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In Memory of a Bright Academic Personality

Yesterday, the Academic Council of MU – Varna voted unanimously in favour of the suggestion of Prof. Anton Tonchev, MD, D.Sc., the Head of the Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, the 1st Auditorium at the University to be named after Prof. Dr. Vanko Vankov. This is the Auditorium, where Prof. Vankov, who had a major contribution to the foundation and development of the University, used to deliver his lectures for more than three decades.

Who is Prof. Vanko Vankov?

Prof. Vankov (Associate Professor, at that time) came to Varna in April 1962 from the Department of Anatomy in Sofia. Under his management, the initiative for the establishment of the Department of Anatomy was launched at the newly inaugurated Higher Medical Institute in Varna. The foundations of high quality training were laid during that period. Training and dissection halls were furnished and equipped. Prof. Vankov wrote and published the mimeographed textbook "Human Anatomy", in 4 parts, which serves as a basis for the textbook on Human Anatomy used nowadays, published in twelve editions. Rich collections of training preparations were created. Moreover, two anatomical museums were established - unique museum collections of organs and bones, the pride of the Department and an invaluable training tool for the students to the present day. In 1973 Prof. Vankov accomplished the unification of the separate, at that time, Department of Anatomy and Department of Histology in a single Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, which he managed until 1988.

After coming to Varna, Prof. Vankov created a Research School for Vascular Morphology in Normal and Pathological Conditions, as a continuation of his research interests. His candidate dissertation, defended in 1959, was entitled: "Towards the Theory of the Issue of Arterial Variability of the Upper Limb" (supervisor Prof. Kadanov) and his doctoral dissertation, defended in 1968 in Leningrad, was entitled "Structure and Vascularization of the Walls of the Veins and Their Valves". He obtained a Professor habilitation the same year. Twelve candidate dissertations were defended under his supervision. Nine of his associates were habilitated - six Associate Professors and three Professors. He is the author of 140 scientific publications and two monographs, published both in the country and abroad. He was the President of the Association of Anatomists, Histologists and Embryologists in Bulgaria for two terms.

A tremendous amount of work related to the completion and equipment of the so-called Therapeutic block was accomplished at the time when Prof. Vankov was the Rector of the Medical University of Varna (in the period of 1983-1987).

Prof. Vankov received a number of awards and honours. He was awarded with the medal "St. St. Cyril and Methodius" – 1st degree, the Honorary Sign of the Medical Academy, the Honorary Sign of the Union of Scientists in Bulgaria. He received the honorary title "Honoured Figure of Science" and Doctor Honoris Causa of Medical University – Varna and became an Honorable Citizen of the City of Varna.

Prof. Vankov was a broad-minded and bright academic personality - intelligent, erudite, fair and consistent, hard-working, a capable leader and an undisputed authority. He was one of the emblematic figures of Medical University - Varna from 1962 until his death in September 2009. The proposal to name the 1st Auditorium after his name is a symbol of continuity and giving tribute to a man whose life and creative energy were entirely dedicated to MU-Varna and whose name deserves to be remembered for generations.