The 10 Most Eminent Researchers in NDEs

Exploring the Frontier of Our Existence: Unveiling Near-Death Experiences

Near-death experiences have fascinated humanity for centuries and have become an intriguing topic of scientific research. In recent years, interest has increased in studying near-death experiences and their implications for our understanding of consciousness and the nature of existence. 

One area where near-death experiences have particular resonance is in Buddhism, where reincarnation is a fundamental tenet. Although Zen Buddhism doesn’t place much emphasis on the afterlife, the study of near-death experiences remains an intriguing topic of inquiry because it touches on some of the most fundamental questions of our existence. 

This article will explore the top 10 researchers contributing to our understanding of near-death experiences.

What Is a Near-Death Experience?

A near-death experience (NDE) is a profound psychological event that can occur when a person is close to death or has been resuscitated from a life-threatening situation. During an NDE, people often report various experiences, such as feeling out of their body, encountering deceased loved ones, traveling through a tunnel, or experiencing a sense of peace and transcendence. These experiences are often accompanied by heightened awareness, a feeling of timelessness, and a sense of being connected to something greater than oneself. While NDEs have been reported across cultures and throughout history, their scientific study has only gained momentum in recent decades.

Who Are the Top Researchers in Near-Death Experiences?

These researchers, who specialize in studying near-death experiences (NDEs), have significantly contributed to our understanding of this mysterious phenomenon. Through their rigorous and in-depth studies, they have attempted to explain the experiences of people who have survived situations of imminent death.

Their research has uncovered striking similarities in the accounts of individuals who have undergone an NDE, suggesting that there may be a reality beyond our current understanding of life and death. While progress has been made, much must be learned to fully comprehend this complex phenomenon.

Thankfully, these researchers and many others continue to engage in this exciting field of study, seeking to better understand NDEs and their significance.

Dr. Raymond Moody

Raymond Moody is a renowned American physician, philosopher, and writer, born on June 30, 1944, in Porterdale, Georgia. He is best known for his work on near-death experiences (NDEs) and for popularizing the term “NDE” or “Near-Death Experience.”

Moody studied philosophy at the University of Virginia before obtaining his medical degree from the University of Georgia. He practiced medicine for several years but decided to dedicate himself to research in philosophy and psychology.

In 1975, he published his first book, “Life After Life”, describing the testimonies of people who had experienced an NDE. The book was a great success and quickly became a bestseller.

In his later works, Moody explored the themes of reincarnation, communication with the dead, meditation, and spirituality. He is also known for his work in thanatology, the study of death and dying.

Over the years, Moody has received numerous awards and honors for his work, including the Parapsychology Foundation Prize in 1978, the Martin Ebon Award in 1997, and the Society for Psychical Research’s Life Time Achievement Award in 2016.

In addition to his research, Moody has conducted numerous lectures and workshops on NDEs and spirituality. He has also consulted for many films and documentaries on these subjects.

At 76, Raymond Moody continues to write and publish books on death, spirituality, and philosophy. His work has influenced many researchers and expanded science and psychology’s horizons regarding near-death experiences and existential questions of life and death.

Dr. Kenneth Ring

Kenneth Ring is an American psychologist and professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Connecticut. He is primarily known for researching near-death experiences (NDEs) and spiritual consciousness.

Born in 1935 in San Francisco, Kenneth Ring earned his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1960. He then taught at various universities in the United States, including the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Santa Cruz. He is the author of numerous scientific articles, essays, and books.

In 1980, Kenneth Ring published one of his most famous works, “Life at Death: A Scientific Investigation of the Near-Death Experience”. This book results from his research on near-death experiences, which he began studying in the 1970s. He is considered one of the first researchers to scientifically analyze these mystical experiences reported by individuals who have come close to death.

In his work, Kenneth Ring highlights the universal nature of near-death experiences, which are not linked to any specific culture or religion. He also emphasizes their profoundly transformative aspect for individuals who have experienced them, often leading to significant life changes.

In addition to his research on near-death experiences, Kenneth Ring has been interested in spiritual consciousness, particularly in his book “The Omega Project: Near-Death Experiences, UFO Encounters, and Mind at Large” (1992). In this book, he explores possible connections between near-death experiences, encounters with extraterrestrial beings, and expanded states of consciousness.

Throughout his career, Kenneth Ring has received numerous awards for his work, including the Fetzer Foundation Prize for Consciousness Research in 1992. He is now considered one of the pioneers in researching mystical experiences and spiritual consciousness.

Dr. Jean-Jacques Charbonier

Jean-Jacques Charbonier is a French anesthesiologist-intensivist and writer born in 1956. He is known for his research on near-death experiences (NDEs) and experiences at the boundaries of death.

After studying medicine, Jean-Jacques Charbonier specialized in anesthesia and intensive care. Throughout his career, he encountered numerous patients who had experienced NDEs. Intrigued by these mysterious experiences, he decided to delve into the subject.

