Ceremonial opening of the new buildings
Most modern equipment intended for science and research development as well as education of prospective doctors and scientists, functional and impressive architecture, enough space. The premises of the Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen have been extended by the University Medical Centre building complex.
Attended by special guests, a ceremonial opening of the new buildings took place on Friday, 17th October 2014 after a two-year construction of the university mini-campus and summer removals. Being located in the immediate vicinity of the University Hospital in Pilsen in Lochotin, the campus includes the Theoretical Institutes’ building, mostly intended for teaching, and the Biomedical Centre – an institute focused on research and development.
Five of the twenty faculty theoretical institutes (biophysics, biology, pharmacology and toxicology, physiology and pathological physiology) have moved in these new modern teaching spaces. This is the first significant quality progress in the apparatus equipment and overall environment for the academic staff and students after many years of being located in old and inconvenient spaces.
The Biomedical Centre is the second part of the new Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen premises. Unlike other faculty institutes, the Centre will be engaged solely in scientific research and development in the field of organs compensation and regeneration. Thus the Centre continues the successful programmes carried out at our faculty in previous years. Biomedical Centre research teams, which worked in existing spaces during the Centre construction, are now beginning to use the facilities of highly specialized laboratories, experimental operating theatres and other workplaces.
“I believe the cooperation between the university and the hospital will be successful and we will see new findings in biomedicine. I also believe we will meet soon after the second stage construction which will provide the Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen with even more dignified environment for science, research and study. The faculty undoubtedly deserves it.”, said prof. MUDr. Tomas Zima, DrSc., MBA, the Rector of Charles University, at the ceremonial opening.
The main application place and the closest partner of the faculty is the University Hospital in Pilsen. Its director, MUDr. Vaclav Simanek, PhD., said at the ceremonial opening that the UniMec centre will significantly increase the quality of the basic research, not only in Western Bohemia. “Thanks to close cooperation between the Centre and our hospital, our patients will benefit from the research results.”Prof. MUDr. Boris Kreuzberg, CSc., the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen, remembered the beginning of the construction and expressed the hope that it will be possible to implement all contract research intents and requirements on the results commercialization. “Although commercialization does not have a great tradition in health care and higher education in the Czech Republic, I rejoice in the fact that we have recently got a significant research team asset, MUDr. Karel Jezek. At the same time a microbiologist doc. Ing. Jaroslav Hrabák, Ph.D. was granted a patent on microbial resistance to antibiotics.”
The Biomedical Centre is the only institution in the region primarily focused on biomedical research. It focuses on both research at the basic level, which brings findings on phenomena foundations and causes, and applied research, which leads to exploitation of scientific research results in practice. An example of the basic research in the Centre is the Laboratory for Experimental Neurophysiology which focuses on brain research, especially on memory, and which is managed by MUDr. Karel Jezek, PhD. Until recently our colleague Dr. Jezek worked at Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, a part of Trondheim University, where May-Britt and Edvard Mosers are employed. They are engaged in brain research and were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine this year. Dr. Jezek was a member of their team for seven years and he still continues cooperating with them.
Orientation of the applied research carried out in the Biomedical Centre is in compliance with the overall specialization of the Centre set in a such way that the results can, besides other things, contribute to kidney transplantation success rate increase and expansion of its possibilities, to dialysis treatment optimisation or to organ damage biomarkers identification. The Centre is also engaged in improvement of artificial insemination technique or in the development and improvement of methods of work with stem cells and their exploitation for heart or liver regeneration.
The new infrastructure of the Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen was funded under the Operational programme Research and Development for Innovation and co-financed from the university’s own resources. The total grant for the Theoretical Institutes’ building is 161 million CZK and for the Biomedical Centre 408 million CZK. 85% of these expenses was in both cases co-financed from the EU resources and 15% from the state budget.
The new 7-floor 5,000-square-meter Theoretical Institutes’ building will be used by all 2,000 students of our faculty. The Biomedical Centre, which includes two 4,000-square-meter buildings with laboratories and workrooms, is designated for about 110 research workers including approx. one fourth of postgraduate doctoral students. Research activities of the Centre will be also open to students in master’s degree programmes through SSRA (Student Scientific Research Activity).
Creating the new university workspaces has significantly increased the attractiveness of the Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen for both Czech and especially international students who make up one fifth of all our students coming to study here not only from European countries (Portugal, Greece, Sweden) but also from distant countries (Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, New Guinea).