The department was founded in 1953 as the first biochemistry department in former Czechoslovakia. However, a research group focusing on biochemistry topics (antibiotics, natural compounds and metabolism) was already working within the Department of organic chemistry of Faculty of Science and pharmaceutical industry. The leader of the group at the time, Prof. Josef Koštíř (*1907), become thereafter the first head of the Department of biochemistry. After Professor Koštíř retired, his successors were Prof. RNDr. PhMr. J. Kocourek, CSc. (*1926), Prof. RNDr. P. Anzenbacher, DrSc. (*1947), Prof. RNDr. M. Tichá, CSc. (*1938), Prof. RNDr. G. Entlicher, CSc. (*1942), Prof. RNDr. M. Stiborová, DrSc. (*1950) and Prof. RNDr. K. Bezouška, DSc. (*1960) and Doc. RNDr. Miroslav Šulc, Ph.D. (*1972). Since March 16, 2017 the head of the department is Prof. RNDr. Petr Hodek, CSc. (*1959).
Teaching and education
Department of Biochemistry provides education of students of the Faculty of Science in a special education program “Biochemistry” at Bachelor, Master and Doctoral (PhD) levels. The members of the department also efficiently participate in education of students of other education programs such as Chemistry and Environment Protection.
Biochemistry education program is a multidisciplinary program, consisting of multiply scientific disciplines such as a wide range of biochemical subjects, biomedicine, chemistry, biology, chemical biology, physics, mathematics and social skills. Several of interdisciplinary subjects provided by the department are unique among those of the Universities in the Czech Republic (Biochemistry as the theoretical base of biomedicine, Applied biochemistry directed to construction of new drugs, etc.).
The PhD program of Biochemistry is exclusively associated with a scientific work of students at laboratories of the department as well as laboratories of cooperating Universities and Institutes in the Czech Republic and abroad (i.e. Institute of Microbiology and Institute for Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, both members of Czech Academy of Sciences, German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, University of Luis Pasteur in Strasbourg).