Shaun: on football dreams, the human brain, and Mount Olympus

This month we hear from Shaun, one of our research scientists who brings cutting-edge experience from research institutes in the US and Italy to our team.

I am part of the COMPASS team helping to… 
Design our pre-clinical studies with the aim of better understanding the potential for psilocybin therapy in helping people with mental health conditions.

I work in mental health care because…
We’re so far from where we need to be, with so many people in desperate need. I’ve always been fascinated by how the human brain works, but what’s most motivating is trying to make a difference in an area where innovation has been lacking for so long.

The part of my job I most enjoy is…
Working with a team that shares my values and is passionate about transforming mental health care.

When I was a child I always wanted to…
Become a professional footballer. I’ve always enjoyed playing and watching football, but there is no football more action-packed than the 5-a-side games we play at COMPASS!

The best place I’ve ever visited is…
Mount Olympus in Greece, on a clear summer evening. The view was incredible – the sea spread out in every direction in the distance and further up was the throne of Zeus. It’s the only time I’ve been starstruck by a fictional figure.

The book everyone should read is…
My mind always goes blank when I’m asked to pick a favourite ‘something’. So I’m going to cheat a little bit here and say two: Animal Farm by George Orwell and Infinite Jest by David-Foster Wallace. Their approaches to story telling couldn’t be further apart, which is all the more enriching when it comes to expanding our horizons.