The MCCS team introduces itself
19. 9. 2019 |
The Molecular control of cell signaling (MCCS) research team is a benjamin among other sites within the FNUSA-ICRC. What is the focus of his work and what he plans for the future, described us team leader Dr. Jaeyoung Shin.
The FNUSA-ICRC creates a new interdisciplinary platform linking the scientific and research areas with medical science. It offers opportunity for schools, hospitals, researches and scientific teams to present their outputs to each other. Our Molecular Control of Cell Signaling research team (MCCS) will have the opportunity to acquire new inputs and partners for our future projects. The FNUSA-ICRC will be able to see our activities and opened or planned projects.
The treatment of metastatic cancer has undergone a paradigm shift in the last couple of years. The identification of specific receptor of signaling molecules in tumors gives the promise of cellular signaling molecular-based control strategies, which are commonly referred to as ‘targeted therapies’. These new generations of targeted therapies can control tumor growth for several months and may replace unspecific cytotoxic chemotherapies for many cancer types. However, full curings by molecular modification responses are rare, due to the emergence of aggressive, drug-resistant clones that drive relapse and rapidly form new metastases. As a result, cure rates and long-term survival rates of metastatic patients treated with targeted therapies remain disappointingly low.
To better understand the clinical emergence of resistant cells, our work focuses on the poorly understood events during tumorigenesis. By combining the power of experimental model systems, in situ gene expression profiling techniques, and computational analysis, we assume that targeted therapy with kinase inhibitors induces a complex network of secreted signals in breast cancer and lung adenocarcinoma cells.
This response called therapy-induced secretome not only enhances the survival of signaling molecular transfected cells, but also stimulates the proliferation, invasion, and metastasis of molecular-resistant clones that are lurking in the background of the tumours. We also suppose that the tumours in our animal models act as potent ‘RNAi’ to attract molecular-resistant cells from the circulation. This process called knockdown by RNAi, could add an additional layer of complexity to the treatment of relapsed patients by targeted therapy.
The addition of MAPK (Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases) signaling inhibitors blunted the growth and metastasis of resistant cancer cells in animal models. These experiments indicate that this drug development by molecular modification is a potential strategy to delay tumour relapse in patients. Even more importantly, our study started to expose the significant changes in tumours treated with targeted therapies. These changes are still largely unexplored and are expected to have a major influence on immunotherapy efficacy in combination with other curing approaches.
Cooperation with British partners in the shadow of BREXIT
18. 9. 2019 |
FNUSA-ICRC hosted a public lecture by Dr. Otakar Fojt, Scientific Attaché of the British Embassy in Prague called BREXIT and science. Participants learned about the UK government's stance on BREXIT's funding for science and research and much more - perhaps the most important information is that the British government has committed to BREXIT's funding of ongoing cooperation to compensate for the failure of EU money. Unfortunately, it is already clear that only some grants will be affected and ERC grants will fall out of this funding format.
And how does our research center work with Great Britain? In terms of the number of publications it is the fifth largest foreign partner, in the last five years we have 86 joint publications, which have a total of 1,376 citations to date. The most common publications we have with the University of London, University College London, Kings College London, Imperial College London and Newcastle University UK.
We cooperate with the University College London on the Teaming grant and Hammersmith Hospital is testing our high-frequency ECG prototype, which we received an American patent together with the Institute of Scientific Instruments of the ASCR. We also have a cooperation agreement with the University of Oxford (specifically the Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology team) or we work with Select Research.
We therefore hope that any possible BREXIT will not slow down such promising cooperation.
Korean professor lectured at Biopark
17. 9. 2019 |
Professor Heonyong Park came to visit The International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne's University Hospital Brno (FNUSA-ICRC) at the invitation of the Molecular control of cell signaling team. Prof. Park works in the Department of Molecular Biology at the Institute of Biotechnology and Nanosensors of Dankook University. In addition to a tour of the laboratories at the Biopark, he also gave a public lecture entitled The Pharmaceutical Mechanism of Action on FAK-Assoicated Drug in the Vascular System.
On this occasion we asked him about his impressions of the visit.
