Department of Cellular and Molecular Pathology
Genetic variations, altered activity of specific enzyme systems involved in drug metabolism, overexpression of the "efflux pumps" or altered susceptibility to apoptosis induction have a significant contribution to the chemotherapy failure in different disorders. On the other hand, cell therapy has the potential to emerge as an important new strategy of treatment over the next decades.
Our general objectives are:
- to understand how disease and infection are controlled at the molecular and physiological level and to target specific entities based on this knowledge;
- to bring stem cell technology to the clinic and to initiate cell therapy procedures in patients with malignant disorders, hepatic failure and inborn congenital disorders.
Research at the Department of Antiviral Therapy focuses on the following major topics:
Rational design/identification and evaluation of new, safer, more effective drugs and drug targets. The emphasis is on the use and translation of the knowledge and methods derived from genomics into concrete applications for innovative drug design and development, involving approaches such as therapeutic targeting and rational drug design or identification. Our main objective is to develop reagents and/or screening technologies, identification of specific genes or gene expression, alleles, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and/or haplotypes that may be of interest for antiviral, anticancer, post-transplant, and psychiatric therapy management and, use of the genotypes to determine subsets of patients who may benefit from a therapeutical intervention (trail design or drug rescue) or for helping pharmaceutical companies better define and/or expand markets for existing products.
Studies on the molecular mechanisms which sustain the ex vivo expansion of the adult stem cell (hematopoietic, mesenchymal, hepatic) in order to find effective methods, technically relevant, for ex vivo cultivation of these cells, through manipulation of culture microenvironment by cytokines supplementation.