Dr. Albert Leung is a pharmacognosist and author with a passion for high-quality herbal medicine, particularly traditional Chinese herbal medicine. He is a critic of synthetic pharmaceuticals, including synthetic psychedelics. Along with AG Paul, Dr. Leung was the first to identify baeocystin and norbaeocystin.1 The researchers isolated the two derivatives of psilocybin from the magic mushroom Psilocybe baeocystis in 1968.
Dr. Leung received his Bachelor’s degree in pharmacy in 1961 from National Taiwan University. He went on to study pharmacognosy — the field of plant medicine — at the University of Michigan and earned his Master’s and PhD there in 1967. He was awarded a Lilly Foundation Fellowship grant to study P. baeocystis and published his and AG Paul’s famed paper in 1968. Their work paved the way for future isolations of baeocystin from other mushroom species. Psychedelic Science Review described the current scientific understanding of baeocystin and its chemistry in a December 2018 article.
Between 1967 and 1969, Dr. Leung conducted his postdoctoral research into the biosynthesis of opium alkaloids. In 1980, he founded and became President of Earth Power, Inc., a company that developed and marketed botanical products such as supplements. That same year he also launched AYSL Corporation, an information and publishing company dedicated to herbal product education. The companies were in business for 32 and 39 years, respectively.
In August 2020, Dr. Leung founded PBN Naturals, which according to his LinkedIn profile “assist[s] clients in producing totally natural psilocybin mushroom mycelia in their own facilities which contain P, B & N [psilocybin, baeocystin, and norbaeocystin] in standardized amounts…without contaminants, toxic synthetics, or GMO materials.”
Since 1965, Dr. Leung has authored dozens of scholarly articles and several books, focusing mainly on herbal medicine. He also authored a two-part autobiography and research review titled, “My Life and Rollercoaster Career,” which was published in 2018. According to an excerpt from the book that he posted on LinkedIn, a mishap in the lab nearly forced him to restart the entire isolation and extraction process of baeocystin.
More information on Dr. Leung’s work can be found at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Albert_Leung5.