Endre Grastyán Behavioral Physiology Research Division:
- Motivation and Learning Research Group
Leader: Prof. Dr. László Lénárd
The aim of the project is to study in the CNS limbic structures the role of monoamines and neuropeptides in hunger and satiety mechanisms and to reveal their role in the regulation of learning-reinforcing processes and memory.
In different behavioral paradigms (open field, active and passive avoidance tests, elevated plus maze and place preference tests, Morris water maze test for navigation in space, operant conditioning) effects of orexigenic and anorexigenic peptides (orexins, RF-amides and bombesin-like peptides) and the role of other neuropeptides (substance P, neurotensin, oxytocin) involved in the regulation of reinforcement are examined. Interactions of peptides with monoamines (dopamine, noradrenaline, serotonine) are also studied. Results of the project serve the better understanding of hunger motivation and addictive behavior, and contribute to unravel the mechanisms of memory formation and consolidation.
- Homeostatic Control Research Group
Leader: Prof. Dr. Zoltán Karádi
The research program summarizes our multiple neurophysiological experiments to functionally characterize the glucose-monitoring (GM) neuronal network substantial in the central regulation of feeding, body weight, and metabolism. Extracellular single neuron recording, neurochemical-biochemical and behavioral investigations are planned in the laboratory rat as well as in the rhesus monkey, phylogenetically close to the human being. The target areas of the experiments are the limbic forebrain structures in which the homeostatic significance of the GM neurons is to be elucidated. Successful accomplishment of the program serves the better understanding of the central regulation of feeding and metabolism and that of diseases (obesity, diabetes mellitus, etc.) developing after pathological alterations of these functions and causing escalating social and financial problems worldwide.
- Neuroendocrine Research Group
Leader: Dr. István Ábrahám
Our research group investigates the role and mechanism of non-classical rapid estrogen actionon on neurons in the brain using immunohistochemistry, calcium imaging, single cell electrophysiology, live cell single molecule detection, transgenic technology and behavioural tests. Results provide novel information about estrogen-induced neuroprotective effects and estrogen action on the neuronal regulation of fertility.
- Human Electrophysiology Research Group
Leader: Dr. Gábor Jandó
The major interest of our research lab is vision and binocular vision in particular. Psychophysical, visual evoked potential (VEP) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) techniques are used to explore the cortical mechanisms of binocularity and its development in adults and human infants. A clinical aspect of our research is abnormal visual development (i.e. amblyopia) and its active prevention by screening.
- Visual Physiology Research Group
Leader: Dr. Péter Buzás
Our visual sense shows us the world as a unified percept where location, movement, shape, colour and other qualities of objects are naturally blended together. However, the image projected into the eye is processed by functionally and anatomically distinct nerve pathways each one dealing only with some of its aspects. Our current research is focused on the anatomy, physiology and evolutionary origin of nerve pathways for colour vision and stereopsis using anatomical (tract tracing, immunocytochemistry), electrophysiological and functional imaging (optical imaging) methods.
Clinical Neuroscience MR Research Group:
Leader: Dr. Tamás Péter Dóczi
The MTA-PTE Clinical Neuroscience MR Research Group is located in the neuro-clinical block of the UP. Uniquely in Hungary, two advanced MR (1.5T and 3T) machines are available for not only the routine clinical diagnostics of the nervous system but also for human and animal research purposes. The high field MR serves scientific activity within the frame of a consortial agreement between the UP and Pécs Diagnostic Centre Ltd. The multidisciplinary working group of the university garantees a high powered scientific team to perform clinical and animal experimental research. The Pécs MTA-PTE group has studied pathophysiological changes of the nerves system by means of the high field MR. High field MR imaging is capable of following the functioning of the human brain directly and non-invasively; is capable of localizing autonomic human brain functions; and of studying the functional logics defined by brain structure and activity such as cognition. The group has concentrated on body-mind relationship, on its irregularities and on the disordered mental functioning behind pathological conditions. According to original plans: i.) molecular water channel proteins, brain water content and volume regulation; ii.) pathomechanism of nociceptive and neurogenic pain; and iii.) elucidation of basic functioning of limbic affective-cognitive network and that of the pathomechanism of its diseases have been the main goals. The research group have tried to translate results of animal research into human clinical diagnostics. This activity has been based on cooperation with Siemens Ltd. in the Integrated Development Environment Application project.
