The institute of pharmacy was established in 1853 at the faculties of philosophy and medicine in Innsbruck. The department of pharmacognosy was created in 1886 by the appointment of Josef MOELLER as head of pharmacology and pharmacognosy. He was mainly interested in morphological aspects of pharmacognosy and was known as one of the most excellent researchers in this area of this time.

In 1893 Josef NEVINNY became professor for pharmacology and pharmacognosy at the University of Innsbruck. Nevinny who mainly worked on pharmacognostical topics acquired the famous “pharmacognostic collection of the pharmacist Josef Dittrich” from Prague (“Pharmakognostische Sammlung des Apothekers Josef Dittrich“) with about 30.000 exhibits, the so called “DITTRICHIANA”.

In 1923 Adolf JARISCH became head of the institute. In his period of office (1925) the two subjects, pharmacognosy and pharmacology, became individual institutes, and it was Ludwig KOFLER who was appointed as professor for the Institute of Pharmacognosy in 1926.

Ludwig Kofler especially focused on microscopic and micro-chemical investigations of natural and synthetic drug substances. His work became famous all over the world by the invention of thermoanalytical instruments for the analysis of substances in micro-amounts: the hot stage microscope (“Koflersches Thermomikroskop”) and the hot bench (“Koflersche Heizbank”) are still essential tools in this field of research. By means of these instruments Kofler identified organic substances mainly by the determination of the melting point and the eutectic melting. A large number of distinguished publications appeared in this area of microscopic methods during his time as head of the institute.