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Institute of the History of Pharmacy and Medicine

Picture of the institute building at Roter Graben 10 in Marburg, taken from Roter Graben, showing St. Elizabeth's Church in the background.
Photo: Regina Gerlach-Riehl
Institute building at Roter Graben 10 in Marburg with St. Elizabeth's Church in the background.

The Institute of the History of Pharmacy and Medicine is a special feature of the Philipps-Universität Marburg. It is the only independent institution in the German-speaking world where the history of pharmacy and medicine are represented together. Teaching and research tasks are carried out by an interdisciplinary team of natural scientists and humanities scholars. The Institute supervises the non-experimental disciplines of the basic and advanced studies in pharmacy regulated by the licensing orders, and it represents the entire spectrum of medical history teaching for students of human medicine and dentistry in the pre-clinical and clinical sections.

In addition, the Institute offers graduates of natural science subjects - especially pharmacists - a two-semester postgraduate qualification course in the history of science, which is also attended by those interested in doctoral studies in human and dental medicine. The introduction of an interdisciplinary Master's programme is planned. After completing the qualification course, students have the opportunity to work on a dissertation in the history of pharmacy, medicine or natural sciences and to complete it with a doctorate degree (Dr. rer. nat./Dr. med./Dr. med. dent. or Dr. rer. med.). Furthermore, the responsibility of the Institute also extends to the supervision of pharmaceutical and medical collections. In addition to teaching, research and public relations are important tasks of the Institute for the History of Pharmacy and Medicine.


Topics of teaching and research in the broader framework of the history of science are primarily

  • Methodological approaches to linking cultural and natural sciences
  • History of disciplines of knowledge
  • Concepts of body, disease and healing
  • History of prescription literature
  • History of medicine
  • Traditional medicinal plants
  • Ethics and aesthetics of knowledge acquisition and knowledge transfer
  • Provenance research on collection objects
  • Medicine under National Socialism
  • History of psychiatry
  • Art from a Psychiatric Context in Historical Perspective
  • History of Anatomy