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Fields of Research

Current projects


National Sustainability Program I (NPU I)

(Vladimír Havlíček)

The main aims of the project Prague Infrastructure for Structural Biology and Metabolomics II are the following:

  • Providing for a long-term operational sustainability of the previous Centre of excellence
  • Development of an effective utilization of the centre within the framework of the scientific community and the private sector by means of implementing joint projects
  • Increasing the Centre’s share in transferring the scientific knowledge into the industrial sector
  • Providing for human resources for the Centre’s operation, increasing the significance of the Centre as a training platform for students, scientific workers and private sector workers
  • Further development of the workers’ mobility, which will not only strengthen the Centre’s cooperation with other subjects, but also enable acquiring new experience
  • Supporting the interdiciplinarity of cooperation between the individual parts of the centre

Supported by Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic, grant LO1509, 2015-2020

Physiology of bat hibernation with respect to multistressor impacts

(Miroslav Kolařík, Vladimír Havlíček)

The capacity to enter hibernation and/or daily torpor is an adaptive physiological trait that enables survival of climatic extremes and food scarcity. Here we plan to investigate variation of organismal and cellular responses to multiple stressors in hibernating bats in relation to torpor-arousal patterns and the associated profound changes of body temperature and metabolism. We will quantify parameters of health and the microbiome of bats, identify pathogenic microorganisms and their factors of virulence and link pathogenic pressure and the cellular response to stressors with genomic variability. Using cutting-edge in vitro tools of tissue-derived bat cells, we will examine

  1. detoxification during a simulated torpor-arousal cycle;
  2. innate immune responses;
  3. oxidative stress differences for intra- a extra-cellular pathogens and
  4. co-exposure to stressors as an immuno-toxicological disturbance.
While the study of microorganisms reveals novel biotechnologically relevant molecules, understanding tissue responses at low temperatures may advance strategies in biomedicine.

Supported by Czech Science Foundation, grant No. 17-20286S (2017-2019)

Determination of distribution of pharmacologically active compounds and their biological degradation during wastewater treatment processes

(Andrea Palyzová)

The project is focused on the development of a technology for biodegradation of persistent pharmacologically active ingredients (APIs: diclofenac, ibuprofen, ketoprofen and sulfamethoxazole, called “emerging pollutants”) which are continuously introduced in aquatic environment through their high consumption by society. Technology is based on the application of natural bacterial isolates increasing the efficiency of the APIs biodegradation in wastewater in the course its treatment in wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The goal of the project is to characterize existing bacterial strain capable of degradation of selected APIs, screening and testing of alternative microorganisms, characterization of the degradation processes in water and activated sludge mediated by microorganisms, monitoring of a pollutant during the treatment process and development of analytical procedures for the determination of different forms of the APIs. Newly developed technology will be tested on a pilot scale model of the WWTP. Its implementation will significantly reduce pollution of surface waters and increase the sustainability of water resources.

Supported by the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic, EPSILON Programme, grant TH02030337 (2017-2020)

Analytical Chemistry of Mixed Microbial Infections

Cooperation with Medical Faculty, Palacký University in Olomouc, Dr. Milos Petrik

(Vladimír Havlíček)

Mixed infections represent an analytical challenge for any microbiology laboratory. In this project high mass resolution spectrometry will be used in newly developed rat experimental models as a molecular tool sensitive enough to describe and monitor mutual microbial combat in a rat model. An early disease detection and whenever possible, non-invasive analytical tools will be developed based on microbial siderophores, specific disease biomarkers, to be detected in urine of infected animals. Special attention will be paid to mixed infections in rat lungs caused by Aspergillus and Pseudomonas, common pathogens participating in cystic fibrosis or patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The biofilm formation and its decay will be monitored by light and electron microscopy. Multimodal imaging approach, supported by software development, will rely on in vivo data obtained by positron emission tomography/computed tomography. The efficiency of antibacterial/antifungal treatment will be monitored by silencing of siderophore production.

Supported by Czech Science Foundation, grant No. 19-10907S (2019-2021)