Jim Parker was impressed enough with the improvements his niece had shown after being treated with psychedelic drugs for post-traumatic stress disorder that he was willing to put up his own money for further research.

The Calgary trader anted up $3 million for a new position at the University of Calgary focusing on the use of psychedelic drugs including ketamine, ecstasy and psilocybin — commonly known as magic mushrooms — to treat mental illness.

Parker said he became interested a couple of years ago when his adult niece, Courtney, was suffering from PTSD and addiction issues.

“She tried everything else. She tried antidepressants. She tried rehab and she was stuck for a number of years,” Parker said.

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