Finnish Association for Psychedelic Research

Basic information about our organization

Zoom webinar Sept 25th 2021. David E. Nichols: Overview of Medicinal Chemistry Research on Psychedelics 03.09.2021

When psychedelics were criminalized at the turn of the 1970s, most research on them also came to a halt. Yet, some avenues of study still remained open. Veteran of psychedelic research, pharmacologist and chemist David E. Nichols, PhD, has been researching psychedelics since 1969 – over the course of seven decades. On Saturday, September 25th, at 4PM UTC+3, Nichols will present a webinar lecture organized by Psykedeelitutkimusyhdistys ry (Finnish Association for Psychedelic Research). The lecture offers a rich overview of psychedelics with an emphasis in medicinal chemistry. Topics covered include:

  • History of the use of psychedelics, reaching back millenia
  • Research conducted by the Heffter Research Institute, founded by the speaker in 1993
  • How psychedelics are tested in animals
  • The role and functions of the serotonin receptors central to the action of classic psychedelics
  • Research on LSD analogues – as an example, how different conformations of the molecule affect the kinetics of LSD binding to the receptor
  • The effects of psychedelics on brain dynamics as a possible mechanism for their therapeutic potential

The session will help get a better grasp of the growing interest in the broad field of psychedelic research. The lecture provides non-technical information accessible to the general public, but will also delve deeper into chemical and pharmacological details. The event includes a presentation and discussion with questions from the audience. 

Tickets are available in two categories: 10 € (full price) and 5 € (students / low income participants) in our web store.

For members of the association who’ve paid their membership fee for 2021, the event is free of charge. If you want to pay your membership fee for this year or become a member, you’ll find our membership items in our web store: An email with a link for free registration has been sent to members of the association. If you’re not sure if you’ve paid for your membership this year, feel free to ask us!

In case you might want to mark your calendar, our next international webinar with psychiatrist and psychotherapist Peter Gasser is scheduled for November 11th.

Information on David E. Nichols

David E. Nichols, PhD is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC. He is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the Purdue University College of Pharmacy and was the Robert C. and Charlotte P. Anderson Distinguished Chair in Pharmacology, where he carried out teaching and research for 38 years prior to his retirement in 2012. In 2004 he was named the Irvine H. Page Lecturer by the International Society for Serotonin Research, he received the first Purdue Provost’s Outstanding Graduate Mentor award in 2006, and was named a Distinguished Alumnus by the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy in 2012.

He began studying psychedelics in 1969 while a graduate student and continued that research throughout his entire professional career, being one of only a few investigators able to research psychedelics after they were scheduled. In 1993 he founded the Heffter Research Institute (HRI), which funded the first rigorous clinical studies of psychedelics in humans after a nearly 40-year moratorium and served as its president for more than 25 years. HRI funded the groundbreaking Phase I and II studies of psilocybin for the treatment of depression, as well as substance use disorders. 

Dr. Nichols also synthesized the DMT used by Dr. Rick Strassman in his human studies, the MDMA that MAPS used for their Phase I and II clinical trials for PTSD, and the psilocybin used by several investigators for human clinical studies including the Phase I and II trials conducted at Johns Hopkins University by Roland Griffiths and his colleagues. He is considered the world’s leading expert on the chemistry of psychedelics. Dr. Nichols, although officially retired, remains active in the field through consulting and collaborations with several academic and pharmaceutical organizations and continues to publish scientific papers.

Zoom webinar Aug 30th 2021. MDMA therapy for the treatment of trauma: A clinical trial therapist’s perspective 04.08.2021

MDMA-assisted psychotherapy has received a lot of attention in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but what exactly happens in an MDMA therapy session? Why is working with PTSD challenging, and how might MDMA help? What is the “inner-directed” approach utilized in clinical trials of MDMA-assisted therapy?

On Monday, August 30th 6PM UTC+3, the Finnish Association for Psychedelic Research presents a Zoom webinar with Marcela Ot’alora G, principal Investigator, trainer, and therapist for studies investigating the safety and efficacy of MDMA-assisted therapy for the treatment of PTSD. Based on her extensive experience, the session includes a presentation and discussion with questions from the audience.

Marcela Ot’alora was born and raised in Colombia, and currently lives in Boulder, Colorado. She has an MA in Transpersonal Psychology from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, and an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Marcela started her career as an installation artist and teacher, using art as a vehicle for self-expression and processing trauma with underrepresented communities. For over 20 years, she’s been in private practice working primarily with PTSD. Her interest and focus on trauma led her to understand the healing journey as an intimate re-connection with one’s innate essence through love, integrity, acceptance, and honoring of the human spirit. In addition to working with trauma and PTSD, she has dedicated her professional life to training and research. She has worked on various studies sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) as Principal Investigator and therapist using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of PTSD. Additionally, she is a lead trainer and supervisor.

Tickets are available in two categories: 10 € (full price) and 5 € (students / low income participants) in our web store

For members of the association who’ve paid their membership fee for 2021, the event is free of charge. If you want to buy a membership, you’ll find our membership items in our web store: An email with a link for free registration has been sent to members of the association.

Conference: Psykedeelit 2021 12.07.2021

Psykedeelit 2021
November 18–19, 2021
Conference for Psychedelic Research
Axelia, Auditorium Salin, Piispankatu 8, Turku

Psychedelic research has experienced a renaissance, and studies which have been neglected for years have been revived in universities across the world. Therapeutic potential of psychedelic substances for the treatment of various mental health problems is being investigated widely. Scholarly interest in psychedelics is not limited to clinical studies: psychedelic experiences are also being studied in consciousness research, philosophy, and cultural/social studies.

We are organizing the first Finnish conference for psychedelic studies, Psykedeelit 2021, at Åbo Akademi University on November 18–19, 2021. The conference is aimed at scholars working in Finland, and we hope that it will advance Finnish psychedelic research by bringing together people studying the subject from different perspectives.

Keynote speakers (via Zoom) are Dr. Katrin Preller (University of Zürich), who will lecture on the neurobiological mechanisms of psychedelics in a therapeutic context and Dr. Peter Sjöstedt-Hughes (University of Exeter), who will address the philosophical importance of experiences induced by psychedelic compounds.

The conference is interdisciplinary and open for researchers, students, and others whose work is related to psychedelics (psychologists, physicians, sociologists, philosophers, theologians, anthropologists, gender studies researchers, artists etc.). Presentations on research plans, reviews, and theses are also welcome. In addition to presentations and panel discussions, there will be plenty of time for informal discussion as well. The event will be streamed, and it is also possible to give the presentation online.

Please e-mail your abstract (200 words) in Finnish, Swedish or English to by September 15, 2021, at the latest. Abstracts will be assessed by an interdisciplinary committee. Members of the committee are Samuli Kangaslampi, Ph.D., Mika Pekkola, Ph.D., Aleksi Hupli, Ph.D., Erik Aro, MD/Ph.D., and Jussi Jylkkä, Ph.D. Decision on acceptance will be made by September 30, 2021.

The conference is organized by the organizing committee together with the Department of Psychology of Åbo Akademi and The Finnish Association for Psychedelic Research (Psyty).

More information about and registration to the conference will be available from this page soon.




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