October is the last month of the MSCA IF Mobility Support Project at FNUSA-ICRC. Its main objective was to support the professional development of our centre’s researchers and thus indirectly promote quality research and scientific collaboration at the FNUSA-ICRC. The project enabled two excellent scientists to join our centre’s research teams and their research activities.

Marco De Zuani, Ph.D. MSc. worked in the Cellular and Molecular Immunoregulation team under the supervision of Mgr. Jan Fric, Ph.D. He was mainly involved in research on stem cell behavior during sepsis. He focused on research on myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC), which are a diverse population of cells that negatively influence the immune response during inflammation, infections, transplantation and cancer.

The role of these cells during sepsis, i.e. in layman’s terms blood poisoning, was described in the paper “Human myeloid-derived suppressor cell expansion during sepsis is revealed by unsupervised clustering of flow cytometric data” in the European Journal of Immunology (IF 5,18), with Marco de Zuani being the first author of this study. “The data from this study suggest that the abundance of these cells could be associated with the increased mortality observed in patients who survived septic shock,” Dr. De Zuani said. Thus, targeted therapy aimed at MDSC cells could improve the prospects of sepsis patients for their overall recovery.

Dmitrii Nikitin, Ph.D., CSc. D., has been involved in research at the Loschmidt Laboratories of the Faculty of Science of MU and FNUSA-ICRC. He focused mainly on the development of new thrombolytics in close collaboration with the Stroke research team. Effective treatment in stroke depends on rapid thrombus dissolution and minimizing damage to surrounding tissues. Thrombolytic agents are key players in these therapies. Dr. Nikitin’s research has focused, among other things, on staphylokinases, an enzyme produced by staphylococcal bacteria, and their use in dissolving thrombi. Better thrombolytic properties may thus lead to lower therapeutic doses and a lower risk of bleeding complications. The research results could thus help save lives and heal many patients in the future.

Supported by the European Regional Development Fund – Project Support of MSCA IF fellowships at FNUSA-ICRC (No CZ.02.2.69/0.0/0.0/19_074/0016274)