Eight MUG scientists received funding for the implementation of individual scientific activities (preliminary/pilot study, research trip, query) as part of the results of the National Science Centre’s MINIATURA 6 competition announced between June and August 2022.
Project entitled Use of a lentiviral vector for gene editing co-financed with PLN 49,940 will be carried out under the supervision of Dorota Iwaszkiewicz-Grześ Eng.D. from the Department of Medical Immunology. The research activity includes a research trip to the Department of Gene and Cell Therapy at Akdeniz Üniversitesi in Turkey. It aims to broaden the knowledge and skills related to the implementation of laboratory techniques with the use of lentiviral vectors in the conducted research, including in an animal model of type 1 diabetes.
– Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease in which the pancreas stops or produces little insulin as a result of the destruction of the β-cells of the Langerhans islets. Great hope in its treatment is provided by biological drugs, incl. polyclonal regulatory T cells (Tregs) which play a key role in the maintenance of peripheral tolerance. Although numerous studies have confirmed the safety and efficacy of their use in the treatment of harmful immune responses, these cells lose their characteristic phenotype and suppressive potential during ex vivo expansion. Therefore, the search for methods of generating cells with better potential is still being sought, and one of them is gene transfer, e.g. insulin. Due to the fact that genome editing has a very wide range of applications, I would like to use them to analyze signaling pathways modified with genes characteristic for Tregs cells – explains Dorota Iwaszkiewicz-Grześ Eng.D.
Marlena Robakowska, Ph.D. from the Division of Public Health & Social Medicine obtained funding in the amount of PLN 40 898 for the program entitled Examination of own resources and needs as well as the perception of healthcare organization among managers of Polish hospital emergency departments. Personnel and financial problems as well as the growing phenomenon of “overcrowding” cause more and more difficulties in the proper operation of hospital emergency departments (HEDs) in Poland. It is important to look for solutions aimed at improving the functioning and financing of HEDs so that patients in health and life-threatening situations can benefit from professional help as soon as possible. The planned research of a cognitive and practical nature is an attempt to identify determinants and key elements that may improve the functioning of HEDs based on the analysis of own resources and needs, and the perception of healthcare organization among the management of Polish HEDs. Due to the nature and complexity of the study, it will be carried out using the triangulation method.
Research trip Increasing the effectiveness of interventions in the behavioral treatment of obesity in the population of children and adolescents of Paulina Metelska, Ph.D. from the Division of Public Health & Social Medicine was co-financed with the amount of PLN 29,478. This will be an internship at the School of Physiotherapy; Division of Population Health Sciences; RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences in Dublin – one of the best centres in Europe for the treatment of obesity in children and adolescents. Its purpose is a comparative analysis of: methods used in working with children with excess body weight in a specialist center in Dublin (Temple Street North), research carried out so far in the center and the methodology of planning research on the effectiveness of therapeutic and therapeutic interventions with the activities carried out in Poland.
Adrian Szewczyk, Ph.D. from the Department of Physical Chemistry will conduct a project Bioglass with the potential to regenerate bone tissue – study of mineralization properties in human serum, for which he obtained financing in the amount of PLN 49,500. The aim of the work is to verify the mineralization properties of the newly obtained bioglass in a long-term study in human serum and in SBF in comparison to the mineralization properties of commercially available bioglass.
– Before using the biomaterial for the production of an implant regenerating bone tissue, its mineralization properties, i.e. the ability to form hydroxyapatite on the surface of the material in vitro, should be verified. This test is routinely performed according to ISO 23317:2014 in human plasma fluid – SBF, which has a number of limitations. Long-term research with the use of human serum will allow to verify the mineralization properties of the proposed bioglass in conditions similar to in vivo, and thus the possibility of its use in the production of bone replacement implants. The simultaneous test carried out at SBF will allow to verify the convergence of the results and thus the validity of the application of the ISO standard – says Adrian Szewczyk, PhD..
