Jerzy Vetulani – scientist, populariser of neuroscience, artist

Ryszard Przewłocki, Edmund Przegaliński

Abstract


Professor Jerzy Vetulani passed away on the 6th of April 2017. He was born on 21st January 1936 in Kraków. In 1957 he earned his B.A. in Biology and in 1963 in Chemistry from Jagiellonian University. He began to work in 1957 at the Institute of Pharmacology of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Kraków and got a PhD in 1966. Prof. Vetulani did Habiltation in Institute of Immunology and Experi-
mental Therapy in Wrocław in 1976. His scientific career throughout all extremely active scientific life was connected with the Institute of Pharmacology. He became Head of the Department of Biochemistry in 1976 and from 1994 until 2002 he was the Deputy Director for Science Affairs and from 2002 Vice Chairman of the Scientific Council. He was elected Member of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received a Doctor honoris causa degrees from the Medical University of Silesia and the Medical University of Łódź. He published about 240 original scientific papers in the areas of neuropharmacology and neurobiology. He was exceptional neuropharmacologist. His research, conducted together with Fridolin Sulser and his group allowed to obtain interesting data that repeatedly administered antidepressants induce adaptive changes in the noradrenergic system and to formulate a hypothesis on the mechanism of action of antidepressant drugs suggesting “downregulation” of β-adrenergic receptors. His research interests included neuropharmacology of addiction, neurodegeneration and mechanisms of memory. He was an excellent academic, admired and followed by many pharmacologists and neuroscientists. Professor Vetulani was also very active in the area of popularization of neuroscience. He was, a superb, provocative and witty speaker, someone who everybody wanted to hear. Professor Vetulani had the soul of the artist. In the late sixties, he was an announcer and one of the creators of famous Polish Kraków cabaret “Piwnica pod Baranami” (1954–1961) and more recently a regular participant in other cabaret “Gadający Pies”. Professor Jerzy Vetulani had many different talents and accompanying him always intellectual perversity and above all sense of freedom and independence.

Keywords


Jerzy Vetulani; Institute of Pharmacology; neurobiology; populariser of neuroscience

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