300 articles and, for many years, served on the Psychiatric Consultation Service at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He achieved the rank of Professor before retiring in 2002.

At the 2006 conference in Houston, IANDS honored Dr. Noyes' early work on "NDEs" by presenting him with the Bruce Greyson Research Award. The fourth recipient of this award, Dr. Noyes joins esteemed recipients Dr. Greyson himself, Dr. Peter Fenwick, and Dr. Pim van Lommel.

Sam Parnia MD, PhD

Sam Parnia, MD
Sam Parnia, MD

Senior Clinical Research Fellow
University of Southampton, U.K.
Fellow in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
Weill Cornell Medical Center
New York

Dr. Parnia, in collaboration with Dr. Peter Fenwick, conducted a landmark prospective study of NDEs at Southampton General Hospitals in England that was published in the journal Resuscitation. He co-authored with Jan Holden, EdD, the talk on "Veridical Perception in NDEs" at the 2006 IANDS conference.

A graduate of Guys and St. Thomas' medical schools in London, Dr. Parnia founded the Consciousness Research Group at the University of Southampton in the U.K. He is also a Specialist Registrar in Internal and Respiratory Medicine in the North West Thames Region in London. His prospective study with Dr. Fenwick of near-death experiences received widespread coverage in the national and international press. He has described that study and its implications in his 2006 book, What Happens When We Die: A Groundbreaking Study into the Nature of Life and Death.

Pim van Lommel, MD

Pim van Lommel
Pim van Lommel, MD
Retired Cardiologist
Hospital Rijnstate
Arnhem, The Netherlands


Dr. van Lommel, lead investigator for the prospective NDE study published in 2001 in The Lancet, now devotes himself full time to research on the NDE and the mind-brain relationship. During the 2006 IANDS Conference, he presented "On the Continuity of Consciousness."

Dr. van Lommel graduated in 1971 from the University of Utrecht and finished his specialization in cardiology in 1976. He worked from 1977-2003 as a cardiologist in The Netherlands' Hospital Rijnstate, an 800-bed teaching hospital. He has published several articles on cardiology, but since 1986 when he began research on near-death experiences (NDEs) in survivors of cardiac arrest, he has authored over 20 articles, most of them in Dutch; one book; and several chapters about NDEs and the relationship of consciousness with the brain. In these writings, he has described his concept of informational fields of consciousness whereby the function of neuronal networks are regarded as receivers and conveyors, not as producers, of consciousness and memories. Dr. van Lommel is the 2005 recipient of the International Association for Near-Death Studies' Bruce Greyson Research Award.


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