Anton Köllisch

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Anton Köllisch (16 March 1888 – September 1916) was a German chemist who, whilst working at Darmstadt for pharmaceutical giant Merck, first described the synthesis of the chemical MDMA.[1]

Life and work[edit]

In 1911, Köllisch published his doctoral dissertation on the topic of indole synthesis from hydrazones under Otto Diels at the University of Berlin.[2][3]

While at Merck, Dr Köllisch was involved in investigating syntheses for methylhydrastinine and hydrastinine. A procedural patent was filed on Christmas Eve 1912 relating to these syntheses, which mentioned MDMA without name as a chemical intermediate.[1]

He was killed in the First World War.


  1. ^ a b Freudenmann, Roland W.; Oxler, Florian; Bernschneider-Reif, Sabine (2006-09-01). "The origin of MDMA (ecstasy) revisited: the true story reconstructed from the original documents". Addiction. 101 (9): 1241–1245. doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2006.01511.x. ISSN 0965-2140. PMID 16911722.
  2. ^ Köllisch: Zur Kenntnis des Diacetyls. I. Über die Brauchbarkeit der Diacetylphenylhydrazone für Kondensationen. II. Über Versuche zur Ueberführung des Diacetyls in eine Ketotetrose, Inaugural-Dissertation, Berlin: E. Ebering 1911 Hochspringen↑
  3. ^ Diels, Otto; Köllisch, Anton (1911-01-01). "Zur Kenntnis des Diacetyls: Über die Diacetyl-monophenylhydrazone und ihre Verwendbarkeit für Kondensationen". Berichte der Deutschen Chemischen Gesellschaft. 44 (1): 263–268. doi:10.1002/cber.19110440140. ISSN 1099-0682.