Medicinal plants already played an important role in the training of pharmacists in the last century. Nees von Eisenbeck was botanist. The curriculum of the private Pharmaceutical Institute of Marquart contained the lectures of  general botany (Prof. Treviranus) in the summer semesters and the lectures of medicinal-pharmaceutical botany (Dr. Seubert) in the winter semesters at the univeristy. In addition there was a demonstration of living plants (Dr. Seubert) as well as botanic excursions. Also in the following decades the education of the pharmacy students in botany and pharmacognosy was done by botanists.

In 1948 Maximilian Steiner from Munich was appointed to a new extraordinariate of the Botanic Institute to teach the pharmacists in "Systematic botany and pharmacognosy. Steiner started a new developement of pharmacognosy at the University of Bonn: 1951 he was appointed as full professor of Pharmacognosy and the Institute of Pharmacognosy was founded which today is the Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology. For the first it was located in a part of the building Nußallee 2 (Institute of Botany), in 1964the institute moved to the new building Nußallee 6. In 1971 the institute again extended to the AVI I, Endenicher Allee 11-13, where nowadays are the course and internship rooms.

With the rising number of students and due to the changed license regulations (1971)  a new professorship for pharmaceutical biology was needed. It was appointed by Karl-Werner Glombitza in 1974.

In 1973 Horst Kating from Marburg became successor of Maximilian Steiner and his successor in 1983 was Eckhard Leistner from Münster.

After retiring of K.-W. Glombitza in 1999 Gabriele M. König from Braunschweig became successor in the same year.

In 2006 Eva Kostenis became successor of Eckhard Leistner who was released in February 2006.

In the years 1989 to 1992 the building Nußallee 6 was modernized thoroughly, Nußallee 2 in they years 2000-2001. Today the institute introduces itself as a modern research and teaching facility. Research and teaching deal with pharmaceutical products produced from animals, plants and microorganisms.

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