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Today is Clinical Trials Day. We chatted with Compass Pathways’ new Chief Research and Development Officer, Mike Gold, about what he’s learned over the years about clinical trials, his career in R&D, and why he decided to join the Compass team.  


What are the top three things you’ve learned about clinical trials over the course of your career? 

  1. Clinical trials are a mixture of art and science; every clinical trial has its unique set of features, challenges and solutions.
  2. Despite all the best plans and intentions, there are always surprises during the conduct of trials. Some surprises are pleasant, some are not, so preparation and attention to detail are absolutely necessary. 
  3. Simplicity pays off. The KISS principles really do apply-Keep it simple, stupid! 


What made you choose a career in pharma R&D? 

I was a practicing academic neurologist running a memory disorder center, so I saw a lot of patients with neurodegenerative disorders. After some time, I became very disillusioned with the lack of therapeutic options and decided that I wanted to be part of finding new treatments. I have a talent for clinical research, so moving to industry felt like the best option in terms of putting my skills to the best use in pursuit of new treatments for patients. I loved taking care of patients but working in R&D allows me to impact the lives of an entire patient population, not just individuals. 


Why did you decide to join Compass? 

I have long been inspired by the work that Compass is doing to develop new treatments for people living with serious mental illnesses. The mission, vision, people and culture at Compass resonate with me as a clinician and also as someone with a close-up view of some of the conditions that we want to treat. Finally, joining Compass is a great opportunity for me to use my expertise and industry experience to help Compass evolve and grow as a phase 3 company.  

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