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FP7

MOLMEDREX Résumé de rapport

Project ID: 229920
Financé au titre de: FP7-REGPOT
Pays: Hungary

Final Report Summary - MOLMEDREX (MOLecular MEDicine Regional Center of EXcellence)



Executive Summary:

Executive summary

The Research Center for Molecular Medicine (RCMM) is committed to implement biomedical research in the Eastern part of Hungary. The RCMM’s role is outstanding in the region and in Hungary, as it has been awarded “Centre of Excellence” (Contract No.: QLG2-CT-2002-90329) in the field of Molecular Medicine. Its 16 research laboratories, Genomics, Imaging and HTS (High-throughput Screening) core facilities represent the highest concentration of biomedical research in the Eastern part of Hungary and the only research institute dedicated to carry out research in the field of molecular medicine in the country. It is also worth mentioning that the Centre includes basic research units, core facilities and clinical departments.

The MOLMEDREX (MOLecular MEDicine Regional Centre of EXellence) project focused on enhancing the international visibility of RCMM (MOLecular three key areas:

- Genomics;
- Advanced imaging;
- Academic high throughput screening

The project’s objective was to strengthen the S&T potential, improve human resources, upgrade the research equipment, and enhance the visibility and impact via the Action Plan, which included six work packages:

WP1 Twinning and Partnership
WP2 Recruitment
WP3 Equipment Upgrade
WP4 Workshops, courses
WP5 Conferences
WP6 Management.

Due to the twinning and strategic partnerships with institutions in old Member States we could successfully implement two-way mobility and the recruitment of young and experienced researchers.

Besides this, numerous conferences, workshops and practical courses has been organised in RCMM. These tools and occasions have enabled us to fulfil the aim of mobilization of human resources of the RCMM as well as to facilitate exchanges with other institutions.

Via the targeted dissemination we managed to enhance the RCMM’s visibility and introduce its activities not only to the European scientific community but also to the local community and patient groups.

Although due to the MOLMEDREX project we were able to make considerable progress in increasing our competitiveness, visibility, there is still yet to be achieved in the future to maintain the progress and keep up with the dynamically changing areas of biomedical research, make investments to continuously upgrade its technical capacity to meet further challenges in the continuous development of scientific life. We also find it crucial to represent competitiveness and set its further objectives in line with EU Cohesion Policy.

Project Context and Objectives:

Main objectives of the MOLMEDREX project by Work Packages:

Work Package 1: Development of the research potential in strategic areas by twinning and partnership

RCMM twinned with EMBL and DKFZ and formed strategic partnerships with 14 leading universities and research institutions in Europe to expand its RTD capacity and to gain further expertise and new technologies in three key areas of research: genomics/gene expression regulation, imaging/advanced microscopy and academic high-throughput screening. These had been supported by bilateral collaborations via secondments, joint lab meetings, visits, PhD thesis examinations, lectures and seminars.

Work Package 2: Increasing human potential of the RCMM

The main goal of WP2 had been to increase the human potential of RCMM (and hence to reinforce its S&T competitiveness and upgrade its RTD capability), especially in those new, highly competent research fields (e.g. personalized medicine, stem cell research, molecular imaging) which establish a forefront of RTD world-wide and are also becoming central in the research activity of RCMM.

Work Package 3: Upgrading infrastructure

The RCMM hosts genomics, imaging and HTS Core Facilities concentrating advanced technologies. We managed new acquisitions or upgrades of existing equipment in all three areas to broaden the scope of methods and improve efficiency. The equipments purchased are unique in the region and nationwide. We implemented special courses as well related to the purchased equipments and distributed the knowledge necessary for using the new technologies.

Work Package 4: Establishing RCMM as a regional knowledge centre

The purpose of this work package was to establish the Centre as a transnational regional knowledge Centre in the field of biomedical research (with special regard to advanced genomics, cell signalling and HTS) via training courses, conferences and workshops. Taking advantage of the extensive networking activities of our Centre we had established RCMM as a regional research knowledge centre in the field of Molecular Medicine attracting trainees not only from Eastern Hungary but also from Central-Eastern Europe. Our tools for reaching this goal had been to intensify our dissemination activities by organizing several high profile research training courses, scientific meetings and symposia. These extracurricular training activities were solely dedicated to advance the knowledge and laboratory skills of participants in their research field. Travel support was offered to selected external (non RCMM) attendees with special regard to those coming from neighbouring countries (to strengthen the regional influence of the Centre), EU member and associated countries.

Work Package 5: Dissemination of knowledge

To increase the visibility of the RCMM and its RTD projects, the work package leader managed all activities associated with dissemination, marketing, and promotion of results of the RCMM. Target groups included regional, national, EU, and global research facilities both in academia and industry (Biotech, Pharma); policy-makers, politicians, and legislative bodies; selected patient groups; as well as multiple sectors of the lay public.

