- The School of Pharmacology ‘Teófilo Hernando’ (SPTH) was initiated in 1996, in the frame of the summer courses of the UIMP. At that time, Rector José Luis García Delgado invited professor Antonio G. García (Autonomous University of Madrid and Instituto Fundación Teófilo Hernando) to organise this School. The courses are held at the magnificent Palace of la Magdalena, located on top of a hill at the Peninsula of La Magdalena.
- The format of a UIMP’s School (“Escuela”) is based in the critical analysis in the frontier of knowledge of a given scientific topic, along a week (Monday to Friday) by scientists and students of all over the world. The School was named as “Teófilo Hernando” to honor this Spanish MD/PhD pharmacologist who was trained under Oswald Schmiedeberg at Strassbourg, the first formal Pharmacology School where many pharmacologists were trained at the beginning of the XX century and then developed the subject of basic and clinical pharmacology all over the world. Teófilo Hernando introduced pharmacology as an independent teaching and science subject at the Central University of Madrid, along the first four decades of the XX century. He trained numerous other disciples that extended the subject to many other Spanish universities along the XX century.
- Since 1996, 19 editions of the SPTH have been held. Over 100 scientists and over 400 PhD students and postdocs have since then attended the SPTH. The subjects of the subsequent schools were as follows:
- Drugs and their receptors (1996)
- Drugs for the brain (1997)
- Clinical trials in Spain (2000)
- Biotechnological drugs (2001)
- Alzheimer’s disease (2002)
- Drugs and cardiovascular risk (2003)
- Chronic inflammation and osteoarthritis (2008)
- Neurodegenerative diseases (2009)
- The language of neurons (2010)
- Neuroprotection and neuroreparation of the injured brain (2011)
- New concepts and strategies for neuroprotection (2012)
- Brain damage and repair (2013)
- Frontier drug discovery in brain disease (2014)
- New therapeutic targets in brain disease (2015)
- Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases: pharmaco-therapeutic advances (2016)
- Undertanding the Human Brain (2017)
- Frontier Therapies in Brain Deseases: Focus on Purinergic Signalling (2018)
- Frontier Biomarkers and Drug Discovery for the Early Diagnosis and Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease (2019)
- Advanced Therapies for Human Disease (2022)
- Retina degeneration: frontier therapies to prevent blindnes (2023)
XX International School of Pharmacology “Teófilo Hernando”, Palacio de La Magdalena (Santander, Spain), July 17-21, 2023: “Retina degeneration: frontier therapies to prevent blindnes”.
Know more about Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo and its summer courses:
Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (UIMP) and The Summer “Teófilo Hernando’s” School of Pharmacology:
- The Summer International University was created on August 23, 1932 as a result of the approval of a foundational decree proposed by the Minister for Public Education and Arts, Fernando de los Rios. Courses started in 1933 under the leadership of Ramón Menéndez Pidal and Blas Cabrera from 1934 to 1936 and the poet Pedro Salinas as Secretary General. This could explain the strong emphasis in humanities and Spanish language courses as well as in political, economical and social sciences. However, the Summer University has also traditionally hosted advanced courses in physics, chemistry, mathematics, medical and other sciences.
- In the 1940s the University adopted its current name, after Marcelino Menéndez Pelayo, a Spanish historian born in Santander, where the most traditional and famous campus of this University is located. The “Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo” (UIMP) was created to foster a better relationship between professors and doctoral and postdoctoral students, during summer courses that lasted several weeks and at its earlier time, during the whole summer. The idea was to create an informal atmosphere for discussion and analysis of different topics in the frontier of knowledge. This strongly contributed to the intellectual maturation of young university students as well as to the development of a critical and liberal attitude toward problems and people, in an atmosphere of open spirit and intellectual relevance.
During the last decades UIMP has diversified the type of courses and activities, of short (few days, one week) and longer duration (weeks to months) and has recently established PhD programmes in collaboration with the National Research Council (CSIC) and other private and public institutions. Eighty years after its foundation, the UIMP is still a benchmark in the Spanish educational arena.
UIMP has different campuses throughout Spain and courses are held along the year. UIMP directly depends on the Spanish Ministry of Education that elects its Rector among renowned University Professors.
- For more information visit
UIMP siteSummer Courses in la Magdalena Palace:
- The most famous campus of UIMP is La Magdalena Palace, located in Santander, North of Spain.
- This palace was built at the beginning of the XX century and was gifted by the city of Santander to the Royal Family (Alfonso the XIIIth), for his summer vacations. This helped to develop Santander, and its beaches and mountains surroundings as one of the most beautiful tourist sites of Spain. In fact, Santander is actually considered as one of the most beautiful cities of Spain due to the extraordinary combination of mountains, the Atlantic Ocean, the green and colourful gardens and the forests of Cantabria, the Autonomous Spanish Community having as capital Santander. Professors and students coming from abroad get unanimously astonished with the beauty of the Magdalena Palace, surrounded by forest, beaches (i.e. the famous “El Sardinero” beach) and beautiful and well kept colourful gardens where professors and students can gather together, in the lecture hall, at the restaurants or walking in the surroundings of the palace and the Caballerizas, the place where the horses were kept at the time of the Royal family vacations, now a residency and some lecture halls.
Opinions of some professors and students that attendedthe Summer “Teófilo Hernando’s” School of Pharmacology:
“It was the first time to attend any summer school, and I feel no hesitation to say that this is one of the best experiences I ever had. Being among PhD students, postdoctoral fellows and professors for a week was indeed an amazing experience. All talks from the various professors gave me the opportunity to learn a lot in the field of neurosciences”.
Akbar Zeb, PhD student (Tartu University, Estonia. July 2012)
“I was really impressed by the warmth of feeling between the students and the general sense of good will and camaraderie. I am also fascinated by the strategy of using poetry which I found quite inspirational”.
Michael Duchen, Professor of Physiology (University College London, UK. July 2011)
“I have learned that we still have a long way to go before we can understand the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases and to develop an effective neuroprotective treatment. The School was organised with expert professors in the field and we had the opportunity of closely interacting with them. Furthermore, I had the opportunity with other young students, of presenting my recent work”.
Patricia García Parra, Postdoctoral fellow (Hospital Donostia, University of the Basque Country, Spain. July 2012)
“I was lucky attending the XI edition of the Teófilo Hernando’s School of Pharmacology last July 2012. It gave me the opportunity to learn new concepts in the frontier of knowledge, from first class neuroscientists from all over the world. Good science, a friendship atmosphere and poetry were an interesting mix that allowed me to learn and amusing myself. I am looking forward to attend future editions of the School”.
Enrique Calvo Gallardo, PhD student (Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain. July 2013)