Paul Stamets

Founder, Fungi Perfecti; Advisor, Program of Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Medical School, Tucson

Paul Stamets has written six mushroom-related books, with his most recent being Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World. Growing Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms and The Mushroom Cultivator are used as textbooks around the world by the specialty and medicinal mushroom industries. He is the author of many scholarly papers in peer-reviewed journals (The International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms; Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (eCAM, Oxford University Press); Herbalgram, and others).

He started a medicinal and gourmet mushroom business, Fungi Perfecti, LLC, in 1980. (

Paul is an advisor to the Program of Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Medical School, Tucson, on the editorial board of The International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms. Stamets helped author and supply the first two NIH-funded clinical studies using medicinal mushrooms in the United States. His strain collection is extensive and unique, with many of the strains coming from old growth forests. He worked with the NIH-governed BioShield BioDefense Program since 2005 to develop new defenses against bioterrorism.

Paul has been awarded five patents, with several currently pending.

He has received several environmental awards.

In 2008, Paul received the National Geographic Adventure’s Magazine’s Green-O-vator and the Argosy Foundation’s E-chievement Awards. In November of 2008, Utne Reader recognized Paul as one of the 50 Visionaries of the Year. In February of 2010, Paul received the President’s Award from the Society of Ecological Restoration.

In June of 2012, Paul Stamets received an honorary, accredited Doctorate of Science degree (D.Sc.) from the National College for Natural Medicine for his academic achievements and for expanding the field of science.

Paul's talk at, "Six Ways Mushrooms Can Help Save the World", has been seen by more than 1.3 million viewers and has been rated in the top 10 of all TED talks amongst the more than 1,000 posted online. His TEDMED talk from October 2011 was presented in front of nearly 800 doctors and medical thought leaders.

Married to C. Dusty Yao, a plant fanatic, who shares a passion for fungi and their love of the Old Growth forests. Both believe that people properly armed with fungal wisdom can help save the planet. They reside at the base of the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State.