He began studying the testimonies of individuals who had experienced NDEs and published his first book in 2007, titled “Les 7 bonnes raisons de croire à l’au-delà” (“The 7 Good Reasons to Believe in the Afterlife”). In this work, he offers a scientific analysis of NDEs and their implications for life after death.

Since then, Jean-Jacques Charbonier has published several other books on NDEs and near-death experiences, such as “Les preuves scientifiques d’une vie après la vie” (“Scientific Evidence of Life After Death”) and “La mort expliquée à ma fille” (“Death Explained to My Daughter”).

In his books, he also addresses reincarnation, out-of-body experiences, and altered states of consciousness. He seeks to demonstrate that these phenomena are not based on superstition but are supported by testimonies and scientific data.

In addition to his writing career, Jean-Jacques Charbonier continues to practice as an anesthesiologist-intensivist. He also gives lectures and training on NDEs and consciousness. He is considered one of the leading French experts on the subject.

Dr. Pim Van Lommel

Pim van Lommel is a Dutch cardiologist born in Rotterdam in 1943. He is best known for his work on near-death experiences (NDEs).

In 2001, he published a book titled “Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience”, translated into 28 languages. In this book, he presents the results of a study with 344 patients who had experienced an NDE. He found that these experiences could not be explained by physical or psychological phenomena.

According to him, NDEs are evidence of the existence of a consciousness independent of the brain. Thus, he proposed a new theory about the nature of consciousness that has sparked much debate in the scientific world.

Pim van Lommel is also a member of the International Association for Near-Death Studies and has been invited to give lectures in many countries. He has also participated in documentaries and television programs on this subject.

In addition to his research on NDEs, Pim van Lommel is a recognized cardiologist. He worked for many years in a hospital in the Netherlands and has published numerous articles in scientific journals. He is also involved in training doctors and medical students. He has created a palliative care training program and has published a book on this subject.

Finally, Pim van Lommel is a strong advocate for spirituality and consciousness. He believes science must consider these aspects of reality to understand the world around us. He has thus participated in numerous conferences and debates on these topics.

Dr. Bruce Greyson

Dr. Bruce Greyson is an American psychiatrist and researcher known for his work in the field of near-death experiences (NDEs) and spirituality. He has studied and written about the subject for over 40 years, becoming an authority in this field.

Greyson was born in 1946 and received his medical degree from the University of Virginia. He then obtained a research fellowship in psychiatry at the University of Virginia, where he worked on topics such as depression, schizophrenia, and psychotherapy.

In 1982, he became interested in NDEs after hearing about a case of a reported encounter with the deceased by a patient. This experience sparked his interest in the subject, which he has studied ever since.

Greyson has conducted numerous studies on NDEs and their impact on individuals who have experienced them. He developed a scale to measure the intensity of near-death experiences and has also studied the long-term effects of these experiences. He found that many patients with NDEs have experienced positive changes, such as a decreased fear of death and a greater appreciation for life.

Greyson is also known for his work on spirituality and consciousness. He believes that consciousness is more than just a product of the brain but rather something more fundamental that exists independently of the body.

He has written articles on mystical experiences and paranormal phenomena, seeking to better understand their nature and origin.

Greyson has received numerous awards and honors for his work, including the Harold and Margaret Sprout Award from the Society for the Study of Exceptional Experiences. 

He remains active in the field of research on death and consciousness. He continues to work as a professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia.

Dr. Sam Parnia

Dr. Sam Parnia is a physician specializing in resuscitation and intensive care. He is also a researcher and the Director of Research in Intensive Care at New York University’s Langone Medical Center.

He is best known for researching near-death experiences (NDEs) and consciousness after death. Dr. Parnia has conducted several studies on the subject, using advanced techniques to study patients revived after clinical death.

In 2001, Dr. Parnia founded the International Association for Near-Death Studies, a non-profit organization that aims to better understand death and its associated experiences.

In addition to his work on NDEs, Dr. Parnia is known for his work on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and survival after cardiac arrest.

He co-founded the Center for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Critical Care at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, where he works to improve resuscitation and intensive care techniques.

In 2013, Dr. Parnia published a book titled “Erasing Death: The Science That Is Rewriting the Boundaries Between Life and Death”, which explores the latest advancements in resuscitation and intensive care.

Dr. Parnia is regularly invited to give lectures and interviews about his research. His work has been featured in several documentaries and television programs.

Dr. Janice Holden

Dr. Janice Holden is a prominent researcher and academic in the field of psychology and spirituality. She is known for her work on the psychology of death and grief, spirituality, and mental health.

Dr. Holden is a professor of psychology at the University of North Texas and serves as the Director of the university’s Center for Spirituality and Health Research. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on death and spirituality. She is the author of several books, including “Handbook of Death and Dying”“Spiritual Development Across the Lifespan”, and “The Psychology of Death: An Integrated Approach”.

