Eduards Otto Zariņš (1876–1947) is known as the founder of higher pharmaceutical education in Latvia in the first half of the 20th century. Former scientist, educator and public figure.

When the University of Latvia was founded in 1919, Professor Eduards Zariņš was the first to point out the need for the Department of Pharmacy within the university. Facts about his work in establishing the University of Latvia and the Department of Pharmacy can be found in almost all publications.

E. Zariņš was born on 19 November 1876 in Jaunrauna parish, Šautuves farmstead. After graduating from Cēsis Real School in 1896, he began his apprenticeship at the pharmacy in Astrakhan. E. Zariņš received the diploma of pharmacist assistant in 1899 at Kazan University. In 1902, he entered the University of Tartu and obtained his pharmaceutist’s diploma in 1904. He wanted to specialize in analytical chemistry as well as nutrition and pleasure chemistry, so he went to Wiesbaden, where he studied and worked with the famous chemist Carl Remigius Fresenius. In 1907, E. Zariņš returned to Russia, settled in St. Petersburg and remained there until 1919. In 1908 he defended his master's thesis in pharmacy.

In April 1919, E. Zariņš managed to leave Soviet Russia and arrived in Riga. Here he became involved in the organizational work at the Higher School of Latvia. As early as in 1919, he served as dean of both the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, but later transferred to the Faculty of Chemistry. Together with his peers of the Subcommittee of Pharmacy Department, E. Zariņš secured the opening of the Pharmacy Department under the auspices of the Faculty of Chemistry. The Department of Nutrition and Pleasure Chemistry, the Department of Pharmacognosy, the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and later the Department of Applied Pharmacy were established. E. Zariņš also made efforts to attract the best lecturers to the training of pharmacists by choosing Eduards Svirlovskis (1871–1936), Jānis Kupcis (1871–1936), Jānis Maizītis (1883–1950), Dāvis Blūmentāls (1871–1937) as his colleagues, and together they developed curricula for pharmaceutical studies. At the initiative of E. Zariņš, a pharmacy of the University of Latvia was opened in 1923, which he managed until he left for Germany.

At the end of the World War II, he went into exile to Germany, where he died on 23 July 1947, in Ladeh (now part of the city of Petershagen).


Eduards Zariņš expressed the wish that his property "Šautuves" in Priekuļi district be given to the University of Latvia.

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