Psychopharmacology Research Group

Prof Dr. Matthias Liechti, MD, MAS
Departement of Biomedicine, University of Basel &
Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology
University Hospital Basel
Schanzenstrasse 55
CH-4031 Basel

Phone: ++41 61 328 68 68


Research interests

  • Psychopharmacology
  • Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interactions of psychoactive drugs
  • Neurobiology of addiction
  • Molecular and clinical pharmacology of psychostimulants Pharmacology and toxicology of MDMA (Ecstasy)
  • Pharmacogenetics of MDMA and other psychoactive substances
  • CNS drug development
  • Novel psychoactive substances
  • Pharmacology of LSD
  • Neuroenhancement
  • Pharmaco-fMRI

Research projects

The group investigates the pharmacology of psychoactive substances both in vitro and in humans. The group is best known for the work on the acute effects psychoactive substances including MDMA (ecstasy), methylphenidate (Ritalin) and LSD in humans. In experimental clinical studies the group described the acute effects of psychoactive substances on social cognition (mood recognition, empathy, social behavior), endocrine responses, pharmacokinetics-pharmacodynamics, and pharmacogenetics. Pharmaco-fMRI studies are conducted in collaboration with the Psychiatric University Clinic. The team also characterizes the pharmacological profiles of the constantly emerging novel psychoactive substances (designer drugs) using in vitro methods in the laboratory at the Department of Biomedicine.


Head of the group

  • Prof. Dr. med. Matthias Liechti

Group members

  • Matthias Liechti
  • Patrick Vizeli
  • Anna Rickli
  • Dino Lüthi

Former group members

  • Patrick Dolder
  • Cédric Hysek
  • Linda Simmler
  • Yasmin Schmid