Project Results:

The RCMM succeeded in improving the three key areas of the project. These are:

• Genomics, Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and personalized medicine

At RCMM a Genomics Centre was established in 2000 and has been successful in providing genomic services (sequencing, SNP analyses) and carrying out collaborations with academic groups and with the biotech and pharmaceutical industry in the area of genomics of complex diseases. The challenge in this field is the incorporation of genome-wide analyses such as epigenetics and Next Generation Sequencing into the portfolio of the genomic centre. The latter one allows sequencing large segments of the human genome and carrying out large scale disease association studies. A particularly important goal for RCMM is to better use the clinical resources available, and also to better serve the needs of the community locally and in the region and, via this, to earn European and international recognition.

• Advanced imaging

Biophysics and advanced microscopy have been among the strengths of the RCMM of the University of Debrecen over the last two decades. This led to the establishment of the Imaging Core Facility. The facility hosts a set of different microscopic techniques: confocal, electron and atomic force microscopy, which cover a wide range of spatial resolution (5-200 nm) and serve a broad palette of applications. RCMM is the only institute in Hungary equipped with fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, a sensitive molecular dynamic technique. Recent challenge in the field is the emergence of several new techniques for single cell lives imaging breaking the diffraction limit, such as Photo-Activated Localization Microscopy (PALM).

• High-throughput screening in an academic setting

The last couple of years have shown a clear trend, in which universities and research institutes set up high-throughput screening facilities to provide their research units with the capacity to screen small molecule libraries. This allows finding compounds capable of perturbing biological processes that lead to the identification of new pathways and target proteins using the research paradigms of chemical genomics. RCMM established its HTS core facility three years ago. The current challenge is to improve the laboratory’s capacity to provide a wider array of cell-based assays.

Description of the work in details

To reach the best implementation of the goals and expected results of the MOLMEDREX project, it was built up on 6 work packages (WP1-WP6). Each work package was managed by a well-experienced WP leader. The University of Debrecen and staff of the University served as project co-ordinator and was responsible for the project management.

The work package leaders were the following:

WP1 Development of the research potential in strategic areas by twinning and partnership Dr. László Nagy
WP2 Increasing human potential of RCMM Dr. Tamás Bíró
WP3 Upgrading infrastructure Dr. György Vámosi
WP4 Establishing RCMM as a regional knowledge centre Dr. László Virág
WP5 Dissemination of knowledge Dr. Tamás Bíró
WP6 Project management Dr. László Nagy

The tasks related to the equipment upgrade mean the purchasing procedure of pieces of equipment related to the highlighted research areas of RCMM’s research activities. During purchasing of equipment we put the major emphasize on building synergies with other ongoing projects (other sources: SCHIZO: “Schizo Biomarker project”; TOK: Own source; OTKA: Hungarian Scientific Research Fund; TÁMOP: Social Renewal Operational Programme, HHMI:Howard Hughes Medical Institute, ETT: Healthcare Scientific Board) and on utilizing efficiently other sources as well. Thanks to these synergies we managed to optimize our infrastructure upgrade. In the second phase of the project additional computers were needed to provide platforms for data analyses. Also after the first 5 runs it became clear that additional storage would be needed for our server to handle and store the large amount of data produced. Therefore we could implement the following equipment upgrade in accordance with our request for a budget reallocation in WP3, which was allowed by the Commission.

Name of the equipment Relevant research topic

Affymetrix platform Genomics
Patch Clamp Robot FlyScreen HTS
Temperature control Device, Cell Hotel, Vacuum Unit HTS
Amplifier HEKA EPC 10 HTS
PRD-14292 NOA-280i nitric oxide analyser HTS
H054701 centrifuga, ROTINA 420,
BIO SUN 365/312 UV Irradiation system for cultures HTS
Liquid dispenser HTS
Andor EMCCD 512x512, 16um, ,bv,10MHz,-100C Advanced Imaging
Olympus TIRF microscope Advanced Imaging
Képpont Software Genomics
Tecan F Evo and Evoware training Genomics
Carl Zeiss Advenced Microscope User Training Genomics
Zmanda backup software, data casette Genomics
ESDS S12-J000-G 2U 12-bay single
JBOD controller expansion enclosure, rail kit Genomics
Apple Imac 21.5 Genomics
Apple iPad 4.Gen Genomics

Potential Impact:

At RCMM a Genomics Centre was established in 2000 and has been successful in providing genomic services (sequencing, SNP analyses) and carrying out collaborations with academic groups and with the biotech and pharmaceutical industry in the area of genomics of complex diseases. The challenge in this field is the incorporation of genome-wide analyses such as epigenetics and Next Generation Sequencing into the portfolio of genomics centres. The latter one allows sequencing large segments of the human genome and carrying out large scale disease association studies. A particularly important goal for RCMM was to better use the clinical resources available, and also to better serve the needs of the community locally and in the region and, via this, to earn European and international recognition.

