Bratislava, Slovakia

Slovak Medical University

eng.szu.sk/
Bratislava, Slovakia

The Slovak Medical University in Bratislava - SMU is a state "college of university type" seated in Bratislava, Slovakia. It was created by law from 25 June 2002 with effect from 1 September 2002 and replaced the Slovak Postgraduate Academy of Medicine .The Slovak Medical University in Bratislava is an educational institution proudly keeping the tradition of education of healthcare workers in specialized studies and continuous lifelong education in Slovakia.The Slovak Institute for Postgraduate Education of Physicians, established on May 1, 1953 in Trenčín, laid the foundations of education of healthcare professionals in Slovakia. From July 7, 1966, the Institute moved into new premises in Bratislava, under a new name – The Institute of Further Education of Physicians and Pharmacists, which remained until 1991. On July 1, 1991, the name was changed to the Institute for Further Education of Professionals in Healthcare, and later, resulting from requirements in practice, the last change on November 1, 1998 transformed it into the Slovak Postgraduate Academy of Medicine in Bratislava.On September 1, 2002, the Slovak Medical University was founded in Bratislava by Act No. 401/2002 Coll. of the National Council of the Slovak Republic on the establishment of the Slovak Medical University, as a state university of higher education.The Slovak Medical University in Bratislava is the only university in Slovakia that provides monothematic education for healthcare professions in all three degrees of higher education, and at the same time, the only institution that has guaranteed complex education of healthcare workers in Slovakia under various names since 1953. Wikipedia.

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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra-PP | Phase: INFRA-2010-2.2.8 | Award Amount: 4.79M | Year: 2010

In the context of the emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases involving highly pathogenic microorganisms, European countries have to be well-prepared to face such threats. However, the Biosafety Level 4 (BSL4) capacity in Europe is not sufficient enough to cover the efficient development of diagnosis, prophylactic and therapeutics means against these pathogens. Moreover, there is no global coordination of activities and harmonization of practice in this field. Therefore, the ERINHA project proposes the creation of a top world-class BSL4 research infrastructure that will address the actual European capacity sparseness. The project plans to conduct five main actions which are: (i) Building additional BSL4 areas in several existing BSL4 laboratories, (ii) Building BSL4 laboratories in strategically selected EU countries that are lacking one, (iii) Building a support infrastructure around BSL4 laboratories mainly dedicated to host scientific visitors and staff, (iv) Setting-up the user access to the ERINHA infrastructure, (v) Establishing coordination capacities for efficient dispatching and control of all activities. For 46 months, the ERINHA Preparatory Phase will focus on (i) Identifying relevant sites in Europe for new BSL4 constructions or major upgrades, (ii) Getting political and financial commitments from National, European or International concerned entities to support construction, (iii) Establishing a secured and validated financial plan for construction, (iv) Defining and implementing an appropriate governance and legal framework, (v) Harmonising and disseminating common procedures related to L4 biological resources, biosafety and biosecurity management, (iv) Defining and implementing joint training programs to operate in BSL4 facilities, (vii) Identifying the ERINHAs users and establishing rules for access. These achievements will allow the ERINHA project to reach the legal, financial and technical maturity to proceed to the construction phase.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: COFUND-EJP | Phase: SC1-PM-05-2016 | Award Amount: 74.06M | Year: 2017

