Farmaceutski-biokemijski fakultet

University of Zagreb
Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry
since 1882

History of the Faculty

Pharmacy has a long and rich tradition and history in the region. Over the course of 700 years, pharmacists were successfully transferring their knowledge and skills to younger colleagues and devotedly improving and cherishing pharmaceutical profession - starting with the first written records (the Agreement on Trade of medicines between distinguished Bosnian Ban Kulin and Republic of Dubrovnik signed in 1189), the opening of the first pharmacy store in Trogir (in 1271), and somewhat later opening of the pharmacy shop in the Franciscan monastery in Dubrovnik(in 1317), which is still in operation;the enlightenment activities of Trogir Dominican and later bishop of Zagreb, Blessed Augustin Kažotić (1260 - 1323);and the opening of the pharmacy shop in Upper Town, in Kamenita Street 9, in Zagreb in mid-14th century.Yet, it was in the 19th Century when the "pharmaceutical teaching course" at the Faculty of Philosophy was founded following the Decision of the Emperor and King Francis Joseph I (on October 4, 1882) and the Order of Royal State Governmental Department for Theology and Teaching (on October 11, 1882). This is considered as the beginning of the organised teaching of pharmacy at the University of Zagreb. In the memory of these events, October 4 is celebrated as the Day of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry.

Therefore, we are proud of the fact that our Faculty was founded on the centuries-old activities and experiences of the pharmaceutical profession, and that it represents one of the oldest pharmacy studies in this region.

Gustav Janeček (1848-1929) and Julije Domac (1853-1928), the authors of the Croatian-Slavonian Pharmacopoeia (1901), the first Croatian Pharmacopoeia, made a special contribution to the establishment of the Faculty and its development over the next 40 years The founding of the independent pharmaceutical institutes (the Department of Pharmacognosy in 1896, the first such independent institute in the world, the Department of Pharmacy in 1928 and the Department of Pharmaceutical Technology in 1932) formed the basis for the establishment of the Faculty of Pharmacy as an independent unitof the University of Zagreb in 1942. The name was changed to the Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry in 1963. From 1986, the Faculty has been organising university courses in two distinct study programs (study of Pharmacy and study of Medical Biochemistry). So far, more than 8,500 students have graduated from the Faculty, around 350 students have acquired Master of Science degree (MSc), and more than 250 a doctoral degree (PhD). Currently, the Faculty is a home to 950 full-time students of graduate and200 of postgraduate studies (doctoral - PhD and specialist programs).

During the period from 1935 to 1941, the Faculty professor was Vladimir Prelog (1906-1998), a Laureate ofthe Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1975 and an honorary member of Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Along line of his younger associates and lecturers later on (Eugen Cerkovnikov, Dragutin Kolbah, Paul Štern, Krešimir Balenović, Mirko Ternbah, Stanko Borčić and Mladen Žinić) improved teaching and scientific quality of the Faculty over the course of the following decades. Pharmaceutical company "Kaštel", founded in Karlovac in 1921, gained a new momentum in its development owing to Professor Prelog, who in 1936 established a research laboratory with chemical and pharmacological departments. The company "Kaštel", later went on to grow into PLIVA, a pharmaceutical giant, while its research laboratory became the PLIVA Research Institute.

Apart from promoting pharmaceutical and medical biochemistry profession in Croatia, the professors of the Faculty are also meritorious for founding of other pharmaceutical faculties, as well as pharmaceutical companies in the region.