Cooperation agreement signed with Tor Vergata University of Rome
29. 10. 2019 |
On Thursday, October 24, 2019, a cooperation agreement between the University of Rome Tor Vergata and The International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne's University Hospital Brno (FNUSA-ICRC) was ceremonially signed with the participation of the President of the South Moravian Region Bohumil Šimek and the Deputy of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Italy.
Tor Vergata University of Rome was founded in 1982. It is a public research institution focusing on new technologies, trends and knowledge. It has more than thirty-four thousand students and is divided into six faculties. Its partners include the European Space Agency, the University of Cambridge and the Pasteur Institute in Paris. The cooperation agreement concerns in particular the School of Mathematics, Physical and Natural Sciences, specifically the Department of Chemical Sciences.
"We have a lot in common and it is about deepening existing cooperation," said FNUSA-ICRC Chair, Gorazd B. Stokin. “Joint research will take place, for example, in the development of nanomaterials for medical applications.” Both institutions cooperate, for example, in the framework of NANO-SUPREMI and PEPSA MATE grants, and in addition to intensive publishing activities, an exchange program for students is planned.
In addition to the aforementioned persons, the ceremony was also attended by FNUSA Director Vlastimil Vajdák, University Vice-Rector Tor Vergata Silvia Licoccia and other representatives of the Faculty of Science. “I also invited the management of Tor Vergata University to visit St. Anne's University Hospital Brno and FNUSA-ICRC,” added Vlastimil Vajdák.
Further utility models successfully registered
22. 10. 2019 |
The Industrial Property Office entered three new utility models in the utility model database, which were created in the International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne's University Hospital Brno (FNUSA-ICRC). Two of them were developed by researchers of the Interventional cardiac electrophysiology research team led by MUDr. Zdeněk Stárek, Ph.D., one of them is the team Inflammation led by Mgr. Lukáš Kubala, PhD. “This is the result of collaboration between research teams, technology transfer and patent attorneys,” emphasized Roman Polák from FNUSA-ICRC Technology Transfer Department. “These are the first three early birds, we are currently expecting more registered utility models, and working with researchers to protect patent solutions. And of course we will also actively help with their commercialization.”
The first utility model is called the "Kit for Determining the Specific Influence of Adenylate Cyclase (AC) Isoforms". There are currently a large number of available drugs, especially antihistamines or antiasthmatics, which modulate AC activity through receptors. However, more than 750 subtypes of these receptors are described and their specific modulation is very problematic. To date, only ten different AC isoforms have been identified that can be regulated differently, and research into new modulators suggests that AC can become a direct therapeutic target for next-generation drugs. To date, however, there was no commercially available technology to test for selective modulation of AC activity sensitive to the non-selective activator forskolin. These disadvantages and shortcomings are eliminated by the kit of which technical solution is the subject of the utility model.
Two other utility models entitled “High Voltage AC Source for Electroporation Purposes” and “Electroporation Generator for Ablation of Cardiac Tissues”, which was filed together with the Brno University of Technology, deal with the issue of catheter ablation of cardiac arrhythmias. Utility models are related to electroporation, this energy source is in many ways better than existing technology in terms of safety and sustained normal heart rhythm.
Two above mentioned utility models were developed in the TA ČR Gamma program: Support for verification and commercialization of research and development results at FNUSA in Brno, project number: TG02010048.
News in the field of medical cannabis research
18. 10. 2019 |
MVDr. Ing. Václav Trojan, Ph.D., Head of the Clinical-Pharmacological Unit (CPU) of the International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne's University Hospital in Brno (FNUSA-ICRC), announced that the Cannabis Research Center (CRC) was established. "We decided to do this at an expert meeting where it was unanimously agreed," Trojan confirmed. “The Clinical-Pharmacological Unit (CPU) will be an integral part. Of course there will be standardized areas for the preparation of new drugs and we are also planning our own growing area for research.”
The aim of the Cannabis Research Center (CRC) should be to provide comprehensive research, ie DNA studies, in vitro studies, or testing of cannabis substances on cell cultures, animals and last but not least on volunteers and patients. "Several clinics have already shown interest in cooperation, namely cooperation in orthopedics and neurology," Trojan added.
In addition to the above, awareness and conference activities continue. „Together with MUDr. Radovan Hřib, head of the Center for Pain Treatment of the Anaesthesiology and Resuscitation Clinic of FNUSA, we moderated the cannabis section at the Slovak conference 21st Czech-Slovak Dialogues on Pain,” Trojan said. "Although medical cannabis is still taboo in Slovakia, a legislative change is planned next year and we should play the role of expert advisors."
In April of the next year, namely the 22nd, the sixth continuation of the professional conference Cannabis and Science is planned. “Interesting speakers are already confirmed - dr. Arno Hazekamp from the Netherlands and the Argentine expert dr. Marcelo Rubinstein, ”said Trojan. " As soon as we have the program and invitation, we will surely send it to the public!"
Convenient data capturing? Its REDCap software
16. 10. 2019 |
REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) is primarily a database solution for collecting and managing research data, but it can also be used for other matters that are only marginally related to research (eg surveys). It was originally developed for the internal needs of researchers at Vanderbilt University, but is now used worldwide - especially in the academic research community. It is an international network of nearly two and a half thousand institutions in over 115 countries, with 590,000 end users. REDCap is currently used for more than 450,000 ongoing research studies.
