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Faculty of Medicine

Research for a better future

Faculty of Medicine

Institute of Physiology (coordinator of the equipment “System for electro- and optophysiology” and “Housing and measurements in laboratory animals”)

Within the Institute of Physiology, we are developing advanced approaches in the study of complex tissue models on fresh tissue preparations (slices, tissue pieces and isolated cells), in particular for an in-depth understanding of the normal and pathological functioning of the endo- and exocrine part of the pancreas.

The key components of the infrastructure programme supported by our equipment are:

  • “Development of in vitro cell models”,
  • “Electro and optophysiology system”,
  • “Housing and measurements in laboratory animals” and
  • Session “Integrating pre-clinical and clinical research”.

The Electro-optophysiology system supports activities on normal and pathological physiology of endocrine cells in mouse and human pancreatic islets of Langerhans, exocrine, i.e., pancreatic acinar and ductal cells, and the link to endocrine cell function and other electrically and intracellularly irritable cells such as bladder smooth muscle cells, interstitial Cajal cells, lens epithelial cells and others. We are extending our research to new mouse disease models of type 2 diabetes, to rat and pig tissue, and also to human tissue to investigate the impact of pathological and pharmacological agents in a more translationally relevant way. This support is important in terms of understanding the origins, prevention and control of chronic non-communicable diseases which are major public health problems, in particular diabetes, pancreatitis and urinary incontinence. We are also the only company in the Cohesion Region to offer housing and measurements in laboratory animals to provide indispensable support for the safe and regulatory housing of mice, including both healthy mice for the study of normal function and genetic and nutritional mouse models of disease. As part of RIUM1, we have supplied a new upright system for confocal single- and multi-photon microscopy with simultaneous electrophysiology, hybrid detectors, white-light laser and resonance scanner, which allows us to upgrade the work of our research group in all the above areas. We have also purchased an additional electrophysiology system which offers the possibility of increasing the numerus and the parallel flow of measurements of spontaneous and induced activity on the one hand, and the sensitivity of the exocytotic apparatus on the other hand.

The Institute of Physiology is thus crucially pursuing the 3 main objectives of the Infrastructure Programme:

  • Understanding the pathophysiology and new therapeutic targets in diabetes
  • Understanding the pathophysiology and new therapeutic targets in pancreatitis
  • Understanding the pathophysiology and new therapeutic targets in micturition disorders

Institute of Biomedical Sciences (Equipment Coordinator for “Development of Advanced In Vitro Cell Models”, “Development of Complex 3D Materials and their Analysis” and “Integrating Preclinical and Clinical Research”)

The Institute of Biomedical Sciences develops advanced functional in vitro models of various tissues and their pathologically altered variants, including solutions for their regeneration, 3D reconstruction and/or targeting advanced targeted therapies. The backbone of our work is the equipment included in the infrastructure programme within:

  1. “Advanced Materials Preparation and Analysis Suite”,
  2. “Functional analysis of biomolecular mechanisms”, and
  3. the “In vitro cellular models’ assembly”.

The larger pieces of equipment include those that constitute the basic infrastructure without which this type of research is not possible (e.g., incubators, inverted and fluorescence microscopes, spectrophotometers, etc.), as well as larger pieces of equipment that represent the modern state-of-the-art equipment necessary for breakthrough related research (e.g., ICP-OES, atomic force microscope, NanoCT, advanced 3D printers, etc.). New pieces of equipment are already being purchased to help us further develop our core activities (e.g., a fluorescence microscope-based incubation system with a flow cell for real-time monitoring and treatment of in vitro models; a new 3D printer combining all currently existing 3D printing techniques with electrospinning; a transmission electron microscope and a semi-production pharmaceutical laboratory are also planned – within the framework of RIUM 2). The Institute of Biomedical Sciences is pursuing the following 3 main objectives:

  • Development of new and more advanced in vitro models of tissues and diseases
  • Development of complex 3D constructs for regenerative medicine
  • Advanced delivery systems for targeted delivery of active substances or targeted therapies

Center for Human Molecular Genetics and Pharmacogenomics  (CHMGF)

Center for Human Molecular Genetics and Pharmacogenomics developed within the UM Infrastructure Program is the nation-wide leading infrastructure for multi-omics analyses, which enables state-of-the-art approaches to systems biology and (bio) medicine for biomarker detection for personalized medicine. Our multi-omics technology center is also unique in that it provides all state-of-the-art multi-omics analyses in one place, including genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, epigenomics, metabolomics.

The key components of the infrastructure programme supported by our equipment are:

  1. “System for Genomics” (next-generation sequencer and laser scanner for DNA and RNA microarrays)
  1. “System for Proteomics and metabolomics” (high-resolution mass spectrometers associated with (nano) HPLC
  2. “System for Functional analysis of biomolecular mechanisms” (imaging flow cytometer and cell sorter)

The Center for human genetics is thus crucially pursuing the 3 main objectives of the Infrastructure Programme:

  • Discovery of biomarkers for personalized medicine (We are the national coordinator of the “Biomarkers” platform within the project “Development of research infrastructure for international competitiveness of the Slovenian RRI area in the field of biomedicine and drug development”, and a member of the international consortium EATRIS-ERIC Infrastructure in Medicine – European Research Infrastructure Consortium) within the ESFRI network (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures)
  • Development of a biobank of clinical specimens in accordance with the highest international standards (partners in BBMRI-ERIC (Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure – European Research Infrastructure Consortium) within the EU network European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI).
  • Development of functional cell models and organs on a chip.
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