The first headquarters of the Department of Pharmacology PAS at Grzegórzecka 16
The institute was originally established in 1954 as the Department of Pharmacology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, before being changed in 1974 to the Institute of Pharmacology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The initiator and the first director of the new unit was professor Janusz Supniewski. In the following years the institute was headed by: professor Józef Hano (1964-1977), professor Jerzy Maj (1977-1993), professor Edmund Przegaliński (1993-2006), professor Krzysztof Wędzony (2007-2016) and professor Władysław Lasoń (since 2017). The headquaters of the Department of Pharmacology PAS was originally located in the building of Copernicus Medical Academy at Grzegórzecka 16. Construction on the new facility at Smętna Street begun in 1976. During the years 2006-2007, with support of the European Union funds and the institute’s own resources, the Animal House was rebuilt and modernized, introducing the highest world animal welfare standards. The comprehensive modernization of the main building, carried out during the years 2010-2013, improved conditions and comfort of experimental work and increased the aesthetics.
In its initial period (1950s and 1960s of the last century) the Department of Pharmacology research areas focused on the biological activity of new chemical compounds and substances isolated from plants, with expected cardiovascular, antibacterial, antitumor and antidiabetic properties. Due to a worldwide surge of interest in neuropsychopharmacology, the scope of research was gradually extended and by the late 1960s it included the physiological and pathophysiological role of various brain neurotransmitters in the central nervous system, the effects of centrally acting drugs, in particular antidepressants, the physiological function of neuropeptides and their role in the phenomena such as pain, convulsions and drug addiction. Currently, this research direction is continued with the use of various behavioral, neurochemical, electrophysiological and molecular biology techniques and supplemented with appropriate pharmacokinetic analyzes. Other research directions include the synthesis of new chemical structures with potential therapeutic effect, the relationship between the chemical structure and biological activity of xenobiotics, as well as the isolation of biologically active substances from plant material and determination of their chemical structure.
In 1970, the former Department of Pharmacology had launched a doctoral study program. From that time through 1997, 38 graduates received the PhD degree. The PhD study, financed from the institute's own resources, was reactivated in 2003; currently there are 25 PhD students at the institute with ongoing doctoral projects. Since 1971, the institute has been authorized to confer the academic degree of doctor in medical science and doctor in natural science. At present, the institute is authorized to award scientific degrees of doctor and since 1994 habilitated doctor in medical science in the field of medical biology. Within 63-years, 33 employees of the institute were awarded the academic title of professor, 60 habilitated doctoral degree, including 29 persons awarded on the basis of habilitation procedures conducted at the institute, and 228 doctoral degrees, including 194 graduates who defended their theses at the institute.