News

Gorazd Stokin - Director of FNUSA-ICRC

5. 7. 2019

Gorazd Stokin - Chief of FNUSA-ICRC

Dear colleagues,

This week there were several press releases regarding International Clinical Research Centre (FNUSA-ICRC) of St. Anne’s University Hospital (FNUSA). FNUSA-ICRC has not been involved and it also does not have competencies to be involved in the matters reported by the press.

In recent years, we have worked hard together to build good relationships and gain a good reputation. We work in many areas and our common goal is satisfaction of patients. I do not want this mutual trust to be damaged by some articles.

On a separate note, I visited Minister of Health on May 28 to update him on recent successes of FNUSA-ICRC and to emphasise the need for a clear financial strategy beyond 2021 as mentioned to you in advance during the FNUSA-ICRC May 16 business meeting.

I personally do not know the rationale behind the press releases, which likely attempt to erode relationship between FNUSA-ICRC and the rest of FNUSA. Please rest assured that FNUSA-ICRC will continue working hard as a proud member of the FNUSA community.

FNUSA Director M.Pavlik and I have followed up and discussed the press release situtation carefully and stay united in our view and response.

I believe that these articles have not harmed the cooperation between FNUSA and FNUSA-ICRC part in the future and that we will continue to work together to help developing  patient's  care.

Yours sincerely,

Gorazd B. Stokin, MD, PhD, FAAN
Chair - International Clinical Research Centre

Philips Director for Central and Eastern Europe - FNUSA-ICRC thumb

27. 6. 2019

At the end of June, Philips' Central and Eastern European CEO Reinier Schlatmann and several colleagues from the company's regional headquarters and the Prague office for the Czech Republic visited our center. Our center uses Philips technology in the areas of sleep medicine, magnetic resonance imaging for cardiology, heart failure, and circulatory diseases. The main topic of the visit was cooperation on the development of new technologies of the company. For several years our center has been involved in testing new technologies of the company in the field of sleep medicine.

Philips' Central and Eastern European CEO Reinier Schlatmann at FNUSA-ICRC
Prof. Ondrej Ludka FNUSA-ICRC

24. 6. 2019

Prof. Ondrej Ludka - SMED team at FNUSA-ICRC

Appointment letters to new professors were awarded by the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports Robert Plaga last week. The appointees received the highest academic degree in the Karolinum Large Assembly Hall, Prague. One of them was Ondřej Ludka, the Head of our Sleep Medicine research team, in the field of internal medicine.

Prof. Ludka's research focuses on the importance of risk factors, such as breathing disorders during sleep or its disruption - the so-called sleep apnea, and their association with obesity and other cardiovascular diseases including myocardial infarction. He is the leader of our Cardiovascular Sleep Center - one of the few institutions specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders in the EU in patients with cardiovascular disease. Prof. Ludka represents the Czech Republic in European sleep associations and participates in their activities. For example, since 2017, our center has been part of the European Sleep Apnea Database (ESADA). We have provided data on more than 700 patients and are now among two institutions with the highest number of patients included in the project each year. Thanks to Prof. Ludka's effort, we are going to host the ESADA European Sleep Research Society project meeting in January 2020. Therefore, for a few days, Brno will host experts from different parts of Europe whose research contributes to healthier sleep, which in turn decreases the risk of further health complications.

FNUSA-ICRC Grant competition

20. 6. 2019

During April, an internal grant competition was launched to support emerging scientific projects: "Translating Research to Impact the Quality of Life". The deadline for submission of proposals was at the end of May and is currently being evaluated by independent experts from ISAB Board FNUSA-ICRC.

In total, thirteen proposals were submitted, which were divided into four evaluation panels. The first panel evaluates the proposals submitted by researchers from St. Anne´s University Hospital Brno, others are focused on proposals of researchers from FNUSA-ICRC in the section Clinical Research, Molecular Genetics and Disease Modelling. "The aim of this competition was to motivate researchers not to be afraid to submit grant applications," said Eliška Skalická, FNUSA-ICRC grant specialist, adding: "We will see in the future whether this plan was successful, but it is a very good start."

The results of the internal grant competition will be announced during July.

