Tom Insel MD

Member of Scientific Advisory Board

Thomas Insel MD is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist who served as Director of the US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Professor of Psychiatry at Emory University and founding director of the Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience in Atlanta.

Tom is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist. From 2002-2015, he served as Director of the US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the component of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) committed to research on mental disorders. Prior to that, he was Professor of Psychiatry at Emory University where he was founding director of the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience in Atlanta. He led the mental health team at Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences) from 2015-2017. He is also a member of the US National Academy of Medicine and has received numerous national and international awards including honorary degrees in the US and Europe. He is currently Co-founder and President of Mindstrong Health.


Mental healthcare needs innovation. The traditional model of care delivery is often built around the needs of providers and payers not the preferences of patients and families. As a result, most people with mental illness avoid getting care. When they seek help, patients are likely to receive medications, psychosocial therapies, or devices but not an integrated plan that provides all the potential interventions in a personalised, evidence-based approach. The COMPASS medication-assisted psychotherapy strategy is innovative in that it integrates medication and psychotherapy. And it is disruptive by offering patients a treatment that many people prefer. I have chosen to be involved with COMPASS because I believe that this approach has potential but needs to be validated in rigorous, controlled clinical trials. My goal is to help COMPASS set a high bar for science so that, should the data be supportive, patients and families can trust that medication-assisted psychotherapy is an evidence-based approach.