David E. Olson, Ph.D. for UC Davis Health

David E. Olson, Ph.D.

Director, Institute for Psychedelics and Neurotherapeutic

Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry

Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Medicine




Biological Chemistry

Drug Discovery

Locations and Contact

Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Olson's research focuses on the development of neuroplasticity-promoting therapeutics for treating neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases.


Biological Chemistry

Undergraduate School

B.S., Chemistry, Union College, Schenectady NY 2006

Other School

Ph.D., Chemistry, Stanford University, Stanford CA 2011


Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge MA 2011-2015

Delix Therapeutics named one of the 10 start-ups to watch by C&E News, 2022

Delix Therapeutics named one of the top academic spinouts by Nature Biotechnology, 2022

Delix Therapeutics received the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association ACE Award, 2022

Sacramento Business Journal's 40 Under 40, 2022

Research in Cell voted #2 biomedical discovery of 2021 by STAT Madness, 2022

Ingelman-Sundberg M, Cadet JL, Gobbi G, Olson DE, Yohn S, Foster DJ. Bridging the gap in neuropsychiatric translational research. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2022 Dec;43(12):987-993. doi: 10.1016/j.tips.2022.10.001. Epub 2022 Oct 27. PMID: 36368301.

Grieco SF, Castrén E, Knudsen GM, Kwan AC, Olson DE, Zuo Y, Holmes TC, Xu X. Psychedelics and Neural Plasticity: Therapeutic Implications. J Neurosci. 2022 Nov 9;42(45):8439-8449. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1121-22.2022. PMID:36351821.

Kwan AC, Olson DE, Preller KH, Roth BL. The neural basis of psychedelic action. Nat Neurosci. 2022 Nov;25(11):1407-1419. doi:10.1038/s41593-022-01177-4. Epub 2022 Oct 24. PMID:36280799.

Rasmussen K, Olson DE. Psychedelics as Standard of Care? Many Questions Remain. Camb Q Healthc Ethics. 2022 Oct;31(4):477-481. doi:10.1017/S096318012200010X. PMID:36398514.

Zhang G, Favela D, Chow WL, Iyer RN, Pell AJ, Olson DE. Synthesis of Tertiary Amines through Extrusive Alkylation of Carbamates. Org Lett. 2022 Aug 26;24(33):6208-6212. doi:10.1021/acs.orglett.2c02516. Epub 2022 Aug 16. PMID:35972395.

Saeger HN, Olson DE. Psychedelic-inspired approaches for treating neurodegenerative disorders. J Neurochem. 2022 Jul;162(1):109-127. doi:10.1111/jnc.15544. Epub 2021 Dec 5. PMID:34816433.

Sutton C, Williams EQ, Homsi H, Beerepoot P, Nazari R, Han D, Ramsey AJ, Mash DC, Olson DE, Blough B, Salahpour A. Structure-Activity Relationships of Dopamine Transporter Pharmacological Chaperones. Front Cell Neurosci. 2022 May 9;16:832536. doi:10.3389/fncel.2022.832536. PMID:35614973.

Olson DE. Biochemical Mechanisms Underlying Psychedelic-Induced Neuroplasticity. Biochemistry. 2022 Feb 1;61(3):127-136. doi:10.1021/acs.biochem.1c00812. Epub 2022 Jan 21. PMID:35060714.

Patel SD, Cameron LP, Olson DE. Sex-Specific Social Effects on Depression-Related Behavioral Phenotypes in Mice. Life (Basel). 2021 Dec 1;11(12):1327. doi:10.3390/life11121327. PMID:34947858.

Vargas MV, Meyer R, Avanes AA, Rus M, Olson DE. Psychedelics and Other Psychoplastogens for Treating Mental Illness. Front Psychiatry. 2021 Oct 4;12:727117. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2021.727117. PMID:34671279.