In the past decade, there has been an explosion of research focused on the medicinal chemistry of psychedelics. Dozens of companies around the world are developing entirely new psychedelic medicines for the treatment of serious mental health disorders.

Modern psychedelic drug development utilises the most cutting-edge scientific technologies and is illuminated by insights from psychedelic-receptor interactions obtained at an unprecedented level of detail using cryogenic electron microscopy and molecular modelling.

The presentation will describe the rational development of entirely new classes of psychedelic drugs being employed by leading academic laboratories and private companies and what these new medicines will mean for the most desperate patients.


Sam is currently CSO of Psylo; a biotech start-up focused on the development of next-generation psychedelic medicines. Sam has been developing new therapeutics in the fields of neuropsychiatry and neurology for more than 15 years at leading academic institutions (Stanford University, University of Sydney, UNSW) and biotech start-ups (Tranquis Therapeutics, NaluBio). Prior to founding Psylo, he was Team Leader in Medicinal Chemistry at The Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, and was a postdoc at Stanford University studying cannabinoids, psychedelics, and new psychoactive substances (NPS) before that.

His work on the chemistry and pharmacology of new psychoactive substances (sometimes called "research chemicals") has been covered by major newspapers (New York Times, Sydney Morning Herald) and national radio programs (NPR). Sam is an enthusiastic science communicator, appearing as a guest on numerous science podcasts, and regularly presents at community science events such as Pint of Science, National Science Week, Vivid, and The Science Tent at Splendour in the Grass.

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