The International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne's University Hospital Brno (FNUSA-ICRC) is also involved in this network, Jan Voříšek from the Biostatistics team is our administrator. He recently returned from the REDCapCon conference and answered some questions.
Jan, being a researcher, why use REDCap?
Because I think it's perfect for us. (smile) Seriously, most of our researchers use MS Excel or Google Sheets to record their research data. From a certain point of view, and now I run into GDPR, for example, this can be a big problem, moreover, when there is something far more sophisticated and practical – I mean REDCap. It enables creation of a database for manual data collection with bulletproof security, perfect management of access rights, takes care of data validation at the time of entry or enables cooperation on one dataset to international teams. Although it is not software for processing enormous machine-generated data, it is an ideal tool for standard research.
And what about REDCap and FNUSA-ICRC?
After a year and a half we finally have REDCap in the latest version, so it is ready to use. And it's free! It even meets the requirements of GDPR compliance… Just to give you an idea, I met a colleague from Mayo Clinic at the conference and he confirmed to me that several thousands of studies have been done at REDCap, including the most demanding clinical solutions.
So what do you plan to increase using REDCap?
Certainly I would like to create a special section on our web page with detailed information for potential users and by the end of the year I also plan to validate for the needs of clinical trials. This is still in progress, but if someone is interested in this information, it can certainly contact me, I will be happy to explain it in person.
Alliance4Life Formalizes its Existence
7. 10. 2019 |
Today, on 4th October 2019, the founding members of the Alliance4Life gathered at Vilnius University and signed the Memorandum of Understanding, which formalizes the alliance as a permanent structure. The Alliance4Life connects progressive life science institutions from Central and Eastern Europe. The mission of the Alliance4Life shall be to support and strengthen European research excellence and the impact of scientific research on society, human health, and quality of life. The signing of the memorandum is the crown jewel of Alliance4Life´s achievements during the past two years of its existence. It symbolizes the partners’ commitment to make this alliance a long lasting one, for the benefit of the members and the whole region.
The formal existence of the Alliance4Life is in line with the current shift of the EU research policy towards a more sensitive approach to research and innovation needs of the Central and Eastern European countries. The Alliance4Life´s voice has been heard also during the new Horizon Europe negotiations, and surely will be listened to in the future. Alliance4Life intends to become a role model for institutions in less performing regions and to serve as a hub of excellence, inspiring others.
The Alliance4Life started two years ago as a project initiated by CEITEC Masaryk University with the clear mission to help close the innovation gap. Benchmarking exercises served as a starting point for development strategies for all seven focus groups – science evaluation, ethics and integrity, human resources and mobility, grants and funding, core facilities, knowledge and technology transfer, and science communication. The project enabled the members to gather for joint trainings and to develop best practice inventory, representing an enormous value for the members. During this meeting hosted by Vilnius University, all members confirmed that progress was made and a solid strategy was developed to be implemented in the years to come!
- CEITEC Masarykova univerzita (CEITEC – Central European Institute of Technology), CZ
- FNUSA-ICRC (Mezinárodní centrum klinického výzkumu Fakultní nemocnice u sv. Anny v Brně), CZ
- BMC Biomedical Research Center of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, SK
- MUL Medical University of Lodz, PL
- UZSM University of Zagreb School of Medicine, HR
- UT University of Tartu, EE
- VU Vilnius University – Faculty of Medicine, LT
- LIOS Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis, LV
- UL University of Ljubljana, SI
- SU Semmelweis University, HU
The project “Alliance for Life Sciences: Closing Research and Innovation Divide in
the European Union” received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 779303.
„Zaostreno na zdravi“ with our participation
1. 10. 2019 |
Team Kardiovize Brno 2030 from The International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne's University Hospital Brno (FNUSA-ICRC) participated in the Zaostreno na zdravi (Focus on Health) event organized by the Brno City Council as part of the Brno Days for Health in cooperation with the Jiří Mahen Library in Brno, CM Optik, Recetox FoS MU, STOB and the Venous Advisory Center. We measured blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose at our site. The measurement was provided by research nurses and a doctor who interpreted the results to all interested parties.
As far as capillary blood cholesterol measurement is concerned, we measured 142 people. The measured values were average, but the highest measured value was 8 mmol / l (target value is less than 5 mmol / l), this person could have been untreated dyslipidemia. We sent the lady to the GP to verify these values and possibly start treatment. As for the measurement of glucose from capillary blood, we measured 178 people. The measured values were generally higher. It was influenced by the fact that most people were not fasting, of course. The highest measured value was 12 mmol / l (target value is less than 5.6 mmol / l on an empty stomach). This value probably suggested diabetes. We also sent this lady to the doctor so she could start any treatment as soon as possible. With regard to blood pressure measurements, we measured approximately 150 people. A larger number of visitors to the event did not take their medications for hypertension in the morning, so the measured values were higher. We have instructed these people about the proper use of drugs, and after taking them (if they had them with them), after some time measured them, and by bringing the values to target values (<140/90 mmHg), we pointed out the importance of proper use. Some of the visitors had a new blood pressure treatment, so they were happy to be able to verify the correct medication due to the good values we measured. We also distributed educational material to those interested in explaining how to achieve healthy and targeted values.
Jana Jarešová, Kardiovize Brno 2030
Photo: resource KJM