You were in the Czech Republic for the first time? How did you like it in Brno?
I visited Brno, Czech Republic for the first time. It was very impressive that people in Brno were very kind, delightful and cheerful. Therefore, I was thinking that Brno was the place where people love to live. In addition, I have known that Gregor Johann Mendel had studied and made his genetics discoveries in Brno.
What are your impressions of the FNUSA-ICRC visit?
I thought that FNUSA-ICRC was the excellent research center where researchers actively exchange their opinions and I also noticed that FNUSA-ICRC laboratories were well equipped with state-of-the-art technologies. This is important for professors and PIs who also need more researchers to work in order to achieve better results using fully theirresources. Wonderful to me.
Have you discussed any possibilities of cooperation with Brno colleagues in the future?
Yes, it was discussed with Brno colleagues regarding various topics. Especially, I was interested in cell adhesion linked to inflammation and cancer, while I discussed with Brno colleagues. More specifically, I will collaborate with Dr Shin, because our research interests are very similar.
Patent awarded for multi-electrode epicardial pacing
16. 9. 2019 |
We have been awarded a joint U.S. patent with Mayo Clinic for systems and methods for epicardial pacing, ablation, and defibrillation. Epicardial “outer” heart surface is often crucial for treatment of arrhythmias but cannot not be reached by standard venous or arterial access. Thus, percutaneous techniques were developed using novel devices, as manipulation vastly differs. Our Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology research team (ICE) and Electrophyiology group at Mayo Clinic developed specific tools – sheaths and catheters, for novel methods of pacing ablation and defibrillation in pericardial space.
The method is reserved for patients with pericardial location of arrhythmic sources and pathways, possibly also patients after cardiosurgery, requiring specific pacing and eventually defibrillation (e.g. pediatric patients and adult parents with depression of systolic function).
ICE team has been conducting device testing and optimization since 2011. Its leader Zdeněk Stárek led experiments taking place in our Electrophysiology lab at Veterinary and Pharmaceutical University. Both stimulation and defibrillation required much less than currently used energy (e.g. allowing new battery strategies). Moreover, lower utilized energies of ICD defibrillation (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator), will presumably result in absence much lesser pain in case patient is conscious during shock delivery.
FNUSA-ICRC laboratories were visited by experts from Vienna
12. 9. 2019 |
Following last year's visit of the Heads of Cardiology Research Teams of the International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne's University Hospital Brno (FNUSA-ICRC) at the University of Medicine and the General Hospital in Vienna Prof. Christian Hengstenberg - Head of the Department of Cardiology and his colleague Professor Julia Mascherbauer - Head of the Department of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, arrived on September 11.
The visit to the laboratories of cardiology research teams was followed by public lectures. Professor Hengstenberg spoke about his experience with Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) in a lecture entitled Modern Therapy of Valvular Heart Disease. Professor Mascherbauer followed up with a presentation entitled Mitral and Tricuspid Valves.
One of the points of the visit program was also the establishment of cooperation between the 1st Department of Internal Cardio-angiology (I. IKAK) of the of St. Anne's University Hospital Brno in Brno and the Clinic of Cardiology of the General Hospital in Vienna. “Cooperation with the workplace in Vienna seems to be very promising for us,” added prof. MUDr. Lenka Špinarová, Ph.D, FESC, head of I. IKAK.
We get Brno to a scientific map of the world
11. 9. 2019
With a little exaggeration, it could be written like that. Information that the scientists from the International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne's University Hospital Brno (FNUSA-ICRC) contributed significantly to research that has shown that dog owners are healthier than the rest of the population, most Czech media have taken over.
Now the report has been published by Mayo Clinic scientists in their Mayo Clinic Proceedings magazine, and US news sites have also shown great interest in this information. Brno was thus mentioned in such influential and well-known American media as CNN television, the New York Times, or the Newsweek weekly. See the list of media channels below:
New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/26/well/family/dogs-cats-pets-heart-health.html
New York Post https://nypost.com/2019/08/23/want-a-healthy-heart-get-a-dog-study-suggests/
Thanks to Kardiovize Brno 2030 group for spreading awareness about our city!