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About Us Units Department of Chemistry

Department of Chemistry

+361 478 4176
+361 478 4100 / 8480
+361 478 4268
Head of Unit
Vincze Zoltán
1078 Budapest István u. 2.
Postal address
1400 Budapest Pf. 2
Building C ground-floor

History of the Department

In our institution, the regular chemistry education serving the basic science education began in 1857. The basic concepts of chemistry were presented by assistant professor Márton Galambos (1820-1872) in a course in Hungarian and German. After Galambos’s death, chemistry education was continued by Lajos Thanhoffer (1843-1909), professor of physiology. After that, implementing the ideas of Károly Than, the highly respected leader of domestic chemistry, Ágoston Trefort, Minister of Culture, appointed doctor of medicine and private university teacher Leó Liebermann (1852-1926) as the head of the newly established Department of Chemistry (1879).
Leó Liebermann, an outstanding figure in Hungarian biochemistry, immunochemistry, public health, food hygiene and health policy, was already involved in veterinary education as a renowned chemist: at the age of 23 (1875), the University of Innsbruck qualified him as a private teacher of medical chemistry. On his return home, he was entrusted with the organization and management of the newly established National Institute of Chemistry and Chemical Experiment Station, as a result of which, in addition to education, the Department gained national powers and a leading role in chemical research.
His work as a professor of chemistry covers many issues of general, inorganic, analytical and organic chemistry, but the most significant is his activity as a pioneer of ?medical chemistry?, i.e. biochemistry. The chemical reaction developed to detect the protein (Liebermann test) is still used today. In addition to his studies on the acid-, base- and salt-binding capacity of proteins, the detection of enzymes and many other questions, which he conducted in part with his students, the method he developed for the electrometric determination of hydrogen ion concentration, which he introduced into biochemistry, should be highlighted.
Together with Liebermann’s student, István Bugarszky, he published ?Chemia? textbook (1900), which included further editions. His other books on chemistry were also published, e.g. the German-language ?Grundzüge der Chemie des Menschen? (1880); ?Tabellen zur Reduktion der Gasvolumina? (1882); ?Die chemische Praxis? (1883), all in Stuttgart.
Liebermann won widespread recognition for his successful work. Very young, at the age of 43 (1895). was honored with the title of councilor, many of his students became renowned scientists. Despite all these successes, Liebermann is only the ny. he was able to reach the rank of extraordinary teacher at the veterinary academy. This fact played a decisive role in the fact that after the death of József Fodor, the university professor of public health (1895), Liebermann succeeded Fodor. After Leo Liebermann, one of his students, István Bugarszky, was entrusted with the management of the Department.
István Bugarszky (1868-1941), a doctor of humanities, previously worked as an assistant teacher with Liebermann and gained significant teaching experience. From 1902, he taught physical chemistry in addition to chemistry and chemistry exercises. Bugarszky became deputy rector in the 1906/07 school year.
During his research, he mainly dealt with reaction kinetics issues. He was the first to achieve significant results with the experimental determination of free energy, and then provided the first experimental proof of the untenability of the Thomson-Berthelot theory. Both domestic and foreign textbooks recognize the importance of this discovery. He experimentally established the amphoteric nature of proteins and thereby provided important experimental data for protein chemistry. In the academic year 1912/13, István Rusznyák, a physician, clinical intern, later university professor, and one of the former presidents of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, conducted independent scientific tests at the institute.
Bugarszky in 1913 r. he was appointed professor at the chemistry department of the Budapest University of Science, which he was the head of for 25 years, and then retired in 1938.

Subsequently, László Rhorer (1874-1937) ny. r. teacher was entrusted with the temporary management of the chemistry department. At the same time, the minister appointed Gyula Gróh, the assistant chemist of the Animal Physiology and Nutrition Experimental Station, as an assistant teacher at the college of veterinary medicine, and assigned him to temporarily handle the tasks of the chemistry department alongside Rhorer. In 1917, Gyula Gróh (1886-1952) was appointed head of chemistry. r. his teacher.

In the academic year 1917/18, private university teacher György Hevesy, who in 1913 used radioactive isotopes as a tracer for the first time, carried out independent scientific work in the department of our institution, and for this he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1943.

Gyula Gróh was elected vice-rector for the 1919/20 and 1920/21 academic years. He became a correspondent of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1925, and a regular member in 1936. From 1942, he was the president of the Hungarian Chemists’ Association, from 1945, the president of the Natural Science Society, and he also made invaluable contributions to the modernization of chemistry education!

When the independence of the veterinary college and with it the chemistry department ceased (1934), he was also the head of the chemistry laboratory operating within the veterinary department of the new university, until Géza Doby took his place in 1937.

Géza Doby (1877-1968) was previously a medical chemistry major at the medical faculty of the University of Debrecen. r. his teacher. In addition to education, scientific work was carried out under his direction: they dealt with issues related to plant physiology, enzymology, and soil chemistry.

On September 13, 1944, a bomb attack hit Rottenbiller Street, at which time the chemical institute also suffered more damage.

The post-liberation period is marked by the name of László Urbányi.

László Urbányi (1902-1974), a chemical engineer, joined the Animal Husbandry Institute in 1926. From 1941, he became a university professor at the department of veterinary medicine, and from 1947 he became the head of the chemistry institute of the then faculty of veterinary medicine. In 1950, he became a scientific deputy dean, and in 1952, he received a doctorate in agricultural sciences.

In the academic year 1956/57, László Urbányi was the director of the college, but he was dismissed after the political consolidation. After his departure, the chemist László Szekeres became the head of the chemistry department, who has been associate professor at the University of Agricultural Sciences since 1952 and became a candidate this year. Between 1957 and 1960, he held the position of vice chancellor of the University of Agricultural Sciences at that time. His scientific work was published in the organic and carried out in the field of inorganic chemical analysis.

In 1968, after Szekeres retired, chemical engineer Károly Nádor was appointed professor at the head of the chemistry department. His first job was at the Institute of Pharmacy of the University of Medicine. From 1954 to 1968, he headed the pharmaceutical research department of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, KOKI, and then taught medicinal chemistry for several years at the Budapest University of Technology.

He is credited with the development of several new drugs (Gastropin, Gastrixon, Mydeton, Spiractin, Yutac). He also went to England and the USA on a foreign scholarship. In 1952, for his work up to that point, he received the degree of candidate of chemical sciences.

During his career, he established a fruitful relationship with the pharmaceutical industry, within the framework of which he realized the total synthesis of estrone and one of the prostaglandins with his colleagues.