Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology

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The Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology is a Polish scientific research organization and a part of Polish Academy of Sciences headquartered in Warsaw, Poland. Founded in 1918, it is a leading institution in the country in the field of neurobiology, molecular biology and biochemistry.

Early history[edit]

It was founded in 1918/19, shortly after the reestablishment of Poland as an independent country. It was based on three pre-existing laboratories affiliated with the Scientific Society of Warsaw (Towarzystwo Naukowe Warszawskie): Laboratory of Neurobiology (in existence since 1911), Laboratory of Physiology (in existence since 1913) and Laboratory of General Biology (established in 1918). Formation and development of the Institute was supported in part by a donation of Nadine Sieber-Shumova, a close co-worker of Marceli Nencki from Berne and St. Petersburg.[1]

Over the next two decades the Institute gained prominence in the field of biological research in Poland.[citation needed] One of its major figures was the neurophysiologist Jerzy Konorski who discovered secondary conditioned reflexes. The outbreak of World War II interrupted a period of its intensive expansion in the field of experimental biology, over a dozen of the Institute's staff lost their lives, and its premises (including most of its 30,000-volume library) was destroyed.

Post World War II[edit]

The surviving staff members (professors Jan Dembowski, Jerzy Konorski, and Włodzimierz Niemierko) re-established the Nencki Institute. In 1952 the Institute was incorporated into the newly founded Polish Academy of Sciences, and the Institute's director, Prof. Dembowski, became the first President of the Academy. During the period 1953-55, a newly erected building at 3 Pasteur Street in Warsaw became the new home of the Nencki Institute.

Recent developments[edit]

In 1990, the Institute was invited to become a member institution of the Global Network for Molecular and Cell Biology (MCBN) within UNESCO. The Institute hires new researchers and awards approximately 15 doctoral degrees annually and is competitive in securing external funding for research projects.[citation needed] Two European Centres of Excellence were recently formed within the Institute. The Institute has a PhD programme shared with the Warsaw School of Social Psychology SWPS.

Notable academics[edit]

Some researchers from Nencki Instute are among the leading Polish academics.


  1. ^ (1994). 75th ANNIVERSARY of the NENCKI INSTITUTE OF EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY. Acta Neurobiol. Exp. , 54: 163-200

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