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The Institute of General and Comparative Physiology of the University of Vienna was founded by Hans Bornschein and was then headed by Astrid Kafka-Lützow.

After her retirement, it was merged with the Institute of Medical Physiology in the year 2000.

The Institute of Neuropharmacology was founded in 1978 under Christoph Stumpf, Professor of Neuropharmacology, and was closed after his retirement in 1999. Some members joined the Institute of Pharmacology, others the Center for Brain Research. Now, the members of these former Institutes are united in this Department.