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Matthew Oram

Position: 

Postdoctoral Fellow 2015-17

Biography: 

Matt graduated with a PhD in History of Medicine from the University of Sydney, Australia, in 2014, and has previously studied history at the Universities of New South Wales, Australia, and Canterbury, New Zealand.  His thesis title was “The Trials of Psychedelic Medicine: LSD Psychotherapy, Clinical Science, and Pharmaceutical Regulation in the United States, 1949-1976” and had been supervised by Professor Stephen Robertson at the University of Sydney.  Matt’s research has investigated the history of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) psychotherapy in the United States between 1949 and 1976.  The focus has been on contextualising clinical research on LSD within the changing scientific standards and regulatory frameworks for pharmaceutical research and development in the period, in order to better explain LSD’s downfall as a therapeutic tool.

Matt has given papers on his research in the Research Seminar Series, Department of History, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, the 6th Biennial Meeting of the Alcohol and Drug History Society, Buffalo, New York, USA, as well as the History Postgraduate Conference, University of Sydney, Australia.

Last year, some preliminary findings of his research appeared as a peer-reviewed journal article: “Efficacy and Enlightenment: LSD Psychotherapy and the Drug Amendments of 1962,” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 69, no. 2 (2014), pp. 221-250.

His research interests include History of Medicine, History of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Pharmaceutical History, History of Fascism, European History, and the History of the British Empire.

Research Activities: 

Mysticism, Clinical Science, and the FDA: LSD Psychotherapy in the United States, 1949-1976

Project’s prime investigator: Dr. Frank Stahnisch

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