Organic and Pharmaceutical Chemistry (1941-1969)

since 1969: Institute of Organic Chemistry

since 1969: Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry


The institute was placed at Universitätsplatz 1 (= Halbärthgasse 5 = Schubertstrasse 1)
Pic of Schubertstrasse-old building
Photo of the institute building: view from the Universitätsplatz.

Time Chairmen, coworkers and events Portraits, photos and links
1943-1963

In 1941, from the chemistry institute (consisting of inorganic, analytical, organic and pharmaceutical chemistry), pharmaceutical chemistry was separated with Alois ZINKE as head of this institute (Physical chemistry was a separate institute since 1923). In 1943, after Skrabal´s retirement, the chemistry institute was again splitted into the institutes of inorganic and analytical chemistry, institute of organic chemistry and institute of pharmaceutical chemistry. Zinke was during this time director of both of the last 2 institutes. In 1945, both institutes were combined to the institute of organic and pharmaceutical chemistry.

In the first years under Zinke´s guidance, the institute building and some of the equipment was renovated (see link to photos of the renovated labs in the right bar).

Alois ZINKE (born 1892 in Bärnbach/Styria, +1963 in Graz) the head of this institute, got his doctoral degree in 1915 as student of Scholl. In 1920 he obtained the venia legendi for organic chemistry and moved 1922 to the university of technology in Graz as professor of organic-chemical technology. Since 1927 he was at the chemistry institute of the Karl-Franzens-university as professor of pharmaceutic chemistry. His research interests were besides some natural products polyfused aromatic compounds (influenced by Scholl) and later phenol-formaldehyde resins. In this context Zinke discovered the calixarenes, a compound class which has found much interest nowadays again (see link at the right bar).

In this time Zinke became an important and influential person at the university. Together with Kratky, head of the institute of physical and theoretical chemistry, Zinke planned a new building for organic and physical chemistry in the Heinrichstrasse to overcome the lack of laboratory place (after the second world war an enormous increase of students was observed - especially from Germany, where many universities were destroyed); so there were about 30 students of chemistry and 100 students of pharmacy in the labs.
Whereas immediately after the end of the second world war the new Austrian government gave enormous funds for the university (supported by the European recovery program), the staff increased only slowly because there were not enough chemists available who were both qualified and politically clean.

In this era many chemists got the venia for organic or pharmaceutical chemistry:

Franz HANUS (born 1914 in Graz, +1985 in Graz) got his doctoral degree in 1936 as student of Zinke. in 1942 he obtained the venia legendi for organic and pharmaceutical chemistry. Later he worked at Vianova Kunstharz AG in Graz. His research work dealt mainly with phenol-formaldehyd-resins.

Friedrich ASINGER (born 1907 in Freiland, Lower Austria) got his doctoral degree in 1932 at the university of technology in Vienna. In 1942 he obtained the venia legendi for organic chemistry. After the Second World War he worked at the technical university of Dresden and Aachen in the research field of petrochemistry.

Erich ZIEGLER, later head of organic and pharmaceutical chemistry and then of organic chemistry.

Gustav ZIGEUNER, later head of pharmaceutical chemistry.

Robert OTT (born 1923 in Graz) got his doctoral degree in 1951 as student of Zinke. He obtained in 1963 the venia for organic and pharmaceutical chemistry. His research dealt in former years with polyfused aromatics, then resin and in pharmaceutical chemistry quinones.

Ludwig ZECHNER (born 1894 in Graz, +1983 in Graz) got his doctoral degree in 1918 as student of Kremann and Zinke. In 1946 he obtained the venia for pharmaceutical chemistry. His research interest was directed to the isolation of natural plant products.

Marius REBEK (born 1889 in Triest, +1982 in Graz) got his doctoral degree in 1913 at the university of Vienna. In 1920 he obtained the venia for organic chemistry at the university of Laibach. After the second world war he researched and teached at the university of Graz in the field of chemical technology, especially cellulose chemistry.

One of the most important students of Zinke was Herbert HÖNEL (born 1890 in Graz, +1990 in Graz), who got his doctoral degree in 1913 as student of Zinke. He founded the Vianova Kunstharz AG in 1948/49 in Graz, (later Hoechst/Vianova, Monsanto/Solutia, Union Chimique Bruxelles/Surface Specialities and now Cytec/Surface Specialties). Hönel worked from 1948-1952 in Zinkes laboratory on water soluble resins.


Organic labs in the fifties.
Papers about calixarenes
Pic of Zinke
Alois Zinke
Pic of Hanus
Franz Hanus
Pic of Ott
Robert Ott
Pic of Rebek
Marius Rebek
1963-1969

As head of the institute after Zinke's death followed Erich ZIEGLER (born 1912 in Marburg/Drau, +1993 in Graz). (venia). He got his doctoral degree in 1938 as student of Zinke. In 1942 he obtained the venia legendi for organic and pharmaceutical chemistry. Ziegler's research interests were in the beginning polycyclic aromats and phenole formaldehyde resins and later syntheses of heterocycles.

In 1969, the institute of organic and pharmaceutical chemistry was splitted, and Ziegler moved with organic chemistry into the new chemistry building at Heinrichstrasse. Gustav ZIGEUNER was appointed as professor of pharmaceutical chemistry and remained with this institute in the old chemistry building.

In Ziegler´s era of organic and pharmaceutical chemistry the following chemists got their venia legendi:

Hans JUNEK (born 1929 in Zürich), later head of organic chemistry), got his doctoral degree in 1955 as student of Ziegler. In 1964 he obtained the venia legendi for organic chemistry.

Helga WITTMANN (nee Zinke, born 1921 in Graz) got her doctoral degree in 1955 as student of Zinke. She obtained in 1966 the venia legendi for organic chemistry. Her research fields were diazonium compounds, amino acids and betaines.

Thomas KAPPE (born 1933 in Salzuflen, Germany) got his venia legendi in 1967. His main research fields were reactions with "magic malonates", charged heterocycles (mesoions, ylides), rearrangements of heterocycles, sulfidation reactions and syntheses of natural products.

pic. of Ziegler
Erich Ziegler
pic. of Wittmann
Helga Wittmann
pic. of Kappe
Thomas Kappe