The overarching goal of the European Human Biomonitoring Initiative (HBM4EU) is to generate knowledge to inform the safe management of chemicals and so protect human health. We will use human biomonitoring to understand human exposure to chemicals and resulting health impacts and will communicate with policy makers to ensure that our results are exploited in the design of new chemicals policies and the evaluation of existing measures. Key objectives include: Harmonizing procedures for human biomonitoring across 26 countries, to provide policy makers with comparable data on human internal exposure to chemicals and mixtures of chemicals at EU level; Linking data on internal exposure to chemicals to aggregate external exposure and identifying exposure pathways and upstream sources. Information on exposure pathways is critical to the design of targeted policy measures to reduce exposure; Generating scientific evidence on the causal links between human exposure to chemicals and negative health outcomes; and Adapting chemical risk assessment methodologies to use human biomonitoring data and account for the contribution of multiple external exposure pathways to the total chemical body burden. We will achieve these objectives by harmonizing human biomonitoring initiatives in 26 countries, drawing on existing expertise and building new capacities. By establishing National Hubs in each country to coordinate activities, we will create a robust Human Biomonitoring Platform at European level. This initiative contributes directly to the improvement of health and well-being for all age groups, by investigating how exposure to chemicals affects the health of different groups, such as children, pregnant women, foetuses and workers. We will also investigate how factor such as behavior, lifestyle and socio-economic status influence internal exposure to chemicals across the EU population. This knowledge will support policy action to reduce chemical exposure and protect health.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2013.3.5-03 | Award Amount: 3.77M | Year: 2014

G-TwYST will execute rat feeding trials with GM maize NK 603 based on OECD Test Guidelines and according to EFSA considerations. In the case of maize NK603 two 90-day and a combined 2-year chronic toxicity/carcinogenicity study will be performed. By combining the results of the G-TwYST project with those of the GRACE project (90-day and 1-year study with maize MON810) it will be possible for the first time to describe the potential medium term and long term toxic effects of the two above-mentioned events. Partners will strictly comply with international standards and norms concerning feeding trials and closely collaborate with EFSA. Feeding stuff used in the trials will be produced according to the principles of good agricultural practice. The project will analyse and report the results of the feeding trials and develop recommendations on the scientific justification and added value of long-term feeding trials for GMO risk assessment. The project will ensure scientific excellence, independence and transparency of both the research process and the results. Transparency and accessibility of project plans and results is a key characteristic of the project and will be ensured by establishing a project website and by using an open access database set up by GRACE as information hubs. Results will be published as open access journal papers. Dedicated engagement, communication, and dissemination activities will target scientists, policy makers and a broad range of stakeholders. Participatory steps will be included in the planning as well as in the interpretation/conclusion phase. Moreover, the views of risk assessment and regulatory bodies as well as wider societal issues will also be taken into consideration. The results of the project will enable risk managers drawing conclusions with regard to framework of the currently applicable GM food/feed risk assessment requirements and procedures in the EU.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE-2007-2-4-06 | Award Amount: 7.90M | Year: 2009

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) started, 20 years ago, a devastating health and food crisis throughout Europe. Classical BSE is now under control as a result of the meat and bone meal ban. However, tonsil analyses suggest that there may be an alarmingly high number of asymptomatic PrPSc positive cases. Transmission through blood transfusion is another important concern, as are recent atypical cases of BSE. Only a profound understanding of the molecular biology of prions will enable us to control them. Thus, to understand why BSE-contaminated food causes vCJD, we need to understand how prions get into food, what happens with them in the gut, how they reach the brain, and how they initiate the chain reaction rapidly leading to death. We have formulated 7 key questions: 1) How can we avoid a new BSE outbreak, or other possible future prion infection of livestock? 2) Why did decontamination of meat and bone meal fail; is there an effective way to decontaminate feedstuffs, soil etc? 3) What is the risk of humans being infected with each of the different prion strains known thus far? 4) Which are the best strategies to implement feasible prion eradication programs? 5) How can we develop a pre-clinical prion blood test? 6) How can we identify human cases with potential secondary transmission? And 7) What is the origin of atypical human CJD cases? We will search for decisive data on the structure of PrPSc, the molecular basis of strains and species barriers, the mechanism of prion conversion, the cell biology of PrPSc, the function of PrPC, and the mechanisms of PrP-associated pathology. This information will be translated into a better estimation of current exposure risk to humans from TSE, evaluation of current intervention strategies, and development of improved decontamination techniques and prion tests. With all this, we will be able to respond to the questions formulated and thus advise the EC on TSE policy for the protection of European consumers..