Study Exploration of the possibility of using elements of machine counting and artificial intelligence to assess prognostic indicators in fluorescence angiography studies during colorectal surgery carried out by Dr. Habil.Karol Połom from the Departament of Surgical Oncology was co-financed with the amount of PLN 49,500. The project concerns the qualitative and quantitative assessment of fluorescent angiography of the large intestine during the reconstruction of the gastrointestinal tract in the course of oncological surgery.
– One of the most common surgical complications after treatment of colorectal neoplasms is leakage of the intestinal anastomosis. It is associated with poorer patient outcomes, not only in the short term, but also in the long term. The main cause of anastomotic leakage is insufficient vascular perfusion. The assessment of the proper blood supply to the intestinal anastomosis, despite significant technological progress, is still based on the experience of the operating surgeon. This is very subjective and makes it difficult to reliably assess the clinical situation. The use of gastrointestinal angiography with infrared light using indocyanine green allows to obtain objective and reproducible results. The use of appropriate physical parameters regarding the optical properties of fluorescence, i.e. quantitative value of the perfusion time, fluorescence intensity measured sequentially, will allow you to plot a perfusion graph using live analysis and from already recorded video with additional modeling – points Dr. Habil. Karol Połom.
Marta Zawadzka, Ph.D. from the Division of Developmental Neurology received PLN 35,530 for the project Searching for correlation between serum concentration and polymorphism of genes encoding selected cytokines (interleukin 18 and 37) and the course of epilepsy. Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders in childhood. 1/3 of patients are resistant to available therapies, and the mechanisms responsible for drug resistance are still unknown.
– The detection of epilepsy biomarkers is important in identifying patient profiles and could play an important role in the development of new immunomodulatory therapies. The first aim of the study is to determine whether the interleukins IL-18 and IL-37 may be new biomarkers of the course of epilepsy. The second is the comparison of the frequency of the IL-18-137G/C variant among epilepsy patients and healthy people. The study will include 100 patients aged 3 months to 18 years of age with diagnosed epilepsy (the study group) and 100 healthy patients (control group), matched in terms of age and gender distribution to the study group. Interleukin 18 and 37 levels and the presence of the IL-18-137G/C variant will be assessed in both groups. Finding a correlation between serum concentration and polymorphism of genes encoding selected cytokines (IL-18 and 37) and the course of epilepsy would enable the identification of new biomarkers of this disease – says Marta Zawadzka, Ph.D.
Funds in the amount of PLN 19,855 were granted to Piotr Paluchowski, Ph.D. from the Division of History & Philosophy of Medical Sciences for a scientific inquiry in Berlin regarding printed calendars from the modern period.
– In Europe, calendar prints were one of the most popular media of the modern period, popularizing, among others, medical knowledge. In Poland, their development also dates back to the very beginnings of printing. Prints of calendars from Royal Prussia, constituting an important element of the literary culture of the Republic of Poland, have survived to the present day, often as single copies in Polish, German and other European libraries, which makes it possible to compare them. Hence, the need to fully familiarize oneself with the German-language literature on calendars, resulting at this stage of research. Berlin was chosen as the place to learn about contemporary and older calendar literature because of its scientific libraries. A stay in the capital of Germany also makes it possible to research the source material, among others at Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz and at Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz – explains Piotr Paluchowski, Ph.D.
Elwira Smolińska-Fijołek, Ph.D. from the Department of Physiology received funding in the amount of PLN 49,830 for a research trip Analysis of the functional consequences of the loss of the Y chromosome in the NK-92 human cell line. The scientific activity is aimed at examining the effect of the loss of the Y chromosome (LOY) on the activity of NK cells. The planned research will contribute to understanding the mechanism of how the loss of the Y chromosome is associated with the dysfunction of NK cells, and will help to verify the role of LOY in NK cells in the development and progression of inflammation in Alzheimer’s disease. The work will be performed in the research team * of prof. Jan Dumański * at the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala universitet in Sweden.
Full list of financed projects is available at Polish-language website of the National Science Centre.
photo by Paweł Sudara/MUG, A. Grabowska/Museum of Gdańska, scientists’ private archive