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Latest News

We invite you to join us in celebrating our latest groundbreaking achievements in the field!

May 2024


We are pleased to announce the publication of our latest research titled "Structural Pharmacology and Therapeutic Potential of 5-Methoxytryptamines" in Nature. In our study, we delve into the molecular underpinnings of 5-MeO-DMT pharmacology, a compound found in the toxin of Colorado River toads. Through a combination of cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structures, systematic medicinal chemistry, receptor mutagenesis, and mouse behavior studies, we've uncovered crucial insights into how psychedelics engage with the 5-HT1A. Our findings reveal the intricate relationship between 5-MeO-DMT and 5-HT1A, highlighting the potential for developing new medications targeting neuropsychiatric disorders. Importantly, we've identified a 5-HT1A-selective analogue of 5-MeO-DMT that shows promising anxiolytic and antidepressant effects without the hallucinogenic properties. This breakthrough paves the way for future advancements in psychedelic-assisted therapy, offering hope for those suffering from various neuropsychiatric conditions. Read more about our groundbreaking research in Nature

This paper was also featured in an article in Nature Briefing, C&EN, Columbia News, NewScientist, Smithsonian Magazine, Brain & Behavior Research Foundation eNews, and Gizmodo!

April 2024


We are thrilled to share that our latest paper, "Molecular Design of SERTlight: A Fluorescent Serotonin Probe for Neuronal Labeling in the Brain," has been published in JACS! Our research introduces SERTlight, a groundbreaking small molecule fluorescent agent designed to specifically label serotonergic neuronal cell bodies, dendrites, and axonal projections. Unlike existing methods, SERTlight offers high labeling selectivity without pharmacological activity at serotonin receptors or other neurotransmitter systems. This innovative tool enables precise imaging of serotonin transporter activity in the mammalian brain, allowing for multiplexed imaging and simultaneous study of serotonin release. Read the article for more details on this exciting development!

April 2024

The Sames Lab welcomes Dr. Bruno Rodrigo Gonzalez Nunez, our new post-doctoral scientist!

March 2024

Congratulations to Michael Chan for being awarded the Guthikonda Summer Fellowship 2024!

Feb. 2024

Dr. Umed Boltaev delivered a presentation at the International Society for Research on Psychedelics Conference, focusing on the topic of "Robust Multimodal Screening Platform for Quantifying Neuronal Morphology and Molecular Signaling: Do Psychedelics Directly Modulate TrkB and Do They Induce Dendritogenesis?" His insightful discourse recently garnered attention and recognition in a news post on PSYCHEDELIC Alpha.

Feb. 2024

Congratulations to Xavier Westergaard for his selection as a finalist for this year's university-wide Presidential Teaching Award For A Graduate Student for his contributions and dedication in teaching students from the class, BIOL UN3004: Neurobiology I.

Jan. 2024

The Sames Lab is pleased to welcome three new undergraduates: Michael Chan, Gideon Marcus, and Tyler Shern. Additionally, we extend a warm welcome to Tim Luca Selinger, an MA student, who joins us on a 9-month fellowship. Furthermore, we are delighted to welcome Dr. Hannah Goodman, our new post-doctoral scientist.

Nov. 2023

Congratulations to Inis Serrano and Yilun Yang for passing their fourth-year original research proposal defense!

Sept. 2023

The Sames lab welcomes Boxuan Ma, an MA student in Biotechnology!

July 2023

Prof. Sames discusses the interface between academia and entrepreneur activity in the US, our work on ibogaine, and more, for the Czech News outlet FOCUSON (in Czech language)

July 2023

Prof. Sames discusses ibogaine, psychedelics and social and scientific revolutions with Dr. David Hellerstein, physician scientist who runs clinical efficacy studies with psilocybin at Columbia University/NYSPI, on a podcast “Bar Talk Series” YouTube, Spotify

May 2023

Congratulations to Keaon Brown for receiving the "Jack Miller Teaching Award." The Jack Miller awards honor the exceptional teaching skills of graduate students during their second year in the Ph.D. program, paying tribute to the influential nuclear chemist who left a lasting impact through his dedication to teaching and mentoring both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as his colleagues.

May 2023

Congratulations to Priscilla Duggan for receiving the "Capstone Award for Distinguished Achievement" The Capstone Award in Neuroscience is given to a select few Barnard students each year in recognition of the broader impact of their research. This year Priscilla was awarded the title by the Neuroscience Department for Distinguished Achievement in Neuroscience - for the research in our lab.

April 2023

Congratulations to Keaon Brown for passing the second-year defense! 

March 2023

Dopamine transporter and synaptic vesicle sorting defects underlie auxilin-associated Parkinson's disease Auxilin participates in clathrin uncoating to facilitate presynaptic endocytosis. Loss-of-function mutations of auxilin (PARK19) cause Parkinson's disease. Using auxilin KO mice, Vidyadhara et al. show that synaptic vesicle sorting deficits, cytoplasmic dopamine accumulation, dopamine transporter mistrafficking, and synaptic autophagic overload may lead to pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease in PARK19 patients.

Dec. 2022

A new paper on Pharmacological Mechanism of the Non-hallucinogenic 5-HT2A Agonist Ariadne and Analogs Ariadne is a non-hallucinogenic analog in the phenylalkylamine chemical class of psychedelics that is closely related to an established synthetic hallucinogen, 2,5-dimethoxy-4-methyl-amphetamine (DOM), differing only by one methylene group in the alpha-position to the amine. It emerges as a prototype of a new drug class, non-hallucinogenic 5-HT2A agonists, with considerable therapeutic potential across psychiatric and neurological indications. 

Oct. 2022

The Sames lab welcomes a new undergraduate student, Rose Liu!

Older News Coming Soon!

Please note that this section is currently being updated to include all of our older accomplishments. We apologize for any inconvenience caused and appreciate your patience.

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