FNUSA-ICRC grant competition
Alliance4Life in Latvia

19. 6. 2019

Alliance4Life Logo

Almost 100 representatives from ten research centres and universities from nine Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries met for the fourth time at the Alliance4Life meeting in early June. These partners form a unique community of institutions in the life sciences and medical fields that is unparalleled in the region. The initiator and coordinator of the alliance is CEITEC Masaryk University (MU) from the Czech Republic. The focus of the meeting was to share best practices and receive training from internal and external experts, as well as discuss the future of the alliance.

The Latvian seaside resort of Jūrmala was the centre of lively discussions held over several days, aimed at sharing ideas for achieving qualitative changes in the management of institutions, thus creating more favourable conditions for high quality research in life sciences. One of the Alliance4life members, the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis (LIOS), was the host of the event.

Both experts from the member institutions and invited lecturers from outside of the alliance were involved in sharing best practices through lectures and training sessions in the plenary sessions. The agenda of the Steering Committee meetings and the Strategy Board focused on planning the alliance's future strategy and activities, particularly from 2020. Several decisions were made, such as achieving greater involvement of researchers in project-based collaboration, building greater capacity for shaping European research policy, and strengthening collaborations with other EU networks. A draft of a White Paper with specific recommendations for policymakers at the national and European levels was also discussed.

The alliance was created as a joint project that received support from the Horizon 2020 European Framework Program for Research and Innovation. "It is certainly positive that the alliance, thanks to its intensive joint work, has turned into a real association over the last two years. This is evidenced by the draft Memorandum of Understanding that is foreseen to be signed at the next meeting in Vilnius in October, thus establishing the Alliance4Life as a permanent structure,” explained Zlatuše Novotná, Head of Strategic Partnerships and International Relations at CEITEC MU and Alliance4Life Coordinator.

"We have succeeded in creating a platform based on the discussion of focus groups working on the most pressing topics relevant to every CEE research institution -  scientific strategy and research evaluation, grants, institutional management, technology transfer, human resources and training, and PR and communication,” said Giancarlo Forte, Vice Chair of FNUSA-ICRC.

Alliance4Life research centres and universities have been working together since 2018 to improve their functions as a whole, including the internal cultures of their scientific worksites, management quality, and personnel policy rules. In the Alliance4Life,Czech Republic is represented by CEITEC and FNUSA-ICRC.

For more information please visit www.alliance4life.eu.

FNUSA – ICRC participated in the Alliance4Life Meeting in Latvia
Brno’s mayor, Marketa Vankova at FNUSA-ICRC

18. 6. 2019

Brno’s mayor at FNUSA-ICRC Markéta Vaňková

Markéta Vaňová has a law degree and has been active in politics with the Civic Democratic Party since 2002. In November 2018, she became the new mayor of Brno. How does she see the level of research in Brno, how does she support science and research and where, in her opinion, lies the potential for retaining young talents? Read her answers in our interview.

What did you like most when you walked around the laboratories of our International Clinical Research Center at FNUSA? What are your impressions?

My impressions are really good. I am very happy that Brno has a cutting-edge research center – we have something to be really proud of. I was also positively surprised that the citizens of Brno can join in some of your research projects, which means it brings tangible benefits for them.

Is there anything else that caught your attention?

I am also very happy that the International Clinical Research Center has attracted foreign researchers to Brno, both for short- and long-term stays, and that it has been promoting our city abroad, which I also see as very important.

In your opinion, what is the level of research in Brno? Does it compare well with other cities in the Czech Republic and abroad?

From what I know about this topic, and from looking at the contacts and visitors that I have seen as the mayor of this city, I would say that the level of research in Brno is excellent. Brno is proud to have been the city of science, research and innovation for a long time. And rightfully so, I would say. Among Czech cities, we are certainly at the top; at the European and international levels, we have kept up with others without any problems.

Is the city of Brno planning to continue supporting science and research in the future?

For clarification, let us not forget that the city of Brno has been developing the potential of our universities, research and development centers for a long time and since 2009, it has been directly investing into projects under the Regional Innovation Strategy. At the moment, the regular annual budget for science popularization is CZK 31 million and the city is spending another CZK 45 million to support research centers, talented students, innovative small- and medium-sized enterprises and the South Moravian Innovation Centre.

Do you see young talents leaving for abroad as being a risk?

Generally speaking, it is important that Brno will be a pleasant place to live. This does not mean just providing good work opportunities to people, but also a comfortable standard of living. In other words, we have to try our best so that people want to stay here. So that they believe, just like I do, that Brno is the best place to live.

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