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Horbachevsky Readings seminar took place at Ternopil State Medical University

Each year Ternopil State Medical University honors the memory of the famous scientist, public figure and great patriot of Ukraine Ivan Horbachevsky. The University proudly carries the name of this famous Ternopil.  This year the Ternopil State Medical University will celebrate the 162 anniversary of Horbachevsky’s  birth series in a number of events, including Horbatchevsky Readings as well as cycling trip to the estate museum of Ivan  Horbachevsky in the village of Zarubyntsi.

Notably, the Readings organized by over 40 students of dental, medical and pharmaceutical faculties, this year took place on the Day of Traditional Embroidery. In addition to being a remarkable scientist, Ivan Horbachevsky is an example of a patriot and faithful son of his country.


Professor of Medical Biochemistry Yaroslav Honskyi told the participants in detail about the life and research of Ivan Horbachevsky. “He was a true patriot of Ukraine. Even his burial featured the Ukrainian flag. Most of all he loved his fatherland, even though  he spent 67 out of his 87 earthly years living abroad, where he gained international fame and recognition. But the scientists have never shied away from his origins and helped Ukraine  in many ways”, – said Yaroslav Honskyi.

He also told that during Ivan Horbachevsky’s training in one of the high schools of Ternopil he already demonstrated great success in mastering the natural sciences. Horbachevsky graduated from the Medical Faculty of the University of Vienna, where he began his teaching career. Then he worked at the Institute of Medicinal Chemistry. Here in 1882 he first synthesized uric acid from urea and amino acid glycine. It was a discovery of world importance. After this success, the 29-year-old assistant professor was invited for the position on the Medical Faculty of Charles University. Three years later, the scientist has published work on synthesis of creatinine and later discovered the enzyme xanthine oxidase.



During the event, a second-year student of the Medical Faculty Maria Chumadevska recited a poem she wrote about to Ivan Horbachevsky.

Students Nazar Sovirko, Vera Senhuryn and Olena Melnyk gave presentations about the life of the famous scientist. They emphasized that the work of Ivan Horbachevsky was an important contribution to the study of mechanisms and treatment of diseases such as gout. Horbachevsky also successfully worked in the fields of epidemiology, hygiene, general chemistry, forensic medicine and toxicology. He wrote nearly fifty scientific papers, many of which had not lost their scientific significance even today. While these were published in Czech, his textbook on organic chemistry was published in Ukrainian.

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Ivan Horbachevsky became the first Minister of Health in Europe. This office was first created in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and later in Germany, France and England. In time, a representative from Ukrainian People’s Republic visited Ivan Horbachevsky to study his experience in establishing the ministry. The Minister readily shared his strategies organizing this governmental department. However, Ivan Horbachevsky held his ministerial portfolio for only a year. Investigating the situation within the department, he discovered ongoing epidemics, lack of hospitals and medicines in eastern Galicia. The results of this investigation and subsequent program to alleviate the consequences of war between Austrian and Russian empires were unveiled in parliament. However, the Polish representatives did not reciprocate his sense of urgency, and Ivan Horbachevsky resigned. Remarkably,  he remained a member of the Austrian Parliament for life.


Ivan Horbachevsky left the government seat, but he did not abandon science. 1921 he became a professor of chemistry at Vienna’s newly created Free Ukrainian University, and two years later, a Rector of the same institution in Prague. At the same time he also taught chemistry in Ukrainian economic academy in Poděbrady.



Prepared by the press service of Horbachevsky Ternopil State Medical University