The RCMM with its 16 research laboratories, Genomics, Imaging and HTS (High-throughput Screening) core facilities represent the highest concentration of biomedical research in the Eastern part of Hungary and the only research institute dedicated to carry out research in the field of molecular medicine in the country. One of its distinguishing features is the high level of integration of its basic research units, core facilities and clinical departments. The RTD capacity and capability of RCMM had been upgraded as a result of the several above-mentioned objectives and tools.

RCMM responds to the above mentioned challenges by the following coherent and synergistic measures:

1. Targeted twinning with one of Europe’s foremost molecular biology institutes, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Germany in the field of imaging and genomics.
2. Partnerships with 13 universities and research institutes in Europe to promote bilateral, reciprocal exchanges between research laboratories of RCMM and partner institutions in order to transfer knowledge and novel technologies and promote collaborative research.
3. Recruitment of young scientists and also experienced researchers to further increase critical mass of RCMM and provide key expertise in the selected strategic areas.
4. Organization of workshops, conferences and practical courses with the twinning institutes and also with other listed partners in key areas of research carried out by RCMM and considered as cutting edge. In addition serve as a training facility of advanced molecular technologies in the region for young and experienced researchers.
5. Serving as a regional centre of knowledge: provide information for the local population including patient groups, high-school students and local, regional as well as national media.

We made the following list to highlight the successful output of the project:

- Improved human potential

We managed to employ 4 senior and 8 junior researchers who contributed to enhance the scientific visibility and capacity of RCMM and helped to create a better-trained research staff at the University of Debrecen. The list of junior and senior employees:

HTS CORE FACILITY
Laboratory for cellular and molecular physiology Senior scientist Dr. Mónika Sztretye
HTS CORE FACILITY
Laboratory for cellular and molecular physiology Junior scientist Tamás Gáll
HTS CORE FACILITY
Laboratory for cellular and molecular physiology Junior scientist Dr. Attila Oláh
GENOMIC CORE FACILITY
Laboratory for nuclear hormone receptor Junior scientist Dr. Ixchelt Cuaranta Monroy
GENOMIC CORE FACILITY
Laboratory for nuclear hormone receptor Junior scientist Péter Brázda
GENOMIC CORE FACILITY
Laboratory for nuclear hormone receptor Junior scientist Attila Pap
GENOMIC CORE FACILITY
Laboratory for nuclear hormone receptor Junior scientist Dávid Jónás
GENOMIC CORE FACILITY
Laboratory for nuclear hormone receptor Senior scientist Dr. Tibor Gyuris
IMAGING COREFACILITY
Laboratory for cell biophysics Senior scientist Gábor Mocsár
HTS CORE FACILITY
Laboratory for oxidative stress and
ADP-ribosylation Junior scientist Attila Brunyánszki
HTS CORE FACILITY
Laboratory for oxidative stress and
ADP-ribosylation Junior scientist Ingrid Oit
HTS CORE FACILITY
Laboratory for oxidative stress and
ADP-ribosylation Senior scientist Agnieszka Robaszkiewicz

- Upgraded infrastructure

We successfully acquired 9 pieces of equipment, which are unique in the region. We run two training courses to support the efficient equipment upgrade and maintain it in the long run. Via buying accessories to the equipment we succeeded in providing the equipment’s long-term efficiency. The aquired equipment and the trainings are detailed at the description of "S and T" results.

- Successful dissemination activities and enhancing visibility to the local audience

We would emphasize the successful organization of our international practical courses (FEBS, EMBO, EBSA), international workshops (GroSeq), international (EMDS) and national (HSPP, Signals and Skin) conferences. In addition, we managed to fulfill the dissemination among the local public and youth (Researcher’s Night, Meet the Scientist, Science Café.)

- Integration via strategic partnerships and contribution to regional capacity building;

Via active networking and receiving or joining other grants we were able to ensure the continuous development and maintain the impact we have already achieved. We would emphasize the importance of the following grants and networks: ESGI, Nuclear Receptor Network, Lendület, TÁMOP, NEKIFUT, Research University

In other words, the RCMM has become a more potent, innovative and competitive research centre in the Eastern part of Hungary with an improved human and infrastructural capacity and the region is able to benefit from its positive outcome on the long-run.

List of Websites:

Public website address:

http://molmedrex.med.unideb.hu/

Scientific representative:

nagyl@med.unideb.hu


Informations connexes

Reported by

DEBRECENI EGYETEM
Hungary
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