Rijeka, Croatia
Rijeka, Croatia

The University of Rijeka is in the city of Rijeka with faculties in cities throughout the regions of Primorje, Istria and Lika. The University of Rijeka is composed of nine faculties, one art academy, four departments, university libraries and the Students Centre. Wikipedia.


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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.78M | Year: 2013

Organic Bioelectonics is a new discipline which holds promise to shape, direct, and change future medical treatments in a revolutionary manner over the next decades. At the moment Europe has a unique leading position in this area, being almost all the world-leading groups in this field located in Europe and constituting the core of this international training network. However, realizing the promise of Organic bioelectronics requires research and training not only crossing disciplines, such as electrical engineering, biology, chemistry, physics, and materials science, but also crossing our European countries. The EU will add value on the global scene only if it acts jointly. OrgBIO is at the core of European technological innovation and will become an indispensable part of the educational canon. It will establish a world-class training platform spreading around the highly interdisciplinary / intersectorial European-led area of organic bioelectronics. Education along with science and entrepreneurial mindsets and attitudes is the core of the OrgBIO training programme, which aims at excellence and innovation, at all level. Excellence in science is guaranteed by the world-leading groups which founded this research area. Innovation in education is guaranteed by the involvement of researchers on education, business experts. Using different sensors, actuators, electronic and interconnect technologies the network will develop multifunctional systems based on organic devices and materials with high sensitivity that are also flexible, conformable and present over large areas for various biomedical / biological applications in the life science. Multi-analyte and disposable analytical systems manufactured by large-area printing methods will provide services to the individuals and healthcare community. Targeted implemented interactions with a wide network of venture capitals and business actors will immediately transfer the research outcome to the European Industry.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SSH.2013.5.2-1 | Award Amount: 6.40M | Year: 2014

The project Advancing The European Multilingual Experience (AThEME) takes an integrated approach towards the study of multilingualism in Europe by incorporating and combining linguistic, cognitive and sociological perspectives; by studying multilingualism in Europe at three different levels of societal magnitude, viz. the individual multilingual citizen, the multilingual group, and the multilingual society; by using a palate of research methodologies, ranging from fieldwork methods to various experimental techniques and advanced EEG/ERP technologies. This integrated approach towards the study of multilingualism is grounded in the idea that multilingualism in Europe has many facets. AThEME will cover the different forms of multilingualism in Europe by developing new lines of inquiry on regional/minority languages, heritage languages, languages spoken by bi-/multi-lingual speakers with communicative disorders, and languages spoken by bi-/multi-linguals at different stages of development and life. These lines of inquiry will provide (partial) answers to fundamental questions, including: What does it mean to be bilingual? How and why do people succeed or fail in learning another language? How can we help speakers maintain their regional/heritage language and reach proficient multilingualism? What are the reciprocal effects of multilingualism and cognition? Are there cognitive benefits of multilingualism for senior citizens? How does multilingualism interact with communicative disorders? Which societal factors have a major impact on successful maintenance of regional/heritage languages? Answers to these questions provided within the context of AThEME will provide a firm basis for assessing existing public policies and practices within major areas such as education and health and contribute to evidence-based policy-making. AThEME aims to raise societal awareness of multilingualism through building on the successful model of academic public engagement provided by the program Bilingualism Matters.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IAPP | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IAPP | Award Amount: 1.82M | Year: 2013

The main aim of the HTP-GlycoMet proposal is to develop technologies, which will enable high-throughput analysis of glycosylation of individual proteins from body fluids and cell membranes and apply them to understand some key processes in immunity and infections. Glycan analysis is extremely demanding from both technological and conceptual aspect and (beside one study performed by partners in this proposal) large-scale studies of glycosylation of individual proteins were not attempted previously. However, we are confident that by successfully combining complementary expertise in the (i) production of specialised monolithic chromatographic tools for high-throughput fractionation of complex biological fluids (BIA-SEP), (ii) purification of proteins from body fluids and membrane proteins (UNI-RI), (iii) high-throughput glycomic analysis by use of chromatography (Genos) and multiplexed capillary gel electrophoresis (MPI) and (iv) expertise in the field of viral immunology (MEDRI) we can achieve significant progress in this direction. All our partners are recognized leaders who already made significant progress beyond the state of the art in their respective fields. Through HTP-GlycoMet project we will organise secondments on all levels (MER, ER, ESR) to capitalize on synergistic effects of this interdisciplinary and transnational collaboration. In addition to the generation of new knowledge and the development of new innovative technologies, we will also achieve significant transfer of knowhow between academic and industrial partners. Our SME partners also expect to develop new lines of products and services through the HTP-GlycoMet programme, but also through future collaboration with HTP-GlycoMet partners beyond the lifetime of this project.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: ICT-24-2016 | Award Amount: 1.15M | Year: 2016

