The newest division, the so-called Richter Department, aims to provide undergraduate and postgraduate students with innovative knowledge that covers current issues and also the knowledge base of pharmaceutical research and development, said the speakers at the department’s ceremonial meeting held in the Senate Hall. The training is given by lecturers who are active participants in applied pharmaceutical research themselves, and have been involved in the identification of new drug indications.

Dr. Éva Szabó Feketéné, Vice-Rector for Strategy and Development, said at the event, “This is a small step for the organization, but it may be a huge step for the students, and for the realization of strategic goals that serve links with the industry and the rapid transfer of research results into practice.”

At the event, Dr. Béla Merkely, Rector of the university, emphasized that “the institution’s main goal is not only to preserve the knowledge and wisdom of our predecessors, but also to enrich it and to spread its benefits to the widest possible circle of people”. He added that this is also the objective of the newest division, the Richter Department – to provide undergraduate and postgraduate students with innovative knowledge that covers current issues and also the knowledge base of pharmaceutical research and development.

Dr. Béla Merkely reminded that last year, the 150th birthday of Gedeon Richter was celebrated, and the university also joined the jubilee year celebrations of the pharmaceutical company bearing his name. Gedeon Richter and Semmelweis University are linked from many aspect: Richter graduated as a pharmacist at the predecessor of the university, and later collaborated with several university institutes in his research, he pointed out. The Industrial Pharmaceutical Technology Laboratory of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences has recently taken the name of the renowned pharmacist, and the pharmaceutical company also has close ties with the university, including the strategic cooperation signed in 2019, numerous joint research programs, and a scientific award named after Gedeon Richter.

“I hope that the work at the Richter Department will serve the advancement of science and the development of the pharmaceutical industry as well as the reputation of our institution and our country,” he said.

Gábor Orbán, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Foundation for National Health Care and Medical Education and CEO of Richter, recalled that Semmelweis University and Richter are connected by decades of professional cooperation and a number of shared values, such as serving people’s health, strategic thinking, striving for excellence and innovation, and internationalism. He stressed that the creation of the Richter Department will deepen this cooperation.

Dr. Balázs Lendvai, Head of the Department of Richter, Head of Pharmacology and Drug Safety Research at Richter Gedeon Plc., said that they plan to expand educational activities of the department as needed. In the current academic year 2023/24, the department’s staff and volunteers will participate in teaching the subject already included in the undergraduate courses of the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and will participate in the MBA program of Semmelweis Pharma. In the next academic year 2024/25, they would like to expand the range of subjects taught and plan to introduce a distinct optional subject titled “The Discovery of Drug Molecules”.

On the occasion of the event, Rector Dr. Béla Merkely presented the new department’s professors with the titles of Head of Department and Adjunct Professor.



Bernadett Bódi
Translation: Viktória Kiss
Photo: Attila Kovács – Semmelweis University