25. May 2023
Košice, May 17, 2023 – The Faculty of Science at Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice has unveiled newly renovated premises that will foster scientific advancements and promote more efficient collaboration between the research community and industry. The state-of-the-art equipment, with a value exceeding one million euros, will be utilized for research in the areas of protein engineering in nanomedicine, bioenergy, and paleobiology. The introduction of these cutting-edge laboratories will significantly elevate the scientific research capabilities of the Center for Interdisciplinary Biosciences at the Technology and Innovation Park of Pavol Jozef Šafárik University (CIB TIP-UPJŠ) and the Department of Biophysics at the Faculty of Science of UPJŠ (KBF PF UPJŠ), positioning them among the top laboratories of European and global importance. The funding for these new facilities primarily stemmed from the “BioPickmol” project, led by assoc. prof. RNDr. Gabriel Žoldák, DrSc., in collaboration with SAFTRA Photonics s.r.o.
The inauguration of the new laboratories was officiated by the Rector of UPJŠ in Košice, prof. RNDr. Pavol Sovák, CSc., and the Director of TIP-UPJŠ and the Chairman of the Board of the Cassovia New Industry Cluster (CNIC), prof. RNDr. Pavol Miškovský, DrSc. These laboratories will serve not only the staff members of CIB TIP-UPJŠ and KBF PF UPJŠ but also students pursuing higher education at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It is anticipated that these laboratories will be instrumental in conducting research projects that contribute to advancements in the fields of biological, physical, chemical, and informatics sciences.
The renovation of the premises, amounting to 230,000 euros, and the acquisition of state-of-the-art experimental equipment, valued at 1.5 million euros, were financed through multiple sources, involving TIP-UPJŠ, CIB TIP-UPJŠ, the Faculty of Science, the Department of Biophysics, the Institute of Physics, and the University of Pavol Jozef Šafárik in Košice. The acquisition of the new equipment was primarily made possible through the “BioPickmol” project, which received funding of up to 1 million euros. This project was supported by EU structural funds and coordinated by assoc. prof. RNDr. Gabriel Žoldák, DrSc., in collaboration with the industrial partner SAFTRA Photonics. The main focus of the “BioPickmol” project was the development of a detection method for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, utilizing SAFTRA Photonics’ PickMolTM technology.
The laboratory equipment, financed by the APVV and VEGA projects, which require relatively less funding, will significantly enhance the capabilities of these laboratories to conduct competitive scientific research in the fields of protein engineering, nanomedicine, bioenergy, and paleobiology.
The expansion of laboratory spaces was initiated by CIB TIP-UPJŠ and KBF PF UPJŠ as a result of the OpenMed and BioPickmol projects, funded by EU structural funds, as well as the CasProt project obtained within the H2020 program. These projects brought forth new scientific challenges and facilitated the recruitment of experienced and promising young researchers.
The research conducted in these laboratories holds the potential for the development of new drugs, biotechnological applications, and a deeper understanding of biological processes. Moreover, increased collaboration with industry, particularly through the direct connection of these laboratories to CNIC, is expected.
“The reconstructed and newly built laboratories at KBF PF UPJŠ and CIB TIP-UPJŠ are of great importance to us and will provide opportunities for more effective and flexible collaboration with industry. With these laboratories and new staff members, we anticipate not only an improvement in the quality of our research publications but also an increase in the number of patents and industrial designs, particularly in the realm of developing novel therapeutic and diagnostic methods in medicine,” stated prof. Pavol Miškovský, Director of TIP-UPJŠ and Chairman of the Board of CNIC.
Overall, these laboratories are expected to contribute to the enhancement of scientific quality, the intensified utilization of modern technologies in Slovakia, and the reinforcement of Pavol Jozef Šafárik University’s position as a prominent research and educational center in the field of interdisciplinary biosciences.