Dario Dornbierer

PhD in Neuroscience | MSc. Pharmaceutical Sciences | Pharmacist

Psychopharmacologist | Start-up Entrepreneur , Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich | Reconnect Labs AG , Investigating the Neuropharmacological and Therapeutic Effects of Synthetic Ayahuasca Analogues

Zurich, Switzerland


Dario Dornbierer is a pharmaceutical scientist (ETH Zurich), pharmacist, neuroscientist (Dr. sc. ETH) and start-up entrepreneur. During his PhD at the Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich he investigated the therapeutic potential of liquid ecstasy (GHB) for the treatment of mood disorders. During his postdoc, he was awarded two innovation grants (UZH Entrepreneur Fellowship and SNF Bridge PoC) to develop synthetic analogues of the Amazonian plant hallucinogen Ayahuasca for the treatment of psychiatric disorders. Based on this work, he co-founded Reconnect Labs - a spin-off company of the University of Zurich - aiming at developing safe and patient-oriented psychedelic treatments. Moreover, he co-founded the start-up company Galventa to develop innovative nutraceuticals in the sleep health space. Dario is most passionate about understanding the intricate interplay between the brain and the mind and how psychedelic substances may provide healing. Moreover, Dario is a passionate inventor and loves to reformulate psychotropic drugs to improve their safety and efficacy profile.

Neuropharmacological and Therapeutic Effects of Ayahuasca Analogues

Ayahuasca is a traditional indigenous plant medicine that has been used for centuries in Latin American regions for various healing purposes. Recent clinical studies suggest rapid-acting therapeutic effects of Ayahuasca in patients suffering from various psychiatric disorders, including depression, anxiety or addiction. Although Ayahuasca ingestion is considered safe, it can bring along a number of distressing effects, including intense nausea, diarrhea and overwhelming hallucinations. While from the indigenous perspective these effects are considered key therapeutic factors of the Ayahuasca experience, they may also limit the clinical applicability of Ayahuasca in vulnerable patient population. Thus, in the current work, novel syntethic ayahuasca analogues were pharmaceutically developed and their neuropharmacological and clinical potential was tested in healthy volunteers.

Lecture & Discussion
16.00 - 17.30