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<Good_things_happen/> Welcome to Conference

Prof. Dr. med., FMH Psych.

Franz X. Vollenweider

Chief psychiatrist and Co-Director Center for Psychiatric Research, Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics, University of Zürich

Franz X. Vollenweider is currently Chief Psychiatrist and Co-Director of the Center for Psychiatric Research, Director of the Neuropsychopharmacology and Brain Imaging Unit, and Professor of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine, University of Zurich. In 1999, he founded the Heffter Research Centre at the Psychiatric University Hospital, Zürich and more recently at the Swiss Neuromatrix Foundation to support multidisciplinary studies in the mind-brain interface of pharmacological (e.g. psychedelic) and non-pharmacological (e.g. meditation) -induced altered mental states.

Since his doctorate, Dr. Vollenweider has been interested in the foundations of altered states of consciousness as well as in psychotic and affective disorders using concepts from psychology, psychopathology, and cognitive neuroscience. His current research focuses on the neuronal correlates of the sense of self, emotion regulation, and social interaction, relevant for human well-being and for the further understanding of mental disorders related to these psychological domains.

Dr. Vollenweider has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, many of which address the neurobiology of psychostimulants, psychedelics, and entactogens in humans. His research is supported by multiple grants from the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Swiss Federal Health Office, the Heffter Research Institute, USA, and by multiple AWARDS from NARSAD, USA, and the Fetzer Research Institute, USA. He has received the Achievement Award of the Swiss Society of Psychiatry (1990), the Heffter Research Institute Award (1997), the Götz Prize of the University of Zurich (2000), the British Association of Psychopharmacology Prize (2002), and multiple Awards from the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (1999, 2003, 2010), among others.

Conference Presentations


The Neurobiology of Psychedelics: Status and Perspectives for the treatment of affective disorder

Since the 1990s, advances in the mechanism of action psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin and LSD have led the foundation for a renewed interest for their application in the treatment of various psychiatric disorders. Specifically, accumulating evidence from molecular, behavioral and neuroimaging studies suggests that psychedelics acutely modulate emotion regulation, social interaction and the sense of self via neural mechanisms in healthy subjects that are conceptually relevant for the improvement of affective disorders, e.g. depression (Vollenweider and Kometer 2010 1). […]

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Selected Publications

Vollenweider, F. X. & Kometer, M. The neurobiology of psychedelic drugs: implications for the treatment of mood disorders. Nat. Rev. Neurosci 11, 642-651 (2010).

Preller, K. H. et al. Changes in global and thalamic brain connectivity in LSD-induced altered states of consciousness are attributable to the 5-HT2A receptor. Elife 7, doi:10.7554/eLife.35082 (2018).

Preller, K. H. et al. Effective connectivity changes in LSD-induced altered states of consciousness in humans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 116, 2743-2748, doi:10.1073/pnas.1815129116 (2019).


Halberstadt, A. L., Vollenweider, F. X. and Nichols, D.E. (Eds): Behavioral Neurobiology of Psychedelic Drugs. Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences. pp 1-450. Springer 2018

Conference tickets

With your ticket you will have access to the whole conference - with keynotes, panels, round tables, posters and daylight social events. We will ask for a small extra fee for the Friday evening social program. The pre-conference workshops have to be booked separately and each workshop needs an individual ticket. By clicking on "Book now" below you also have the option to buy your workshop tickets.

*Reduced fees apply to students, cooperation partners as well as unemployed and retired individuals who have a monthly net income below 840,- €. Proof of status will be required.

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