Research and Teaching of Medicine in Olomouc on a New Level
Olomouc, November 28th, 2012 - Research and education at the Medical Faculty of Palacký University in Olomouc has reached a new dimension. Two new buildings have been inaugurated today on the campus of the Teaching Hospital Olomouc: the Institute of Molecular and Translational Medicine and the Annex of the Theoretical Institutes of the Faculty of Medicine at Palacký University Olomouc (UP). Both new acquisitions architecturally complement the valuable building of the Theoretical Institutes, which has served the Faculty of Medicine since the 1950s.
The new buildings have been built thanks to a nearly CZK two billion support from the Operational Programme “Research and Development for Innovations”. “Today, research and teaching at the Faculty of Medicine in Olomouc has attained a significantly higher level," says Professor Miroslav Mašláň, Rector of Palacký University in Olomouc.
The Institute of Molecular and Translational Medicine (IMTM), which originated from the project "Biomedicine for Regional Development and Human Resources - BIOMEDREG", is one of the most significant projects implemented in the field of science and research in the country. The complexity and interconnectedness of the various research activities is a unique phenomenon on the European level and the Olomouc workplace has become one of the centres of a major European infrastructure EATRIS (European Advanced Translational Medicine Infrastructures), connecting institutions with unique technologies and expertise in the field of translational medicine. The Institute's work is primarily focused on the research of cancer and infectious diseases, as well as the development of new diagnostics and drugs.
The director of IMTM, Associate Professor Marián Hajdúch, is one of the leading experts in the field of research into pharmaceuticals and molecular oncology in the Czech Republic; his team has participated in the research and development of several drugs and biomarkers. The team under his colleague, Professor Jiři Bártek, the most frequently quoted Czech scientist in the field of biomedical sciences, who is in charge of the Integrity of the Genome department at the Centre for Cancer Research in Copenhagen and has his own laboratory at the Olomouc Institute, has revealed the mechanism by which cells of one of the most aggressive tumours, so called “glioblastoma”, can hinder the currently used treatment of brain cancer.
The Scientific Director of IMTM is the Vice-Rector for Science and Research of Palacký University in Olomouc and one of the leading Czech scientists in the field of chemistry, Professor Jitka Ulrichová. In addition to her scientific work as the Head of the Department of Medical Chemistry and Biochemistry and President of the Central Committee of Czech Chemical Society, she is also dedicated to supporting Czech science.
Despite the relatively short period of its existence, in less than 20 months the institute has succeeded in building and launching a research infrastructure with an area of 4,700 m², issuing over 60 tenders for a unique technology worth almost half a billion Czech crowns and initiate research work. "To date, the Institute has employed around 100 researchers; we have issued over 130 publications with the impact factor exceeding the average of other European renowned research institutions in the field. We have filed more than ten new patent applications, and we have been awarded seven national and six international patents," Associate Professor Marian Hajdúch summarizes the achievements.
However, the greatest success of IMTM is, according to its director, the fact that they are successful in attracting first-rate colleagues, who guarantee the future sustainability of the project. “There´s a great deal of interest in working with us. Approximately ten percent of employees are from abroad from Japan, across India, and all the way to the neighbouring Poland and Slovakia. Almost daily we get offers from experienced researchers to students. In my estimate, the number of foreign scientists will be doubled in 2013,” adds Associate Professor Hajdúch.
The project of the Development of Infrastructure for Research and Teaching at the Faculty of Medicine at UP - the Annex of the Theoretical Institutes of the Faculty of Medicine, brings along a significant expansion of research and teaching capacities in the field of biomedicine at Palacký University. The historical building of the Theoretical Institutes was completed in 1959 and in 1966 there were 124 employees; by 2008 there were already 305 employees. Similarly, the number of workplaces has increased from 14 in 1965 to the current 24. The intention to extend the precinct of the Theoretical Institutes was postponed several times in the past, and only thanks to European funds has it now been implemented. In less than two years, a new structure with a total area of 16,189 square meters has been erected next to the historical building of TÚ LF UP, and both premises are interconnected.
"Research and teaching laboratories as well as classrooms and libraries in the new building significantly enhance the facilities for teachingnearly three thousand postgraduate and undergraduate students. The new facility, which is dedicated to research and teaching, will have approximately 150 employees," says Associate Professor Martin Modrianský, the Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, who was in charge of the Annex project.
According to a recent evaluation by the Council for Research, Development and Innovation, the Olomouc Faculty of Medicine occupied the fourth position among eight Czech medical faculties; and out of nearly five hundred research organizations in the Czech Republic that were evaluated, it ranked in 26th place. "Today means an important stimulus for raising the level of medical studies in Olomouc even higher. The opening of the two buildings brings new opportunities for the development of accredited doctoral programs, which is crucial for the further development of human resources in science and research," said Professor Milan Kolář, the Dean of the Medical Faculty at UP Olomouc.
The new building of the Theoretical Institutes will host adequate laboratory facilities for doctorate programs, such as pathological anatomy and forensic medicine, medical microbiology, immunology, medical biology, histology and embryology. "These fields have aroused the long-term interest of students in postgraduate education, there are good results and there is also the ability to obtain new grant funds", emphasizes the Dean of the Medial Faculty of UP Professor Kolář.
The contractor for both buildings is the Olomouc construction company GEMO. The architectural design was drawn up by the studio Atelier-r.
The project Biomedicine for Regional Development and Human Resources – BIOMEDREG, under which the Institute of Molecular and Translational Medicine has come into being, has been up and running since March 29th, 2010, when the decision about its funding was approved by the then Minister of Education, Youth and Sports Miroslava Kopicová. The project partners are the University Hospital Olomouc, the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, the Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague. The total amount of the subsidy is CZK 883,877,406; the EU contribution amounts to CZK 751,295,795 and the contribution from the Czech state budget is CZK 132,581,611.
The Development of Infrastructure for the Research and Teaching project at the Faculty of Medicine at UP - the Annex of the Theoretical Institutes of the Faculty of Medicine at Palacký University Olomouc, was confirmed on January 31, 2011, by the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports Josef Dobeš, who approved the grant decision. The total amount of the grant is CZK 689,672,663, with the EU contribution of CZK 586,221,764 and the contribution from the Czech state budget is CZK 103,450,899 .
Both projects of the Faculty of Medicine of UP Olomouc, BIOMEDREG – the Department of Molecular and Translational Medicine, and the Annex of the Theoretical Institutes of the Faculty of Medicine at UP - are part of the integrated development plan of the city “Attractive and Competitive Olomouc.”
The Faculty of Medicine at UP Olomouc have worked with the foundation for cancer research in Olomouc, Rakovina věc veřejná (Cancer as a Public Issue), to prepare a benefit concert for the occasion of the opening ceremony of the buildings of the Institute of Molecular and Translational Medicine and the Annex of the Theoretical Department of the Medical Faculty of Palacky University in Olomouc. A popular Slovak band, the Peter Bič Project, will appear in the UP sports hall on Wednesday, 28 November at 7 p.m, and their show will include the hit "Hey Now" they have dedicated to Olomouc`s IMTM.
"We have decided to support the development of medicine in Moravia in this way. I was also inspired by personal experience and I know how important it is when doctors – thanks to modern science and research – are able to be successful in their fight again insidious diseases. That´s why we have come to play for current and future students of the Palacký University,” explains Peter Bič, the frontman and guitarist of the band IMT Smile.
The electronic form of this press release together with the visualisation of the buildings in both projects is available at: http://www.xxx
For more information, see: www.imtm.cz and http://www.lf.upol.cz/