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Dr. Dalibor Sames, PhD

Professor of Chemistry 

Department of Chemistry and 

The Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute

Columbia University, New York, USA


 (212) 854-7108


Mailing Address

Columbia University
Department of Chemistry
3000 Broadway MC3101
New York, NY 10027


Professor Sames

Professor Sames studied chemistry at Charles University in Prague and the University of Arizona in Tucson (M.A. and Ph.D.) and pursued postdoctoral research as the Michael R. Bloomberg Fellow of the Irvington Institute of Immunology at The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York focusing on antitumor immunotherapies. He has built his independent research program at Columbia University in New York City where his research group has become a thought leader in several areas of research. For example, these include the development of a new logic in chemical synthesis of complex organic materials (based on direct functionalization of C-H bonds), introduction of novel synaptic imaging agents (FFNs or fluorescent false neurotransmitter), elucidation of the molecular mechanism of the antidepressant tianeptine and the psychoactive plant kratom, and study of ibogaine and iboga alkaloids as unique prototypes of novel neurotherapeutics and creation of numerous novel iboga analogs. Dr. Sames’ team pursues two interconnected long-term goals in the interface of chemistry and neuroscience: visualization and repair of synaptic function with chemical tools. The latter area centers on medicinal chemistry and neuropharmacology of psychoactive and psychedelic substances with the goal of generating new experimental therapeutics for neurological and psychiatric disorders. This research is driven by Dr. Sames’ long-standing interest in the connection between seemingly distant worlds - the molecular and psychological system levels. Dr. Sames received numerous awards for this research contributions; for example, The Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship Award, The McKnight Technological Innovations in Neuroscience Award, and The Pfizer Award for Creativity in Organic Synthesis. Dr. Sames is a co-founder of Gilgamesh Pharmaceuticals and Kures, Inc, start-up pharmaceutical companies that bring some of the inventions created in the Sames lab to clinical research and drug development.


Prof. Sames published more than a hundred articles in peer-reviewed journals and numerous patents (see Publications tab). Here are examples of opinion/perspective essays:

  • Synaptic optical essays for neuropharmacology

  • Chemical reactivity, from alchemy to chemical reactions in living cells

  • 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.”

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

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