Psychedelics Research Centre

Head of the department
MUDr. Tomáš Páleníček, Ph.D.
Tereza Mrňáková / Eva Césarová (coordinator / press)
telephone:(+420) 283 088 443, ( +42) 077 748 544 7 /


Our research center is primarily focused on the neurobiology of the effect and therapeutic use of psychedelics and other psychoactive substances. The center's research activities bring the preclinical and clinical team together to cover psychedelic topics from the molecular level, analytical methods, tissue culture experiments, animal behavioral experiments, neuroimaging approaches to classic clinical trials with a clear therapeutic focus. In preclinical experiments, great emphasis is given on the translational validity. In addition to psychedelics as such, the center also studies the phenomenon of novel psychoactive substances (NPS) and cannabinoids. In preclinical experiments, the topics of neuroplasticity as a basis for antidepressant effects of psychedelics, electrophysiological correlates of psychedelic effects and studies of acute effects and toxicity of NPS are currently addressed. In clinical trials, we are completing a clinical trial studying the effects and neurobiology of psilocybin in healthy volunteers and are currently conducting a clinical trial comparing the antidepressant effect of psilocybin with ketamine in patients with treatment-resistant depression. The team´s clinicians are also actively involved in contract research with psychedelics. The whole team is closely linked to other research centers / programs in the NUDZ, in particular the Clinical Research Program, the Center for Advanced Brain and Consciousness Studies and the Preclinical research program. The Center works closely with the Laboratory of Forensic Analysis of Biologically Active Substances (BAFA) at the Institute of Chemical Technology and has also established cooperation with a number of foreign institutions, such as the University of Maastricht, the Neurobiology Research Unit in Copenhagen, the University of Lisbon, Portugal and many other partners. In addition to classic grant projects, research activities of our center are also supported by the PSYRES Psychedelic Research Foundation (

Ongoing key projects:

  • PSIKET_001CZE / Psilocybin versus ketamine - fast acting antidepressant strategies in treatment-resistant depression (project AZV no. NU21-04-00307, clinical trial registration no:  EudraCT 2018-004480-31)
  • Psychoplastogenicity of Psilocybin – the Interplay of Serotonergic Mechanisms, Sleep-wake Cycle and Neuroplasticity on Memory Consolidation (project GAČR no: 20-25349S)
  • Electromagnetic Models of Animal Brains (Project GAČR no:- 18-16218S)
  • Animal and human serotonergic model of schizophrenia: validity evaluated by qEEG and fMRI (clinical trial registration no: EudraCT 2012-004579-37)


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