Ecstasy chemist Alexander Shulgin passes away

Ecstasy chemist Alexander Shulgin passes away

Alexander Shulgin, a chemist who earned fame for dusting off an efficient recipe for the psychedelic drug ecstasy, died on Monday at the age of 88.

Alexander Shulgin's wife, Ann Shulgin, said he was suffering from liver cancer, which eventually caused the death. The deadly disease was diagnosed around a year ago.

He breathed his last breath at "the farm," his lavish residence and lab situated in a remote area of Lafayette, nearly 22 miles east of San Francisco. Ann said the ecstasy chemist was surrounded by family members and friends at the time of death.

Dr. Patil Armenian, a toxicology researcher and an emergency room doctor, said, "Alexander Shulgin was really quite a prolific chemist. Everybody in the toxicology community respects him."

Born in Berkeley, Calif., Shulgin dropped out of Harvard University to serve in the U. S. Navy during the Second World War. Later, he joined the University of California, where he earned a doctorate in biochemistry. He served Dow Chemical Co. for a number of years, and created many top-selling biodegradable pesticides.

The chemicals firm later allowed him to open a lab of his own and pursue research on a topic of his own choice. He chose to research on psychoactive compounds. He parted with Dow in 1965 and started teaching at San Francisco Bay Area universities.

He was introduced to MDMA in the year of 1976, and gradually he worked out a method to easily produce the compound. However, researchers are now renewing study of MDMA as it has fell into ill-repute because of its growing misuse as a recreational drug.

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