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J Physiol Pharmacol. 2006 Apr;57 Suppl 1:119-36.

Pharmacology at the Jagiellonian University in Kracow, short review of contribution to global science and cardiovascular research through 400 years of history.

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  • 1Chair of Pharmacology, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland.


Pharmacology at the Jagiellonian University was taught since the foundation of the University in 1364 under then used names of medical botany and pharmacognosy. The first in Poland Division of Pharmacology and Pharmacognosy was created in 1857. Modern era in the history of pharmacology in Krakow starts in 1929 when Prof. Janusz Supniewski became the Head of the Department. He was the relentless researcher whose scientific interests were as diverse as ranging from anticancer chemotherapeutics, antibiotics, and oral hypoglycemic drugs to lipid-lowering agents. Skills of organic chemistry synthesis were of paramount importance for the scientific achievements. Prof. Supniewski died in 1964, leaving the Department well equipped in instruments. He raised in his laboratory many eminent scientists who later became heads of pharmacology departments throughout Poland. In 1964, the Head of the Department of Pharmacology became Prof. Ryszard Gryglewski. Under his leadership the Department focused scientific efforts on various aspects of cardiovascular pharmacology. Prof. Gryglewski established collaborations with many of the best pharmacology researchers in the world, including Sir John Vane, Nobel Prize laureate. Prof. Gryglewski's assistants had ample opportunity to train in these laboratories and to bring these skills back to Krakow. Prof. Gryglewski and his team published many articles in the most prestigious scientific journals. The most important themes included discovery of prostacyclin, role of nitric oxide and of free radicals for vascular biology. Since 2003, when Prof. Gryglewski retired, the Department of Pharmacology has been led by Prof. Ryszard Korbut.

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