The Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences was established thanks to the far-sighted policy approach and the organizational energy of professor Józef Heller. Together with professor Włodzimierz Niemierko, he played a central role in the process of reviving the research fields of biochemistry and animal physiology in Poland after the disaster of World War II. Professor Heller led the Committee of Biochemistry and Biophysics PAS since its establishment in 1952 and he collected information about researchers who had survived the war. They were based mainly in Wrocław in the group of prof. Tadeusz Baranowski and in Gdańsk in the group of prof. Włodzimierz Mozołowski, both of whom were former students of professor Jakub Parnas, a great scientist and head of the Department of Medical Chemistry at the University in Lwów.
In 1954, two years after the establishment of the Polish Academy of Sciences, prof. Heller launched the Department of Biochemistry PAS, as part of the National Institute of Hygiene. This event was the basis for the future establishment of the Institute. The Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics was officially launched in 1957 as a federation of several labs dispersed over Warsaw and Gdańsk: the Laboratory of Evolutionary Biochemistry was located within the Medical Department of the Warsaw University, the Laboratory of Plant Biochemistry was located at the Higher Agricultural School (now the Warsaw University of Life Sciences), the Laboratory of Microbial Biochemistry was located in Oczki Street in Warsaw, while the Laboratory of Biochemical Pathology, which was concentrating mainly on tuberculosis research, was located in Gdańsk. The Institute pursued a broad, multidirectional research programme, as Józef Heller later reflected: “…it was better to be moving in multiple directions. That was because I was thinking about the future, about educating specialists in many fields of biochemistry.“
The dispersed groups moved into a common building in 1963. They were located in Rakowiecka Str. 36, in a building belonging to the Institute of Fermentation Technology (now Institute of Agricultural and Food Biotechnology) and other food technology institutes This was an important step in introducing in vivo research approaches in the Institute. The change of profile from physiological towards molecular research was possible thanks to the fact that now all research groups were working together, under one roof, and that the Institute received additional financial support which allowed purchasing state-of-the-art research equipment. In 1993 the Institute finally moved to its own building, in the current location at Pawińskiego Str. 5A in Warsaw, and initiated further development of the research profile, now including bioinformatics.