Department of Medical Biology:
Leader: József Szeberényi
Our department is interested in the analysis of certain processes of intracellular signal transduction. Topics studied are:
- The role of heat shock proteins and the proteasome system in nerve growth factor (NGF) induced neuronal differentiation;
- The role of CREB transcription factor in the regulation of endoplasmic reticulum stress;
- The signal transduction of nitrosative stess;
- The role of Ras, protein kinase R and p53 proteins in cellular stress signaling;
- The mechanism of action of an oncolytic Newcastle disease virus strain.
Experimental Cardiovascular Research Group:
The main research fields of the Experimental Cardiovascular Research Group are the in vivo models of hypertensive target organ damages, as well as the possibilities of protection against the development of cardiac and vascular remodelling. The effects of PARP-inhibitors in various experimental models are also important research topics of the workgroup. The equipment of the laboratory (high definition small animal ultrasound system, Langendorff heart perfusion system, inhalation and ventilation systems) and the available biochemical methods (histological evaluations, in vitro cell culture experiments, molecular biological studies) enable our workgroup to investigate a broad spectrum of experimental cardiology. For several decades, our colleagues have carried out research studies in international and national cooperation, as part of the University’s ”Experimental Cardiology” Doctoral Program.
Hemorheological Research Laboratory:
The Hemorheological Research Laboratory is one of the best equipped rheological research facilities both in Hungary and in Europe, adapted to analyze a broad range of blood flow properties. Our colleagues have accomplished several – international and inter-institutional – studies as part of the University’s “Experimental cardiology” Doctoral Program.
Institute of Behavioral Sciences:
- Perception and Cognitive Control Research Group
Pricipal investigator: Dr. Árpád Csathó
Topics: cardiovascular psychophysic and psychology examinations, fatigue, anxiety, exhaustion, resilience, biopsychological adaptatiton.
- Brain, Body and Space Research Group
Principal researcher: Prof. Dr. János Kállai
Topics: body-schema and body-image dissociations, spatial navigation in body and surrounded space, panic, agoraphobia, immertion into virtual relaity, psychophysiological reactivity, bio-psycho-social interactions, fMRI, own body experiences, symptoms and body consciousness.
- Cognitive Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation Research Group
Principal investigator: Dr. Kázmér Karádi
Topics: visual hemineglect, dementia, rehabilitation, developing neuropsychological examination methods, depression, Parkinson’s disease.
- Embodiment, Consciousness and Cognition, Imagery Research Group
Principal investigator: Dr. Tibor Szolcsányi
Topics: illusion for body experiences, multimodal integration, pain, placebo, imagination, conditioning.
- Neural Network Research Group
Principal investigator: Prof. Dr. Imre Szabó
Topics: limbic and cortical associations, multiunit registrations during goal directed locomotion, induced schizophrenia in animal models.
- Health Psychology Research Group
Pricipal investigator: Dr. Varga József
Topics: Burn out and dysfunctional attitudes of health care professionals; prevention and intervention. Stress management of medical students by relaxation techniques – elaboration of exact measuring methods. Anxiety in young adulthood. Quality of life and psychological adjustment of coronary patients. Smoking cessation in cardiac rehabilitation. Psychological adjustment and quality of life in the elderly. Sociocultural adjustment of foreign medical students. Effects of stressors of education on the body image of medical students. Stress management and behavior change of medical students by relaxation and cognitive methods.
- Intercultural Communication in Medicine Research Group
Principal investigator: Prof. Dr. Zsuzsanna Füzesi
Topics: The research group is particularly interested in the marginal areas of medicine, cultural psychology and communication science, in particular socio-cultural adaptation and cultural sensitivity and the development of intercultural competence. Research areas: From Enthnocentrism to Enthnorelativity: socio-cultural adaptation of homogeneous and heterogeneous groups in a foreign culture, development of intercultural competence of foreign medical students, development and possibilities of intercultural sensitivity, intercultural communication at the University of Pécs Medical School: integration, but how?
Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmacy:
Institute Director: Prof. Dr. Gábor Pethő
Scope of research of the institute is pharmaceutical technology, manufacture of dosage forms, quality control and biopharmacy which constitute the theoretical and practical basis of the pharmaceutical therapy. Main research topics:
- examination of pharmaceutical technological and biopharmaceutical processes, experimental design, application of artificial neural network
- optimization of high-shear granulation
- preparation and examination of micropellets
- preparation and examination of nano-structures (liposomes, cochleates)
- optimization of microbiologically detected dissolution studies (MDD)
Department of Medical Genetics:
Head of Department: Prof. Béla Melegh
- National Coordinating Research Group of Rare Diseases
The research group was established in 27th February 2009 due to an agreement between the National Centre for Healthcare Audit and Inspection of the National Public Health and Medical Office Service (ÁNTSZ OSZMK) and the Department of Medical Genetics, Clinical Centre, University of Pécs. The group participates in certain activities of the Rare Disease Center of ÁNTSZ OSZMK that has non-authority interests, included mainly various research projects. The group’s most important tasks are the coordination of national research in rare diseases and assists international collaborations, organizes the system of national data collection. It participates in the development of quality control for diagnostic laboratories, helps in developing possibilities of the effective cooperation of patient organizations. It initiates also various levels of training in aspect of rare diseases. Coordination of the designation of expert centers is also included in its tasks. Last but not least it has an important role in the initiation of the improvement of social perception of rare diseases.
- Microarray and Human Population Genetics Research Group
The research group is involved in the implementation and processing of comparative genomic hybridization array (aCGH or CGH array) tests also with diagnostic and research purposes. It identifies and describes human genomic abnormalities related to various genetic disorders. Another major activity of the group is the processing of genome-wide human single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array tests mainly for modern population genetic purposes. In contrast to aCGH, SNP array tests are not conducted locally in the department, and processing of SNP array data takes place not only independently in the laboratory but also in international collaboration - mainly with the USA and Netherland.
The tools of these researches are based on modern, rapidly developing statistical and other mathematical software, which occasionally huge hardware requirements are backed with the supercomputer located in Pécs and operated by the National Information Infrastructure Development Institute (NIIFI). Besides the supercomputer, high performance workstations in the department are also available. Next generation sequencing (NGS) data complements these researches. NGS technique is also performed in our department.
- Human Genetic and Pharmacogenomic Research Group
In the scope of the research group are pharmacology, drug research and drug development, which are not limited solely to enzymes and carriers associated with metabolism but also deals with all aspects of genetics behind drug side effects and the optimization of drug dosage. The ethnical differences behind drug effects are well-known. There are several ethnic groups in Hungary but the most significant is the Roma ethnicity. The genetic structure of Roma differs greatly from Caucasian populations, which they are living among, due to their Indian origin. These differences possess pharmacogenetic relevance, examination of these phenomenon are also one of the tasks of this group. In the palette of the group can be found also the examination of the molecular genetic background of rare, genetically strongly determined diseases. As the coordinator of the National Biobank Network, the department has a significant collection of diseases affecting large populations, which is a great advantage in these researches.
Head of Institute: Prof. Dr. Sándor Szabados
Preclinical research: Doing research on the impact of new kardiokin systems (adrenomedullin, apelin, endothelin-1) on cardial contractility, metabolism, remodelling and cardiac regeneration control. Identification of contractile signal transduction mechanisms in healthy and diseased heart. Clarifying the role of transcription factors (GATA4, STAT3) in the development of cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. Analysis of fibroblast-cardiomyocyte interaction in the pathology of the heart. Development of new cardiac MR methods in the accurate determination of infarct size (Signal-Intensity-Percent Infarct-Mapping).
