In Autumn 1945 Albert Szent-Györgyi, professor of biochemistry at the Medical Faculty of the University Peter Pázmány of those times, suggested that the University should create a “medical chemistry” department to educate the medical students.
The Institute of Medical Chemistry was established in 1949. The Faculty invited Brunó Straub F. to the department, who was the head of the Institute for 21 years. He resigned from his position in 1970, when the Hungarian Academy of Sciences charged him with the leadership of the Biological Research Center in Szeged. Then Ferenc Antoni was appointed as the director of the Institute and he kept this position until his death in 1991. The Department of Medical Chemistry taught medical chemistry and biochemistry (except for 18 years, when only medical chemistry) to first and second-year general medical and later dentist students. Since 1983 the Institute has co-oridinated medical chemistry and biochemsitry instruction in German, organised biochemistry instruction in English between 1987 and 1989, and since 1989 its instructors have participated in the medical chemistry and biochemistry teaching in English. In addition to the undergraduate education, the Institute has coordinated the Pathobiochemistry PhD Program since 1995. The undergraduate instruction of Pathobiochemistry as a compulsory elective subject starts in 2000. Moreover, several members of the staff participate in other PhD programs either as supervisor or as co-supervisor.
Many excellent scientists began their carreer or worked for years at the Institute; many of them became renowned scientists in Hungary as well as abroad. The teaching staff suffered heavy losses in 1956 and in 1970 (when the Biological Research Center was established in Szeged). However, it was able to renew, which is perhaps proven by the present throughputs of the Institute partly shown on our website. There are 11 doctors of Hungarian Academy of Sciences (DSc) and 15 PhD researchers-teachers working at the Institute.