The following is a small snippet from the excellent article here at drug reporter
DoS: How did you discover psychedelics then?
MK: Because of my fascination with the altered states of consciousness described in Monroe’s book, I read articles about ketamine’s ability to induce similar states, and about ayahuasca and other psychedelics used in traditional ceremonies. That basically triggered a lot of interest – I realized that these compounds could be used to study their effects on consciousness within an experimental setting, by facilitating experiences that aren’t normally easily accessible or reliably evoked in people.
DoS: And then, suddenly…you’re conducting human psychedelic research?!
MK: (Laughs) No, not exactly. Though I had transferred majors from marine biology to neuroscience, my university professors at the time were not all equally supportive of this interest in psychedelics, but fortunately I found some good mentors at the university too. I became more interested in the clinical applications of these drugs, and one of them encouraged me to write essays, which I did for the use of psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression, and MDMA for treatment of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I also got involved in organizing and attending conferences through the OPEN Foundation in Holland, but by the end of my Master’s I was really looking to do a long-term research project leading to a PhD position.
DoS: Sounds like quite the synchronicity! What was your early experience like working with the Imperial team?
MK: Indeed, I was quite lucky! During my six-month internship they published their first fMRI study using psilocybin in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (see Carhart-Harris et al., 2012), and they also received the first government grant to fund a depression trial using psilocybin. Additionally, Amanda Feilding from the Beckley Foundation worked to fund and collaborate on a human neuroimaging study with LSD, and I just happened to be there when they were looking for someone to help coordinate the study, and they asked if I wanted to make that my PhD project (see Carhart-Harris et al., 2016).
DoS: Thank you very much for your taking the time to speak with us, we’re very excited about the work you’re doing and eager to learn more from your findings.
MK: Absolutely, I’m honored to have been featured in your first interview! Your readers might be interested in an online study we just launched. One part of this looks more broadly into “setting” variables. While there’s no control group or placebo condition, and these experiences are happening outside of the laboratory setting, such a naturalistic study brings also new opportunities.
Our videos describing different aspects of what we do.
Mendel Kaelen 29th June 2016
Can Magic Mushrooms Unlock Depression? | Rosalind Watts | TEDxOxford
Mendel Kaelen: Psychological & Neurophysiological Effects of Music in Combination with Psychedelics
Robin Carhart-Harris - Psychedelic drugs in science and medicine
How Do Psychedelic Drugs Work On The Brain? (Full Lecture)
- on Help us treat depression! Hi. I would very much like to participate in a trial. I'm 49 and have suffered most of my life with anxiety and depression. I'm currently on dual reuptake inhibitors but they have limited effect for me. I've tried many, many things over the years to…
- on The administration of psilocybin to healthy hallucinogen experienced volunteers Hello everyone I'm on antidepressant from couple of years and I try many different types. Right now I have worst time ever. I try mushrooms which one found my self on last season 2016. I have found but that was very difficult for me. I go nearly ever…
- on Help us treat depression! I would be very interested to hear about your research on your use of psychedelics , I would be very interested if you are looking for new volunteers for further trials , I am 50 years old and I have suffered with depression for 25 years and have fou…
- on The administration of psilocybin to healthy hallucinogen experienced volunteers Hi, I have read your articles and I am currently on anti depressants. I have tried different kinds as I have mild PTSD from military service and suffer from depression constantly. I would very much like to assist and be a volunteer for future trials.
- on The administration of psilocybin to healthy hallucinogen experienced volunteers Hello, I’m am 43 year old male living in oxford and suffered from depression and anxiety for 20 some years and I am a chronic suffer. I am very interested in participating on this type of drug trial. In my 20’s I have picked my own mushrooms once or…
- on Are you having a psychedelic experience in the near future? Hi All, I suffer from depression and anxiety and have done so for many years. After being placed on anti-depressants (again), I had a very bad response and the side effects of increased suicidal thoughts became unbearable. It was an everyday battle o…
- on Help us treat depression! Hello, I am wondering if you have completed your research into the use of psychedelics to aid with depression. I suffer with it myself and want to know if you are still looking for volunteers? I am currently 20 years old, turning 21 in September. I a…
- on The administration of psilocybin to healthy hallucinogen experienced volunteers Hi Drew Thanks for sharing. What was your method?