Department of Analytical and Toxicological Chemistry
In 1922, the University of Lithuania was established. Lectures of chemistry (inorganic, organic, analytical and physical) for pharmacy students of the Faculty of Medicine were delivered in particular departments of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Physiological and colloid chemistry were taught in the Department of Physiology and Physiological Chemistry headed by prof. V. Lašas.
In 1944, the Department of Chemistry was founded in the University. In 1951, Kaunas State University (former University of Lithuania) was reorganised into two high schools – Kaunas Medical Institute and Kaunas Polytechnic Institute. All the disciplines of fundamental chemistry for pharmacy students were delivered in the Department of Chemistry. Heads of the Department were A. Gabrėnas (1944-1951) and K. Edigarovas, PhD in biology (1952 – 1953). In 1953, because of an increased number of students, the Department was reorganised into two separate departments: Department of General Chemistry and Department of Biological and Organic Chemistry. At this time, the head of the Department J. Janickis (PhD in chemistry), senior teachers J. Arnastauskas, V. Gubavičius and D. Reingardas as well as assistants B. Navickienė, E. Klimavičienė and M. Padolskis worked in the Department of General Chemistry.
Since 1957, the Department of General Chemistry was headed by J. Arnastauskas. A. Janutytė after completing pharmacy studies and J. Šuliakienė after completing chemical technology (at Kaunas Polytechnic Institute) joined the Department as assistants. Also, after completing their pharmacy studies A. Matulionienė (1960), R. Kelerienė (1963), B. Aleknavičienė (1965) and M. Sapragonienė (1965) joined the Department as new teachers. A physical chemist I. Pivoriūnaitė, who graduated from Vilnius University, started working in 1964. G. Karnišauskaitė started in 1966 after completing her graduate studies and defending her doctoral thesis in Pyatigorsk. Heads of the Department of General Chemistry had a doctoral degree in technical sciences, namely assoc. prof. L. Džekčiorius (1972-1983) and assoc. prof. M. Sapragonienė (1983-1987).
In 1987, the Department of General Chemistry was reorganised into the Department of Analytical and Toxicological Chemistry, headed by prof. P. Vainauskas. Since April 2008, the Department of Analytical and Toxicological Chemistry was headed by prof. L. Ivanauskas.
The scientists of the Department collaborate with scientific and higher education institutions in Lithuania and abroad. Some research problems are solved with colleagues in the University of Montpellier in France, where graduate students improve their knowledge in instrumental analysis. Some investigations are carried out with the colleagues from the Department of Pharmacognosy.
The studies are organised in Lithuanian and English languages for students of the Faculty of Pharmacy (master’s degree) and the Faculty of Medicine (bachelor’s degree in Medical and veterinary biochemistry and Medical and veterinary genetics). In the Department, the studies are organised for graduate students (doctoral degree), too. In the Department, students learn:
1. General and inorganic chemistry (1st year students);
2. Analytical chemistry (1st and 2nd year students);
3. Organic chemistry (1st and 2nd year students);
4. Instrumental analysis (2nd year students);
5. Physical and colloid chemistry (2nd year students);
6. Analytical toxicology (4th year students).
1. Organic synthesis (2nd year students);
2. Bio-inorganic chemistry (2nd year students);
3. Metal toxicology (5th year students).
The study material of all the disciplines is taught in theory and in practice. Theoretical courses are organised with the help of a variety of visual materials. Practical classes take place in the laboratory, where students are introduced to multidisciplinary research methods and equipment.
The main topic of the scientific research in the Department is “Pharmacokinetic and toxicological investigations”. The aim and the tasks are as follows:
- to promote development of modern research techniques in toxicology and pharmacology and the quality assessment of medicinal raw and medicinal products;
- to develop chemical analysis methodologies for medicinal products and adopt them for use in the scientific and industrial area;
- to study bioequivalence of medicines and raw material;
- to develop methodologies for the analysis of impurities, metabolites and various toxins;
- to carry out high-quality research projects;
- to perform contrastive analysis of different natural origin products.
The main areas of activity:
- pharmacokinetic studies of medicinal and toxic compounds in vitro and development and optimisation of methodologies;
- bioequivalence studies;
- analysis of heavy metals and pesticides in medicinal products;
- investigation and validation of analysis methodologies for the determination of drugs in biological objects.
Much attention is given to the main principles in drug synthesis, purity, qualitative and quantitative analysis of synthesised compounds.
In the Department, research is carried out not only by the staff of the Department, but also by graduates and students. Research results are published in Lithuanian and foreign publications.