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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

Multimodal imaging

Cooperation with Palacký University in Olomouc, RCPTM and BIOMEDREG, Prof. Karel Lemr

(Vladimír Havlíček)

Unequivocal determination of the components in complex environment including tissue sections is barely possible by using a single imaging technique. In the three-year frame we will combine hyperspectral data obtained from molecular and elemental imaging mass spectrometry, scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray and positron emission tomography. The multimodal fusion and its interrogation with histology evaluation will be used in medically important areas. In accord, tissue imprints on newly designed nanostructure-based surfaces will be probed and applied in early diagnostics of infectious diseases. This proposal represents a hypothesis-driven basic research based on original idea that microbe-specific low molecular weight biomarkers can be visualized either as biomolecules or elements in tissue to provide fundamental information on disease development, progression and treatment as well as on distribution of biomarker metabolites.

Supported by Czech Science Foundation, grant No. 16-20229S (2016-2018)

Electron transfer in cellulose degrading enzymes

Cooperation with BOKU – University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Department of Food Science and Technology, Vienna, Prof. Roland Ludwig

(Petr Halada)

The project is aimed at elucidation of interactions between cellobiose dehydrogenase (CDH) and its putative redox partner – lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase (LPMO) – in solution and in their cellulose bound state. The research strategy is based on the combined expertise of both research partners. The Austrian group will perform protein engineering and production as well as in-solution spectrophotometry and calorimetry to monitor CDH-LPMO electron transfer rates and interactions. The Czech team will employ structural mass spectrometry techniques based on protein isotopic exchange and chemical cross-linking to investigate the structural details of the protein-protein and protein-substrate interactions. The results will answer the questions if CDH functions as an “LPMO reductase” and if specific interactions are involved in their interprotein electron transfer. This will expand our understanding of biocatalytic redox processes of cellulose depolymerization, which may help increasing the efficiency of biofuel production or degradation processes in biorefineries.

Supported by Czech Science Foundation, grant No. 16-34818L (2016-2018)

Molecular mechanisms of subclinical inflammation in adipose tissue and its contribution to the etiopathogenesis of diabetes mellitus type 2

Cooperation with 1st Medicinal Faculty, Institute of Chemical Technology Prague and General University Hospital in Prague

(Marek Kuzma)

Obesity, diabetes mellitus type 2 (T2DM) and their complications are one of the most pressing medical problems today. One of the central processes of bonding obesity, T2DM and their complications is considered subclinical inflammation characterized by infiltration of adipose tissue by immunocompetent cells, especially macrophages. In addition to macrophages in the development of subclinical inflammation in adipose tissue is likely to cooperate also other immunocompetent cells. The project aims to clarify the role of immunocompetent cells in adipose tissue and their interaction with circulating cells in etiopathogenesis of imunocompetent subclinical inflammation, insulin resistance and other associated complications. The cellular composition of adipose tissue in terms of representation of immunocompetent cells and their relationship to their precursors in peripheral blood of patients with obesity and obesity and/or diabetes mellitus conditions and after weight reduction (low calorie diet, weight loss surgery) will be monitored. The project will contribute to improving the understanding of basic etiopathogenic mechanisms leading to the emergence of T2DM and associated complications. It may also help to identify new therapeutic targets, allowing to better meet the current global pandemic of obesity, T2DM and associated diseases.

Supported by Ministry of Health, grant NT/13299 - 4

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)