Zoltán Janka was born in 1949. His elementary and seconday schools were in Jászberény, Hungary, and he graduated in the Lehel Vezér Grammar-school in 1968. After receiving the medical doctoral diploma at the Szeged University Medical School, Hungary, he got a tenure at the Department of Neurology and Psychiatry of this university (later as Albert Szent-Györgyi University Medical School, and again as University of Szeged). He became professor and chairman of this department from July 1, 1993, and after separation (1998), the chairman of Department of Psychiatry until Sept 28, 2014, where he is currently professor. He did specializations in neurology and psychiatry. He got scientific degrees as PhD in 1986, habilitation in 1996, and Doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (DSc) in 2006. Between 1980-82 he worked as a postdoctoral fellow in Perth, Australia. Further educations were made in Sweden (1987) and in England (1991). Focuses of his scientific interests are the molecular and pharmacodynamic aspects of the biological underpinnings of mental disorders. He held 998 lectures; the number of his scientific publications is 364, with a cumulative impact factor 531.178. Fifteen students obtained PhD under his supervision. For scientific and teaching activities he received numerous grants, scholarships, and merits. He got teaching awards from students (15 times) and from the Medical Faculty (4 times). For publications he received the scientific awards I.Hollós, Medicina, Best Publication of Clinical Neuroscience, and G.Nyírő (twice). He was elected as an Hononary Citizen of Jászberény City in 2007. For medical work the L.Batthyány-Strattmann Award was given to him in 2009, and a Presidential Praise by the Albert Szent-Györgyi Clinical Center in 2012. He was merited with F.Kulka Medal and Award (for teaching) in 2012, with A.Szent-Györgyi Medal and Award in 2014, and M.Jancsó Medal and Award (for research) in 2017, by the Faculty of Medicine, University of Szeged. In 2014 he received the G.Oláh Life Achievement Award from the Hungarian Psychiatric Association and in 2018 the L.Markusovszky Award from the scientific journal Orvosi Hetilap (Medical Weekly).
Born in Dorog, Hungary in 1943, he graduated from Radnóti Miklós Grammar School and in 1966 received his diploma in biology and chemistry from József Attila University (JATE) in Szeged. After graduation, he worked in JATE’s Electron Microscope Laboratory. In 1970 he joined the Szeged Biological Research Centre, he was a researcher and later the head of the Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory. He was the deputy director of the Biophysics Institute between 1994 and 2009 and served as the director of the UNESCO and ICRO International Training Course (ITC) for more than ten years. He has been professor emeritus at the Szeged Biological Research Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences since 2013.
He defended his doctoral thesis in 1970, and in 1972 received a doctorate summa cum laude in a Promotio sub auspiciis Rei Publicae Popularis ceremony. He received his PhD in 1982 and the title “Doctor of Biological Sciences” in 1994. He became a tenured private professor at the University of Szeged in 1995. His area of interest includes the effect of sex hormones on synaptic plasticity and neuroprotective mechanisms. In addition to his research, he has constantly been involved in teaching. His work abroad includes a research fellowship at the Pharmacology Institute at the University of Milan in Italy (1974) and positions as a guest professor at McMaster University in Canada (1974-75) and later the University of Geneva in Switzerland (1982‑83 and 1991-92), the University of Göttingen in Germany (1982-99), and the Cajal Institute in Madrid (1995-2009). He has been the principal investigator and participant of numerous Hungarian and international research projects.
He plays an active role in scientific life, participating as a reviewer or committee member in many postgraduate, doctoral and habilitation processes. He is a member of the IUBS Hungarian National Committee, the University of Szeged Habilitation Committee and the University of Szeged Doctoral Committee. He plays an exceptionally active role in scientific education, and was a member of the executive committee of the Szeged Biological Society. He has received several professional honours and awards: the Ábrahám Ambrus Medal (1997), the Szentágothai János Prize (2004), the Entz Géza Medal (1995) and the Knight’s Cross of the Republic of Hungary (2008).