About BRC - History - Péter Friedrich

Péter Friedrich

Budapest, 15 June 1936
Biochemist, Academician, Széchenyi Prize Winner

Director of the Institute of Enzimology of the BRC of the HAS („MTA”):
1990 – 2006


Péter Friedrich graduated from the Faculty of General Medicine of Budapest Medical University in 1960 as an MD. He joined biochemistry research projects already as an undergraduate student, in the Medical Chemistry Institute led by Brunó Straub F. He was granted a gold medal for his work done during his university years in the Students’ Scholarly Circle. In the 1962, he was admitted to the Biochemistry Institute of the HAS („MTA”) (today: Enzymology Institute of the BRC) and has been working there ever since: until 1967 as a research fellow, from 1969 as a Senior Research Fellow and since 1983 as a Scientific Advisor. In 1985, he was appointed Deputy Director and later, in 1989, Director of the Institute, which position he filled in until 2008. His fields of research encompassed the structure, functions and supra-molecular organisation of enzymes and the molecular foundations of learning and memory. In the year 1982, he was awarded the Doctor of Biological Sciences title. In 1993 he was elected a corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences („MTA”) and has been a full HAS member since 1998. Since 1985, he has been an Honorary Professor of József Attila University (now called Szeged University). In 1967-68, he studied at the Institute of Biochemistry of Oxford University with an EMBO scholarship and, between 1975 and 1976, he was a UNESCO consultant at Alexandria University, Egypt. From 1986 until 1990, he worked as Vice President and, between 1990 and 2005, as President of the Hungarian Biochemistry Association. Since 2005, he has been the Honorary President of the Association. Between 1990 and 1993, he was the Chairman of the Federation of European Biochemistry Societies (FEBS). From 1996 until 2002, he led the Biological Sciences Section of the HAS („MTA”). He is a member of numerous other Hungarian and foreign scientific bodies. The following prizes recognise the achievements made during his career: Academy Prize (1983), MTESZ Prize (1998), Ipolyi Arnold Prize (1998), Széchenyi Prize (1999), Pázmány Péter Prize (2005), Tankó Béla Prize (2005), Diplome d’ Honneur (2005, FEBS), Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, Medium Cross (“Magyar Köztársasági Érdemrend Középkeresztje”). His main works are the following books: Supra-molecular Enzyme Organization: Quaternary Structure and Beyond (Pergamon, Akadémiai, 1984) and The Molecular Biology of Learning and Memory (Akaprint, 1999). Scientific lecture tours: United States (1980, 1990: 2x1 month), Japan (1991, 2 weeks), Germany (1985, 1 month).