Dr. Rudolf Gelpke (1928–1972) was a Swiss born Islamic scholar.
He studied at the University of Basel where he received his doctorate in Islamic Studies in 1957. Later Gelpke would move to Iran, where he taught at the University of Tehran and then later at the University of Bern in Switzerland. Moreover he served as an associate professor at UCLA for a year between September 1962 and May 1963. In the eight years he lived in Tehran, he also worked as a freelance writer, who not only translated many famous historical works but also published many of his own works. In his most famous paper, “On Travels in the Universe of the Soul”, he reports on self experimentation using lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and psilocybin conducted with his friends Dr. Albert Hofmann, pharmacologist Professor Heribert Konzett, and writer Ernst Jünger. He would later publish a book in 1966 that was in greater reference to these self experiments called, “Vom Rausch im Orient und Okzident” (On Inebriation in the East and the West). Later Dr. Gelpke would return to Switzerland, where he suffered from a stroke, dying at age of 43.