The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 52: 121 - 134 (2008)

Vol 52, Issue 2-3

Special Issue: Developmental Biology in Poland

Mammalian and avian embryology at Warsaw University (Poland) from XIX century to the present

Published: 14 February 2008

Andrzej K. Tarkowski*, Marek Maleszewski, Teresa Rogulska, Maria A. Ciemerych and Ewa Borsuk

Department of Embryology, Institute of Zoology, Faculty of Biology, Warsaw University


In this article, we describe the history (between the XIX century and World War II) of embryological research conducted at Warsaw University, together with current research activities being carried out at the Department of Embryology. During the partition of Poland, the Imperial (Russian) Warsaw University conducted research on avian embryology (and to a smaller extent, on reptilian embryology). When Poland regained independence in 1918, these studies were continued under the Chair of Comparative Anatomy headed by Professor Jan Tur. A new Department of Embryology created in 1954 was first headed by Professor Stanislaw Bilewicz and since 1964 by Professor Andrzej Tarkowski, who in 2003 was succeeded by Dr. Marek Maleszewski D.Sc. During the last 45 years, embryological research at Warsaw University has concentrated mainly on mammalian development with special emphasis on the regulative capabilities of early embryos and also on experimental chimaeras, nucleo-cytoplasmic interactions in oogenesis and early embryogenesis (including regulation of DNA replication and transcription), experimental parthenogenesis and fertilization.


mouse, regulative development, chimaerism, cell lineage, fertilization

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