Serious Games have become a popular tool for knowledge transfer, behavioural, perceptual or cognitive change, but their effectiveness has been under several studies aiming to answer the question whether they are an effective instrument. The E-Confidence project aims to test a methodology that includes several models, such as the Activity Theory-based Model of Serious Games (ATMSG) for game development methodology combined with Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA ) and Learning Analytics (LA) in order to be able to design serious games able to promote behavioural changes in the user. E-Confidence will provide new opportunities for tracking and analysing learners behavioural data and interpreting them in an educational meaningful way. Improving the assessment of progress, performance, learning outcomes, game quality and user appreciation. Behaviour analysis might be able to assist game designers in sorting out conceptual and analytical frameworks to improve gamification. E-Confidence will test the methodology with two serious games developed considering behavioural aspects for the Safe use of Internet and Bullying, the games will be tested in different Spanish and English Schools to assess behavioural changes in children. Having an improved understanding of basic principles of behaviour and adopting a more conceptually systematic framework will provide more effective and successful gamification strategies to Game development SMEs and thus provide higher return of investment through time-saving replicable processes.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-NIGHT | Award Amount: 72.81K | Year: 2013

On Friday evening, September 27th, 2013, Researchers Night project is planned to be organized in the three largest cities in Republic of Croatia: Zagreb, Split and Rijeka. The main theme of the Researchers Night 2013 in Croatia is Science and Technology in Service of Life and Health. Acronym of the project is NLO which stands for Night-of-the-Lab-Out and the project aims at bringing researchers closer to the public and proving they are not some strange people closed in their labs, but ordinary people sharing different interests like everyone else. The primary objective of the project NLO is to provide wider public with an opportunity to meet young, outstanding researchers who actively perform research in fundamental and multidisciplinary fields involving knowledge and technologies in service of life and health. The main messages of the RN project will put emphasis on the importance of scientific research in everyday life and on exciting and interesting scientific life and career. The proposed concept of the RN project gives the opportunity to change stereotypes about the researchers and intends to stimulate public interest towards science and research as an attractive career. Project is organized by nine partners in three largest cities in Croatia: Agency for Mobility and EU Programmes, Society znanost.org, University of Split, University of Rijeka, The Faculty of Medicine and The Faculty of Engineering at the University of Rijeka, University of Zagreb, Ruer Bokovi Institute and Institute of Physics in Zagreb. Different contents during the Night will be adjusted to wider audience like various competitions, science act show, carnival parade, researchers on stilts, science cinema marathons, exhibitions, projections, stands and many other surprises.


Svedruzic Z.M.,University of Rijeka
Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science | Year: 2011

Dnmt1, the principal DNA methyltransferase in mammalian cells, is a large and a highly dynamic enzyme with multiple regulatory features that can control DNA methylation in cells. This chapter highlights how insights into Dnmt1 structure and function can advance our understanding of DNA methylation in cells. The allosteric site(s) on Dnmt1 can regulate processes of de novo and maintenance DNA methylation in cells. Remaining open questions include which molecules, by what mechanism, bind at the allosteric site(s) in cells? Different phosphorylation sites on Dnmt1 can change its activity or ability to bind DNA target sites. Thirty-one different molecules are currently known to have physical and/or functional interaction with Dnmt1 in cells. The Dnmt1 structure and enzymatic mechanism offer unique insights into those interactions. The interacting molecules are involved in chromatin organization, DNA repair, cell cycle regulation, and apoptosis and also include RNA polymerase II, some RNA-binding proteins, and some specific Dnmt1-inhibitory RNA molecules. Combined insights from studies of different enzymatic features of Dnmt1 offer novel ideas for development of drug candidates, and can be used in selection of promising drug candidates from more than 15 different compounds that have been identified as possible inhibitors of DNA methylation in cells. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Domitrovic R.,University of Rijeka
Current Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2011

This review summarizes the current knowledge of the regulatory role of pure anthocyans in cellular signaling pathways and gene expression. The molecular basis for anthocyans pharmacological activity includes the regulation of plethora of mechanisms mainly involved in: (1) suppression of the inflammatory response through targeting the phospholipase A2 and PI3K/Akt and NF-κB pathways, (2) protection from cardiovascular disease by exerting (i) antihypertensive and endothelium-protective activity through targeting the Akt/eNOS and ACE pathways (ii) antiatherogenic activity through targeting NF-κB mediated VCAM and ICAM expression, (3) growth/differentiation control and tumor suppression by exerting (i) anticancerogenic activity through targeting the EGF and HGF signaling pathways (ii) tumor anti-invasive activity through targeting the VEGF signaling pathway and ECM degrading enzymes (iii) cell cycle arrest and induction of apoptosis through the JNK/p38 MAPK mediated caspase activation (iv) modulation of chemotherapeutic efficacy by affecting resistance to anticancer drugs, (4) reduction of diabetes incidence through modulation of insulin sensitivity and glucose utilization, (5) neuroprotection through amelioration of oxidative stress and Aκ deposition, and (6) hepatoprotective activity through interference with TNF-β and TGF-β in the liver. The estrogen-like activity of anthocyans could be utilized in cancer and hormone-replacement therapy. These data provide a concise insight into molecular mechanisms of protective and therapeutic activity of anthocyans in various pathological conditions, which may not be attributed solely to their antioxidant activity but also to direct blockage of signaling pathways. Structure-activity analysis reveals that the number of hydroxyl groups and presence of sugar moiety are crucial for their specific modulatory actions. © 2011 Bentham Science Publishers.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-CIG | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-CIG | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2013

Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) is important human pathogen widely known as the causative agent of cold sores, and it is the leading infectious cause of blindness, and the most common cause of sporadic encephalitis. Although intensively studied, many fundamental aspects of the HSV-1 biology are poorly understood, including the control of latency and regulation of gene expression. We have recently discovered numerous miRNAs, a class of small regulatory non-coding RNAs, expressed by HSV-1 and closely related virus, HSV-2, revealing a new paradigm for the HSV gene regulation. Some of these miRNAs are conserved between these two viruses and expressed differentially during different phases of infection; however function of most HSV miRNAs is unknown. We hypothesize that miRNAs have a central role in modulating the host-pathogen interaction that leads to efficient virus replication and establishment of latency. Also, we hypothesize that miRNA have a central role in establishing the threshold for the reactivation upon different stimuli, i.e. control of the lytic-latent switch. Here we seek to understand the roles of microRNAs (miRNAs), encoded by the virus and host, in the regulation of gene expression during lytic and latent HSV-1 infection. We primarily focus on functions of miR-H1 and miR-H6, HSV-1 miRNAs abundantly expressed during lytic infection, and lytic and latent infection, respectively, and miRNAs almost entirely complementary to each other. In our preliminary data, we have generated the HSV-1 mutant impaired for the expression of these miRNAs and characterize the mutant in vitro and in a mouse model. In addition, to enable high-throughput technologies, we have tested several in vitro latency models and characterized the expression of HSV-1 and host miRNAs in these models. At the conclusions of these studies we will have better understanding of the HSV-1 biology including the virus pathogenesis, and it might lead to novel approaches to cure HSV infections.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: REGPOT-2009-2 | Award Amount: 2.33M | Year: 2010

One of the major impediments for development of the biomedical research at the University of Rijeka has been the lack of a competitive research environment. Perhaps this is because many universities in this region retain remnants of the old socialist approach to medical education and research. Because of the limited internal resources, most of the training of the young investigators has been accomplished in the laboratories of Western countries. Although this tradition has proven to be beneficial, it has led to loss of promising scientists to faculty positions and slowed the development of a modern biomedical research. Furthermore, translational research has not been a traditional area of research in Croatia. Correction of these roadblocks can be accomplished by upgrading the research capacity and by expanding the cooperation between scientists from Croatia and those in the EU. Such an approach has already been successfully applied in several instances and is continuing to propel an increase in the research capacity at the University of Rijeka. However, it is of great importance to stress that the expansion of clinical research activities is still lagging behind basic research. The Faculty of Medicine (MEDRI) has already well-developed programs in life sciences, a respectable infrastructure, and ongoing international collaborations. The following steps in research capacity building are to further strengthen the collaboration between investigators at MEDRI and the EU countries, organize and develop formal training programmes for investigators and implement an efficient program of research capacity building with emphasis on the translational medicine in cancer and infectious diseases. Thus, several activities are proposed to synchronize training of researchers with efforts to upgrade and establish research facilities to be used by several research groups and departments. The proposed activities should ultimately enable MEDRI to better integrate into the ERA.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-AG | Phase: ERC-AG-LS6 | Award Amount: 1.75M | Year: 2013

CD8\ T cells play a key role in the control of infections by intracellular pathogens. Recently, several top-notch studies provided ample evidence that NK cells are important in the regulation of CD8\ T cell response. NKG2D is an activating NK cell receptor which plays a role in the adaptive immune response by co-stimulating CD8\ T cells. Due to unique pattern of immune response, live attenuated CMVs are attractive candidates as vaccine vectors for a number of clinically relevant infections. The main idea behind this project stems from our preliminary data which suggest that a recombinant CMV vector expressing NKG2D ligand has a tremendous potential for subverting viral immunoevasion and boosting the efficiency of CD8 T cell response. During the project we plan to systematically investigate the impact of all major innate immunity players on the CD8\ T cell response. A special focus will be given in obtaining new knowledge on the maintenance of memory CD8\ T cells during latent infection. This study will also provide novel insights on the role of NKG2D in both NK and T cell immunity. In order to test our hypothesis in vivo, we will employ state-of-the-art technology used in herpesvirus genetics coupled with high-end immune monitoring. Ultimately, we will translate our results to a human CMV vector, in order to gauge the impact of NKG2D signaling on immune response in a humanized mouse model. We believe that the significance of the proposed study is enormous since stimulating CD8\ T cells has been widely recognized as a method of choice for vaccine development. There are relatively large number of pathogens for which the immunity acquired post-infection does not fully shelter against re-infection and disease. Therefore, we are in a desperate need for vaccines which offer superior protection compared to the one following natural infection. This study will provide groundbreaking information which will set the stage for the development of new vaccines and vaccine vectors.

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