Department of Pharmacognosy
History | Staff | Courses | Research
The Department was established in 1942 as Department of Pharmacognosy and Galenic Pharmacy following the setting up of the Section of Pharmacy at the Faculty of Natural Science and Mathematics at the University of Sofia. Throughout 1942 the main subject was botany at first read by Prof. N. Arnaudov then by Academician D. Yordanov. In 1943/44 a course in pharmacognosy was introduced read by A. Boichinov, Ph.D. In 1947 the Department of Pharmacognosy was established as a separate unit. Prof. A. Boichinov (1900 - 1967) was one of the founders and the first head of the department. In 1958 botany came under the responsibilities of the Department of Pharmacognosy and the department acquired its present structure. In 1968 the Laboratory of Control and Standardization of Drugs was affiliated to the department. In the year 1990 the Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology was established by Prof. Dr. Ionkova as a part of Department of Pharmacognosy.
Heads of the Department since its establishment: Prof. A. Boichinov, Prof. H. Ahtardjiev, Prof. S. Valev, Prof. I. Assenov, and Prof. Dr. St. Nikolov since 1999.
Specialists with higher education - 1;
Subjects and duration of Courses:
Pharmaceutical Botany IV-V semesters
(Lectures - 60, seminars - 90, practicum - 48);
Pharmacognosy VI - VIII semesters
(Introduction - 10, lectures - 90, seminars - 195, practicum – 48);
Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (for Industrial Pharmacy students) VII semester
(Lectures - 30, practicum – 60).
Courses offered at:
Undergraduate level (regular and extramural students);
Postgraduate courses in: Medicinal plants and herbals.
Anatomy, morphology and classification of plants - 2;
Macroscopic and microscopic identification of drugs - 2;
Phytochemical analysis of drugs – 3;
Biotechnology – 3;
Main fields of Research:
Phytochemistry (isolation and study of the structure of natural compounds, mainly phenolics and saponines);
Standardization (quantitative and qualitative analysis of drugs and pharmaceutical products extracted from medicinal plants);
Study of the dynamics of accumulation of bioactive substances in medicinal plants;
In vitro cultures (regulation of biosynthesis of natural products in plant cell and tissue cultures);
Taxonomy, horology and mapping of higher plants;
Basic Methods of Research:
Extraction of plant material (total and gradual);
Chromatography - TLC (analytical and preparative), paper, column, HPLC;
Spectroscopy (UV, IR, 1H and 13C-NMR, MS);
Chemical Reactions (hydrolysis, methylation, acetylation, etc.);
Qualitative and quantitative, spectrophotometric, densitometric analysis; liquid chromatography;
Tissue cultivation of medicinal plants;
Chromosomal analysis of medicinal plants.
LC-MS (Thermo Scientific q Exactive Plus - Dionex 3000RSLC) UV-VIS Spectrophotometer Libra S70 (BIOCHROM); Densitometer Scanner 2 (CAMAG); HPLC (VARIAN, WATERS, YL); Incubator JOAN; Laminar box; Autoclave; Electronic analytical scales for measuring humidity (SARTORIUS).
Medical Orientation of Studies:
Isolation of substances of plant origin in greater quantities for pharmacological testing;
Development of methods of analysis of bioactive substances of plant origin;
Standardization of plant drugs and pharmaceutical products derived from them.