Sasha Shulgin Psychedelic Chemist and Creator of MDMA Dies
Sasha Shulgin and his wife Ann
[Correction: Anton Köllisch (1888–1916) was the German chemist who, whilst working at Darmstadt for pharmaceutical giant Merck, first synthesized the chemical MDMA. Shulgin is credited with introducing MDMA Shulgin introduced the substance to psychologists in the late 1970s for psychopharmaceutical use. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_K%C3%B6llisch]
[su_quote]Around 5 pm PST on June 2, 2014, our long-time friend and role model Sasha Shulgin gently died after several years of battling various illnesses. He had recently been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. Around 6:15 pm we received phone calls from two members of the Shulgin team letting us know the sad news. Much love to his family and those whose lives he touched, from the Erowid Crew. He died surrounded by friends and family. [/su_quote]
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Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin, Ph.D., was a pharmacologist and chemist known for his creation of new psychoactive chemicals and notably MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine). The substance is best known for its use as a “party drug” at raves and electronic music events however importantly MDMA has also shown promise in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. Millions of people around the world that have used this substance and have found it meaningful or beneficial owe a debt of gratitude to Shulgin. His approach brough rational scientific thought into the counter culture world of self-experimentation and ingestion of psychoactive substances. He also pioneered DIY citizen science from his home laboratory where he synthesized the substances used in his research.
Alexander Shulgin earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from U.C. Berkeley in 1954. In the late 50s and early 60s he did post-doctorate work in psychiatry and pharmacology at U.C. San Francisco and worked briefly as research director at BioRad Laboratories before becoming a senior research chemist at Dow Chemical Co. He was the author of numerous books and articles regarding psychedelics and entheogens perhaps most notably the two massive compendiums TIHKAL and PIHKAL. His work is foundational for all future psychedelic researchers and his rational approach inspirational to those looking to employ these substances as medicines or tools to explore consciousness. Shulgin was a pioneer and hero to many people around the world.
Now is the time to DONATE to assist the creation of a public archive of Sasha’s lab books, writings, and collection of scientific papers.
Click here more information about THE SHULGIN COLLECTION project.
The Sasha Shulgin page at Erowid
Alexander Shulgin obituary – Mike Power, The Guardian.co.uk, June 3 2014
Good Bye Sasha Shulgin – Psychedelic Frontier