Department of Medical Biochemistry was founded at Faculty of Pharmacy in 1947. At the very beginning, the Department did not have its own laboratories and classrooms. Instead, the staff of the Department used a rather small compartment which belonged to the Department of Pathophysiology at Belgrade School of Medicine. To illustrate technical difficulties, it should be mentioned that all solutions needed for practical classes had been prepared outside and later transported to the Department. Also, the practical classes were conducted without teaching assistants. In 1948, the Department acquired a classroom and three small laboratories to use them together with the Department for Bromatology. When the Department of Bromatology got its own working space, the position of the Department of Medical Biochemistry was significantly improved. It should be mentioned that, apart of these difficulties, the Department was appreciably well technically equipped for the time, so the classes could be organized adequately. The Department continued to operate in this same space until the relocation of the Faculty of Pharmacy into new building in 1991.
Courses of Biochemistry were initially held by Prof. Pavle Trpinac. During this early period, teaching assistants were Dr. Jolanda Hojman and pharmacists Vukosava Ukropina and Žarko Cvetković. Interestingly, at that time, electrophoresis, blood gas analyses and certain analyses in pregnancy were conducted as innovations of practical classes.
During the period 1955-1960, the Heads of the Department were Prof. Pavle Trpinac and Prof. Radmila Avramov. In 1960, Prof. Ivan Berkeš became the Head of the Department and he remained on this position till his retirement in 1978. Thanks to Prof. Berkeš’s enthusiasm and sustained professional engagement, a major development in term of education, scientific and professional work has been recorded at the Department. From 1978 to 1981, the Head was Prof. Borivoje Kapetanović, from 1981 to 1984 Prof. Jovanka Rosić, from 1984 to 1995 Prof. Nada Majkić-Singh and from 1995 till 2013 Prof. Slavica Spasić. Now, Prof. Zorana Jelić-Ivanović is the Head of the Department.
From 1995 to 1960, teaching assistants were Žarko Cvetković, Jelica Cvetković, Borivoje Kapetanović, Jovanka Lero-Rosić, Ružica Mašić and Neda Barbača. In 1970 Slavica Spasić and Nada Majkić-Singh became assistants. Later, Marina Stojanov, Zorana Jelić-Ivanović, Vesna Spasojević-Kalimanovska, Duško Mirković, Mirjana Milutinović, Aleksandra Topić, Svetlana Ignjatović, Violeta Dopsaj, Sanja Stanković, Elena Radulović, Jelena Kotur-Stevuljević i Nataša Bogavac-Stanojević were elected in assistants. Since 2000 till the present time, Aleksandra Zeljković, Aleksandra Stefanović, Jelena Vekić, Ana Ninić, Miron Sopić, Jasmina Ivanišević, Snežana Jovičić i Neda Milinković have been elected as teaching assistants.
Following laboratory technicians were employed at the Department: Milena Vejanović, Jelena Janjić, Đurđa Simonović, Milena Nedeljković, Stoja Vavan, Dragana Stajić, Mirjana Panjković and Verica Milanović. Now, Marina Karadžić and Vesna Stanković work at the Department.
Previously, as support staff at the Department worked Đurđa Bošnjaković, Danica Milenković, Olga Paunović, Jelica Ilić, Milka Radak and Kata Kostov, while today Nada Radomirović and Petra Blagojević are employed.
From its beginning till the present time, the Department has been conducting and continuously improving undergraduate and postgraduate education. Specialist study in Medical Biochemistry has been holding since 1953, while since 1960 it was recognized as health specialization. In 2012 academic specialist study “Biochemical Diagnostics” was established. The Department is also dedicated to postgraduate master and PhD studies. Such preferences resulted in extensive scientific work, as well as in huge number of successfully finished master and PhD theses. The Department has been constantly participating in realization of scientific projects financed by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development. In addition, the Department intensively collaborates with respectable national and international scientific and professional institutions.
In 1987, Faculty of Pharmacy and University Clinical Centre made an agreement according to which teaching staff of the Faculty can be employed both at the Faculty and the Clinical Centre of Serbia. Based on this agreement, after constitution of Clinical-Laboratory Service, Prof. Nada Majkić-Singh was appointed the Head of Clinical-Laboratory Service, and today Prof. Svetlana Ignjatović, Prof. Violeta Dopsaj and Prof. Duško Mirković are employed in both institutions. As a result, laboratories of Clinical Centre of are used for practical classes. This collaboration gives students an opportunity to train in highly equipped professional environment.
Today the Department of Medical Biochemistry successfully organizes theoretical and practical classes at both study programs. Thank to the advanced equipment and competent staff, the Department continuously develops scientific work and cooperation with relevant national and international institutions.
* Data on history of the Department were taken and adapted form the book: Majkić-Singh N, Đurđević J, Kavarić J. Razvoj medicinske biohemije u Jugoslaviji. Publisher: Društvo medicinskih biohemičara Jugoslavije, Page 289, 1998, ID – 49393932.