Clinical research: Examination of arterial stiffness and cardiac on patients with heart degeneration. Identification of new cardiac MR methods to calculate the size of the heart attack in acute and chronic desease phases. Identification of new tissue-specific biomarkers of acute coronary syndrome. Development of new myocardial reperfusion therapies in acute coronary syndrome. Determining the clinical significance of platelet functions.
- Arterial Stiffness Research Group
Leader: Dr. Attila Cziráki
Invasive Hemodynamic Research Group
Leader: Dr. Iván Horváth
Platelet Aggregation Inhibition Research Group
Leader: Dr. András Komócsi
Cardiac MR Research Group
Leader: Prof. Dr. Tamás Simor
Molecular Cardiology Research Group
Leader: Dr. István Szokodi
Department of Immunology and Biotechnology:
Head: Dr. Tímea Berki
- Lymphoid Organogenesis Research Group
Our studies focus on the developmental processes of peripheral lymphoid organs (particularly spleen and gut-associated lymphoid tissues). Our main interest is the analysis of stromal constituents using specific phenotypic markers in various animal models, and the involvement of these cells in the homeostasis (distribution and survival) of lymphocytes. Technological platforms: production of rat monoclonal antibodies against mouse lymphohemopoietic antigens; radiation chimeras (allogeneic and xenogeneic); embryo manipulation and transgenic mice; immunochemical analysis, flow cytometry, immunohistology, tissue culture.
- Immune Regulation and Signal Transduction Research Group
The mechanisms of immune tolerance and regulation of the immune response is the major question in the development of autoimmune diseases. Our aim is to detect the cellular and molecular elements of the tolerance induction where we focus on the role of regulatory T cells and the effects of glucocorticoid hormone in animal models and in human atoimmune patient’s samples.
- Evolution of innate immunity research group
The relative simplicity of invertebrate innate immune functions offers potentially sensitive and accessible means to study the evolution of innate immunity by cross-referencing to the more complex human immune system. Our main interest is to understand and compare the conserved mechanisms of invertebrate and vertebrate innate immune systems. Moreover, we aim to observe the innate immune response biased by environmental contaminants (metal nanoparticles, metal trace elements and toxic chemicals) at cellular, subcellular and gene levels.
- Experimental arthritis research group
Our aim is to better understand the development of autoimmune arthritis in a murine model system. We focus on the role of T cells, paying special attention to the activation- and apoptosis of autoreactive T cells. We seek new key players in the signaling pathways that could regulate the development of autoimmunity.
MTA-PTE Nuclear and Mitochondrial Interactions Research Group:
Leader: Dr. Balázs Sümegi
The group consisting of the most determining researchers of the four institutes of the Medical School performs basic scientific research, which partly serves as a basis for the PhD programs. Some of the significant discoveries are:
- The research team has made significant breakthroughs in the study of the extra nuclear effects of the nuclear PARP-1 enzyme.
- A major new discovery has been done by examining the impact of the mitochondrial permeability transition on the nuclear gene expression. Moderate consumption of red wine is known to have beneficial effects on the obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
- While comparing radiotherapy and temozolomide chemotherapy and polyphenol quercetin treatment efficiency, researchers found a synergy between quercetin and traditional therapies.
- Tests with the aim of understanding the functioning of cytoskeleton and its roles in specific cell functions and processes, with partners from Szeged and England.
- The currently most commonly used painkillers increase the cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. The researchers therefore examined the cardiovascular effects of the bradykinin B1 receptor antagonists.
The above mentioned fundamental researches serve the needs of the society primarily through maintenance and increase of the international prestige of the Hungarian science, as well as through the high-level training for the future of science instructors and research teams. However, in the longer term, with the identification of new molecular targets used in disease diagnosis and treatment might have a great social benefit.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology:
Clinic Director: Dr. József Bódis
Besides embryo nutrients, within the frames of our prospective studies we aim to examine the maternal side and the pre-embryonic relationship. In order to achieve a successful implantation, it is not sufficient to select an embryo viable from all aspects; endometrial receptivity is also essential. In the scientific literature relatively poor data are available on the selection of the so-called „receptive window period”. In our studies we intend to broaden our knowledge in the previously mentioned areas.