Charles D. Nichols


Dr. Charles Nichols is a professor of pharmacology at the Louisiana State University School of Medicine. He is also the lead scientist at the life science company Eleusis.

Dr. Nichols earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and biochemistry from Purdue University in 1989. He went on to receive a Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University in 1997 and completed his postdoc in pharmacology at Vanderbilt University in 2002.

Dr. Nichols has been investigating the effects of various serotonergic agents, including hallucinogens, on the patterns of gene expression in the prefrontal cortex of the brain.1 During the course of his work, he developed a genetic model system in fruit flies to understand the pathways linking serotonin receptors to specific behaviors.2 Dr. Nichols discovered that psychedelic drugs have powerful anti-inflammatory effects.3-5 These effects are mediated via a functionally selective process at the serotonin 5-HT2A receptor.

Most recently, Dr. Nichols and his team completed a phase 1 clinical trial exploring the safety and tolerability of using LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) in conjunction with therapy for treating Alzheimer’s disease.6

A full list of Dr. Nichol’s scholarly work is available on Google Scholar.

Barb Bauer Headshot

Barb is the former Editor and one of the founders of Psychedelic Science Review. She is currently a contributing writer. Her goal is making accurate and concise psychedelic science research assessable so that researchers and private citizens can make informed decisions.

  1. Nichols CD, Garcia EE, Sanders-Bush E. Dynamic changes in prefrontal cortex gene expression following lysergic acid diethylamide administration. Molecular Brain Research. 2003;111(1):182-188. doi:10.1016/S0169-328X(03)00029-9
  2. Pandey UB, Nichols CD. Human disease models in Drosophila melanogaster and the role of the fly in therapeutic drug discovery. Pharmacol Rev. 2011;63(2):411-436. doi:10.1124/pr.110.003293
  3. Flanagan TW, Nichols CD. Psychedelics as anti-inflammatory agents. International Review of Psychiatry. 2018;30(4):363-375. doi:10.1080/09540261.2018.1481827
  4. Flanagan TW, Sebastian MN, Battaglia DM, Foster TP, Maillet EL, Nichols CD. Activation of 5-HT 2 Receptors Reduces Inflammation in Vascular Tissue and Cholesterol Levels in High-Fat Diet-Fed Apolipoprotein E Knockout Mice. Sci Rep. 2019;9(1):1-10. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-49987-0
  5. Flanagan TW, Sebastian MN, Battaglia DM, Foster TP, Cormier SA, Nichols CD. 5-HT2 receptor activation alleviates airway inflammation and structural remodeling in a chronic mouse asthma model. Life Sciences. 2019;236:116790. doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2019.116790
  6. Family N, Maillet EL, Williams LTJ, et al. Safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of low dose lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in healthy older volunteers. Psychopharmacology. December 2019. doi:10.1007/s00213-019-05417-7