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2011.1.2.2-1 | Award Amount: 9.25M | Year: 2012

Various recent epidemiological studies have indicated that exposure to low doses of environmental biologically active contaminants during human development can alter gene expression and have deleterious effects on cognitive development in childhood. The DENAMIC project is ultimately focused on reducing such effects of environmental contamination on learning and developmental disorders in children. It aims to study and evaluate environment-health relationships in children. Key elements are: development of sophisticated tools and methods for early warning and screening of compounds for neurotoxicity, to study mechanisms of disease development and the role of individual susceptibility, to improve assessment of exposures and effects, focus on combined exposures to environmental agents that can interact to enhance adverse effects and reduction of health inequalities of children through Europe. One of the main aims of DENAMIC is to develop tools and methods for neurotoxic effects of mixtures of environmental pollutants at low levels, possibly resulting in (subclinical) effects on learning (cognitive skills) and developmental disorders in children (e.g ADHD, autism spectrum disorders and anxiety disorders). A broad suite of contaminants will be included in the studies, with options to bring in new chemicals in case evidence comes up during the project. With 14 partners from ten different countries DENAMIC has a true international character. It is a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary project. Six SMEs will play a key role in the development of biotechnological screening tools. The most modern techniques in the fields of genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and transcriptomics will be applied. Dissemination will ensure the project results to arrive at policymakers desks, and will also illustrate the subject for a scientific audience and the public. The very large network of the consortium ensures dissemination to European industries, and every other interested stakeholder.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE.2012.3.5-04 | Award Amount: 7.76M | Year: 2012

The project GRACE will a) elaborate and sustainably implement a transparent framework for the review of GMOs or GM food and feed effects on environment, socio-economics and health and b) reconsider the design, execution and interpretation of results of animal feeding trials as well as in vitro studies for assessing the safety of GM food and feed. The framework will create high quality reviewing processes for different fields of GMO impact assessment and address the need for a well documented, transparent and sustainable representation of these reviewing processes. This will provide valuable and accessible information addressing the main issues associated with GMOs and enabling risk assessors, managers, scientists and the general public to reiterate and update their evaluations and conclusions on GMOs. It will adapt recently elaborated methodologies for (systematic) reviewing of the risk assessment information of GMOs and derived food and feed. The quality assessment for all reviewed papers and studies as well as the reviews conducted by the consortium, will be referenced by an open access database and one-stop-shop for data and information relevant to GMO risk assessment. Animal feeding trials and in vitro studies will clarify and compare the scientific added value of 90day feeding trials with whole foods with advanced state-of-the-art analytical, in vitro and in-silico tools. Suitable animal GMO-feeding models will be investigated, that are based on European (EFSA) and international guidance, and the project will provide guidance for relevant, alternative in vitro cell-based approaches for specific topics within the overall food and feed safety assessment. Available standard or scientifically approved protocols form the basis of the investigations also in the case of the analytical, in-vitro and second in-silico approaches. GRACE will provide guidance for the use and improvement of existing and suggested assessment tools in the field of food and feed safety.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.1.31 | Award Amount: 8.95M | Year: 2011

Nanoscale objects interact with living organisms in a fundamentally new manner, ensuring that a fruitful marriage of nanotechnology and biology will long outlast short term imperatives. Therefore, investment in an infrastructure to drive scientific knowledge of the highest quality will have both immediate benefits of supporting the safety assessment of legacy nanomaterials, as well as pointing towards future (safe) applications with the lasting benefits to society. There are immediate priorities, for few doubt that serious damage to confidence in nanotechnology, unless averted, could result in missed opportunities to benefit society for a generation, or more. QNano will materially affect the outcome, at this pivotal moment of nanotechnology implementation. The overall vision of QNano is the creation of a neutral scientific & technical space in which all stakeholder groups can engage, develop, and share scientific best practice in the field. Initially it will harness resources from across Europe and develop efficient, transparent and effective processes. Thereby it will enable provision of services to its Users, and the broader community, all in the context of a best-practice ethos. This will encourage evidence-based dialogue to prosper between all stakeholders. However, QNano will also pro-actively seek to drive, develop and promote the highest quality research and practices via its JRA, NA and TA functions, with a global perspective and mode of implementation. QNano will also look to the future, beyond the current issues, and promote the growth and development of the science of nanoscale interactions with living organisms. By working with new and emerging scientific research communities from medicine, biology, energy, materials and others, it will seek to forge new directions leading to new (safe, responsible, economically viable) technologies for the benefit of European society.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-COG | Phase: ERC-CoG-2014 | Award Amount: 1.95M | Year: 2015

