First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague Charles University in Prague

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Outstanding Teachers


Looking back
Since the foundation of a medical school at the Charles University in Prague in 1348, dozens of important scientists worked here. The following are but a few of the most prominent:

Jan Jessenius (1566–1621) was a professor of medicine and surgery, and the personal physician of Emperors Rudolf II and Matthias II. In 1600 and 1605, he carried out public autopsies in Reček’s College, whose descriptions appeared in the form of lectures in print. In 1617–1620, he was the rector and chancellor of the Prague university. In 1621, he was after the defeat of the Bohemian estates in the Battle at White Mountain beheaded together with 26 leaders of the Protestant opposition in the Old Town Square.

Jan Evangelista Purkyně (1787–1869) was a physician with interest in natural sciences, professor of physiology, and founder of the first institute of physiology in the world. He gained international fame for his discoveries pertaining to cells, heart activity, vision, etc.

Jaroslav Hlava (1855–1924) was a professor of pathological anatomy, founder of Hlava’s Institute (now Institute of Pathology of the 1st Faculty of Medicine of the Charles University and General University Hospital in Prague), several times dean of the faculty of medicine and in 19071908 rector of the Charles University.

Rudolf Jedlička (1869–1926) was a professor of surgery, the first professor of radiology and radiography in the Czech Lands and an important advocate of these new techniques in Europe. He also founded an institute for the treatment and education of physically handicapped children (now Jedlička’s Institute).

Jan Jánský (1873–1921) was a professor of psychiatry and founder of a liquorological laboratory. He was the first scientist in the Czech Lands to systematically focus on a biochemical and serological research of the brain. He contributed to the discovery of the four blood groups.

Vladimír Vondráček (1895–1978) was a professor of psychiatry and one of the founders of Czech medical psychology, psychopharmacology, dietetics, and psychiatric sexology. He is the author of numerous popularising publications and highly readable memoirs.

Josef Charvát (1897–1984) was a professor of internal medicine, the founder and first head of the Third Clinic of Internal Medicine, and founder of modern Czech endocrinology.

Karel Raška (1909–1987) was a microbiologist and epidemiologist of international renown. In 19631960, he worked at the World Health Organisation, where he headed a highly successful programme aimed at the eradication of smallpox.

Current Representatives
Many academics currently active at our faculty also lead various scientific societies in the Czech Republic and abroad, head clinics and institutes of Czech hospitals, and sit on the editorial boards of prestigious journals with impact factor. Most of these men and women participate in or lead research projects sponsored by important domestic and international agencies and are active in the science boards of numerous institutions in the Czech Republic and abroad. Publication activity of our academics increases year on year and is among the highest of all medical faculties in the Czech Republic.

At the moment, the range of important personalities connected with the 1st Faculty of Medicine of the Charles University is perhaps even wider than in historic times. Important scientists still active at our faculty include:

Pavel Klener (*1937), professor of internal medicine, important oncologist, and the first Minister of Health after the fall of the Communist regime in 1989.

Pavel Pafko (*1940), professor of surgery, head emeritus of the 3rd Department of Surgery, a man who carried out the first lung transplantation in the Czech Republic. He became known to the general public also by operating on President Václav Havel.

Pavel Dungl (*1948), professor of orthopaedic medicine, head of the Department of Orthopaedics in Na Bulovce Hospital. He became known to the general public when he operated President Václav Klaus.

Štěpán Svačina (*1952), professor of internal medicine, dean emeritus of the 1st Faculty of Medicine of the Charles University, head of the 3rd Department of Internal Medicine. He currently holds the prestigious position of head of the Czech Medical Association of J. E. Purkyně.

Karel Smetana Jr. (*1958), professor of anatomy, head of the Institute of Anatomy, who in 2002 jointly with Jiří Labský became the first holder of the National Science Prize Czech Head for the use of polymer carriers of keratocytes to cover skin defects.

Aleksi Šedo (*1961), professor of biochemistry and pathological biochemistry, head of the Institute of Biochemistry and Experimental Oncology, head of the Laboratory of Tumour Cell Biology, since 2012 Dean of the 1st Faculty of Medicine of the Charles University.

Tomáš Zima (*1966), professor of medical chemistry and biochemistry, head of the Institute of Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Diagnostics, former dean of the 1st Faculty of Medicine and currently rector of the Charles University.

You will doubtless meet also other outstanding teachers who work at our faculty during your medical studies, be it during the theoretical courses or at the departments and clinics.





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