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City of Sydney & University of Sydney

Magic mushrooms: The therapeutics of the future?

Manning Bar
Manning Bar
Manning Road, Camperdown NSW 2050

Tuesday 4 April from 6pm to 7pm

With special guest Scott Riddle

Hallucinogenic drugs are being used to treat serious mental illness. Is it possible to achieve a therapeutic benefit without the hallucinatory effects?

Mental illness affects a large portion of our population. The problem is growing, but solutions are not keeping pace. While it may sound radical, psychedelics offer a promising new avenue among the scientific community.

Psilocybin, the active molecule in ‘magic mushrooms’, is being considered as a potential treatment for severe mental illness. While the pharmaceutical industry is divesting in neuroscience programs, Josh’s biotech startup is working to develop next-generation therapeutics inspired by psychedelic compounds from nature.

Join Josh, who will discuss his company’s research, while Scott talks about his participation in a clinical trial investigating psilocybin as a treatment for end-of-life anxiety.

Content warning: this talk will explore the theme of end-of-life anxiety, which some attendees may find distressing.


Josh Ismin is the co-founder and CEO of Sydney-based biotech startup Psylo. He holds an MBA and BSBA from Washington University. Josh is a repeat founder who has launched operations for a number of tech startups.

Scott Riddle was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in 2017 and told that statistically his prognosis was terminal. Scott participated in a clinical trial investigating psychedelic assisted therapy as a treatment for end-of-life anxiety. Several years later and now in remission, Scott talks about his experience.

Also speaking at Manning Bar at 8pm is Professor Alan McKee

About the venue - Manning Bar

Located on the second level of Manning House, Manning Bar comprises a main concert area with a 950 pax capacity, rooftop balcony and two smaller rooms that can be privately hired used to activate popup bars.

As one of the best live music and entertainment venues in Sydney, there’s always a packed line-up of domestic and international artists performing.

Contact event organiser

City of Sydney & University of Sydney