Viral infection or retrotransposon expansion in the genome often result in production of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). dsRNA can be intercepted by RNase III Dicer acting in the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway, an ancient eukaryotic defense mechanism. Notably, endogenous mammalian RNAi appears dormant while its common and unique physiological roles remain poorly understood. A factor underlying mammalian RNAi dormancy is inefficient processing of dsRNA by the full-length Dicer. Yet, a simple truncation of Dicer leads to hyperactive RNAi, which is naturally present in mouse oocytes. The D-FENS project will use genetic animal models to define common, cell-specific and species-specific roles of mammalian RNAi. D-FENS has three complementary and synergizing objectives: (1) Explore consequences of hyperactive RNAi in vivo. A mouse expressing a truncated Dicer will reveal at the organismal level any negative effect of hyperactive RNAi, the relationship between RNAi and mammalian immune system, and potential of RNAi to suppress viral infections in mammals. (2) Define common and species-specific features of RNAi in the oocyte. Functional and bioinformatics analyses in mouse, bovine, and hamster oocytes will define rules and exceptions concerning endogenous RNAi roles, including RNAi contribution to maternal mRNA degradation and co-existence with the miRNA pathway. (3) Uncover relationship between RNAi and piRNA pathways in suppression of retrotransposons. We hypothesize that hyperactive RNAi in mouse oocytes functionally complements the piRNA pathway, a Dicer-independent pathway suppressing retrotransposons in the germline. Using genetic models, we will explore unique and redundant roles of both pathways in the germline. D-FENS will uncover physiological significance of the N-terminal part of Dicer, fundamentally improve understanding RNAi function in the germline, and provide a critical in vivo assessment of antiviral activity of RNAi with implications for human therapy.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.4.2-2 | Award Amount: 7.68M | Year: 2013

An estimated 500.000 sudden cardiac deaths (SCD) occur each year in the European Union. Patients at risk for SCD may benefit from prophylactic treatment with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). ICD implantations have dramatically increased in recent years leading to multi-billion Euros of costs with significant regional disparities across Europe. Information on risks, benefits and costs supporting current guideline recommendations may be outdated, and the influence of gender remains unclear. EU-CERT-ICD (Comparative Effectiveness Research to Assess the Use of Primary ProphylacTic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators in Europe) aims to generate contemporary clinical outcome data on ICD effectiveness in Europe. Clinical outcomes including all-cause mortality, appropriate and inappropriate ICD shocks, and quality of life (QoL) are assessed by: - a prospective study of patients undergoing indicated ICD treatment for primary SCD prevention, with a control group of patients not undergoing ICD treatment - a large European registry collecting available data on prophylactic ICD treatment - meta-analyses of available and emerging ICD outcome studies QoL-adjusted cost-effectiveness will be estimated from actual cost comparisons and Markov decision models with attention to sub-groups, regional, and sex comparisons. Outcomes in patients receiving ICDs for primary SCD prevention will be compared in sub-strata, and with patients fulfilling guideline criteria but not undergoing therapy as per prior decision of treating physicians. Sub-groups with particularly large or small benefit from ICD implantation will be identified using risk markers and clinical characteristics with specific emphasis on gender. EU-CERT-ICD is expected to provide important novel information to validate or challenge current guideline indications for primary prophylactic ICD treatment.

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