Development of Neuroendocrine Research in the Institute of Physiology at the Medical School of the University of Pécs, Hungary

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There was no neurophysiological or endocrinological research tradition in the Institute before World War II. After the death of the former director in 1943, Kálmán Lissák, then associate professor of the Institute of Physiology, University of Debrecen, was appointed to this position. Lissák had studied the cholinergic nature of neural transmission in Otto Loewi’s laboratory in Graz and had been trained in classical neurophysiological techniques in Trendelenburg’s Institute in Berlin between 1933 and 1936. Then he went to Boston and spent nearly 2 years as a Rockefeller Fellow in Walter B. Cannon’s laboratory at the Harvard Medical School. This period was very productive: he studied acetylcholine and epinephrine content in the peripheral vegetative nerves and in the sensory nervous system, and was deeply influenced by Cannon’s concept of the nervous integration of bodily changes and emotions, as well as by the concept of emergency function of the autonomic nervous system.