Dr. Holden is recognized as an expert in palliative care and working with individuals at the end of life, as well as her work on the importance of spirituality in the healing process. She is also known for her research on the relationship between spirituality and mental health, as well as her work on the beliefs and attitudes of healthcare professionals toward spirituality.

In addition to her academic work, Dr. Holden is actively involved in professional and community organizations. She is a member of numerous committees and boards related to psychology, spirituality, and end-of-life care. She has served as President of Division 36 (Psychology of Religion and Spirituality) of the American Psychological Association.

Dr. Holden is widely recognized for her innovative and influential work in psychology and spirituality. She has received numerous awards for her contributions, including the Dean’s Award for Research at the University of North Texas, the Recognition Award for Teaching in Psychology of Death and Dying from the International Association for the Study of Death, and the Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality from the American Psychological Association.

Dr. Peter Fenwick

Dr. Peter Fenwick is a renowned British physician and neuropsychiatrist who has dedicated his career to studying human consciousness and near-death experiences (NDEs).

Born in 1935, he studied medicine at University College London before specializing in neuropsychiatry. He worked in prestigious hospitals and psychiatric clinics in London, including Maudsley Hospital, for several decades before focusing on research and teaching.

Dr. Fenwick is best known for his research on NDEs, which are experiences reported by some individuals during a near-death or clinical death experience. He has studied hundreds of cases worldwide, recording testimonies from people with NDEs and analyzing the medical, psychological, and spiritual aspects of these experiences.

His research has revealed striking similarities in NDE accounts, including the sensation of leaving one’s body, seeing a bright light, encountering spiritual beings or deceased family members, and experiencing peace and universal love.

Dr. Fenwick has also explored the long-term effects of NDEs on individuals’ lives, including an increased openness to spirituality and a sense of unity with the world and other human beings.

In addition to his work on NDEs, Dr. Fenwick has published numerous articles and books on death and end-of-life experiences, mystical experiences, altered consciousness, and spiritual healing. He has also trained healthcare professionals to better understand the spiritual aspects of mental and physical health.

Dr. Fenwick is widely respected for his innovative and visionary work, which has opened new perspectives on the nature of consciousness and life after death. He continues to teach and lecture worldwide on these fascinating and important topics.

Dr. Penny Sartori

Dr. Penny Sartori is a British nurse and researcher specializing in intensive care and palliative care. She is also an expert in near-death experiences (NDEs) and has conducted cutting-edge research on this phenomenon.

She worked in intensive care early in her career and witnessed many end-of-life situations. This led her to develop an interest in NDEs, often reported by terminally ill patients. She began researching the subject in the 1990s, using rigorous methodology and collecting testimonies from individuals who had survived an NDE.

In 2008, Dr. Sartori published her first book, “The Near-Death Experiences of Hospitalized Intensive Care Patients: A Five-Year Clinical Study”, which described the results of her research. The book was well-received and helped raise awareness of NDEs in the medical community.

Since then, she has continued researching and writing about NDEs, palliative care, and end-of-life care. She is also a sought-after speaker and trainer, giving lectures worldwide on NDEs and how they can impact healthcare.

In addition to her work on NDEs, Dr. Sartori is an experienced clinical nurse who has worked intensive care and palliative care for many years. She currently serves as the Director of Clinical Education at the Royal Hospital in Swansea, Wales.

Dr. Jeffrey Long

Dr. Jeffrey Long is an American physician and researcher specializing in near-death experiences (NDEs). He was born in 1955 and studied at Stanford University, where he earned a medical degree. After practicing general medicine for several years, he became interested in NDEs. He began collecting testimonies from individuals who had experienced this phenomenon.

In 1998, he founded the website “Near-Death Experience Research Foundation” (NDERF), where he collected thousands of NDE accounts worldwide. He has subsequently published several books on the subject, including “Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences” in 2010, which has been translated into multiple languages.

Dr. Long’s work has garnered significant interest worldwide as it challenges traditional scientific theories about consciousness and death. His research suggests that near-death experiences provide compelling evidence for consciousness’s survival after the physical body’s death.

Dr. Long has also been involved in several studies as an NDE researcher. In 2014, he co-authored a study with Dr. Bruce Greyson published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. The study analyzed NDE testimonies collected by NDERF. It concluded that the experiences were consistent with theories of consciousness survival after death.

Dr. Long has been invited to give lectures in many countries. He is regularly featured in radio and television interviews to discuss his research on NDEs.


These researchers in near-death experiences have further our understanding of this mysterious phenomenon. They have conducted in-depth and rigorous studies to explain the experiences of people who have survived situations of imminent death.

The results of these studies have shown striking similarities in the accounts of individuals who have had a near-death experience. This suggests that there may be a reality beyond our current understanding of life and death.

Although progress has been made, much must be done to fully understand this complex phenomenon. Fortunately, these researchers and many others continue to engage in this exciting field to better understand near-death experiences and their significance.