Symposium 45 Years of Continuous NeurotransmitterResearch in Croatia (1978 – 2023)

Under the auspices of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (HAZU) and supported by the Croatian Pharmacological Society, the scientific symposium on 45 years of continuous neurotransmitter research in Croatia (1978-2023) was held in the HAZU Library in Zagreb with the presence of about 75 participants. This meeting celebrated the 45th anniversary of the establishment of the Laboratory for Molecular Neuropharmacology at the University of Zagreb School of Medicine and the 20th anniversary of the collaboration with colleagues from the Department of Pharmacology, University of Zagreb Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry. Two weeks before the meeting, it was announced that the founder of this Laboratory, Professor Zdravko Lacković received the State Award for Science for lifetime achievement, which contributed to the atmosphere of celebration.
Academician Professor Vida Demarin opened the meeting by emphasizing the importance of basic research, especially for the continuous development of neurology.
Professor Lacković described the path from the establishment of a small laboratory in the attic of the faculty building at Šalata 11 to world-renowned achievements. Professor Lidija Bach-Rojecky and Ivica Matak, Ph.D., briefly presented the discovery that botulinum toxin, a powerful poison, drug, and cosmetic product, reaches the CNS by axonal transport after peripheral application. Then Professor Melita Šalković-Petrišić described the discovery that experimental diabetes caused by streptozotocin
can be studied as a model of sporadic Alzheimer’s disease. This model was additionally discussed by Associate Professor Jelena Osmanović Barilar and Jan Homolak, Ph.D.
Guests from collaborating laboratories in Italy, Professor Marco Pirazzini (Padua) and Professor Eugenio Barone (Rome), spoke about the effect of tetanus toxin and insulin on the brain, respectively. The lecture on the role of cell organelles in brain diseases was held online by Professor Dimitri Krainc from Northwestern University, a member of the American Academy of Medicine and president of the American Society of Neurologists. Academician Professor Peter Riederer (Wuerzburg) spoke about the
oxidative stress in neurodegenerative diseases.
The scientific part of the program was followed by a short informal gathering.

Lidija Bach-Rojecky