DR. LUMIR ONDREJ HANUS
Lumír Ondrej Hanus is a Czech analytic chemist and a leading authority in the field of cannabis research. In 1992, he and William Anthony Devane isolated and first described the structure of anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitter.
Doc. RNDr. Lumir Ondrej Hanus, DrSc., Dr.h.c. Lumír Hanus was born in 1947 in Olomouc, in what was then Czechoslovakia. He is a distant relative of a Czech chemist Josef Hanus (1872–1955).
In 1966, Hanus entered as a student the Faculty of Science of Palacky University Olomouc. In 1970, a professor Zdenek Krejci of the Faculty of Medicine’s Department of hygiene and epidemiology (where the anti-bacterial effects of cannabis were described in 1955) needed an aid, and the undergraduate Hanus started to work as Krejci’s assistant on research of cannabis and hashish in December of that year. There, Hanus also met professors Jan Kabelik and Frantisek Santavý, who together with Krejci laid down the foundations to research of cannabis and its curative effects. From 1971, Hanus grew cannabis for research purposes on two fields in the Research Institute of Vegetable Growing and Breeding in Olomouc. The extracts were used also at the Faculty Hospital Olomouc as a cure for aphthous ulcer, herpes simplex, herpes zoster, and pressure ulcers.
Hanus graduated as Master of Science in 1972 and continued academic career in Olomouc. In 1974, he obtained Doctorate in Science in Olomouc. He pursued his academic and research activities at Olomouc University until 1990. Hanus also took part in research at the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences and continued post-graduate research study at the Jan Evangelista Purkyne University in Brno (today Masaryk University). In years 1978–1979, he worked as research associate of University of Mississippi, focusing not only on cannabis, but also on coca leaves. He became an associate professor in organic chemistry in Olomouc in 1994 and obtained Doctorate of Sciences in pharmaceutical chemistry at Charles University in 1995.
For many years, Hanus was in contact with Israeli cannabis researcher Raphael Mechoulam by letter. Following the Velvet Revolution, Hanus was invited to continue his research at Hebrew University in Israel. In Israel, Hanus and American molecular pharmacologist William Anthony Devane first described, in 1992, the structure of Anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitter. Hanus continues his research in Jerusalem on cannabinoids, endocannabinoids and its derivatives.