Recognition for the imaging labs

Both Magyar Celluláris Képalkotó [Cellular Imaging Hungary], established through the coordinating activity of the University of Debrecen, and Magyar Orvosi és Preklinikai Képalkotó Laboratórium [Medical and Preclinical Imaging Hungary] have been recognized recently as locations for the most outstanding research infrasructure in Hungary. Each of these two laboratories are accredited members of the Euro-BioImaging ERIC [European Research Infrastructure Consortium].

Nemzeti Kutatási, Fejlesztési és Innovációs Hivatal [National Research, Development and Innovation Office] has awarded the title "Top 50 Kutatási Infrastruktúra” [Top 50 Research Infrastructure] to the service providers Cellular Imaging Hungary and Medical and Preclinical Imaging Hungary, which are both accredited nodes of an ERIC called Euro-BioImaging European Research Infrastructure Consortium.

“Imaging methods, ranging from the level of indivudual molecules to the entire organism, play an ever more important part in biomedical research. The dramatic improvement and diversity of the relevant technologies discernible in resolution, data quantity and the methods of data processing have all made it necessary to establish platforms of cooperation both at the domestic and European levels between the imaging service providing laboratories based upon excellence and division of labor. The objective of Euro-BioImaging is to provide access to biological (microscopic) and medical imaging services and procedures for researchers conducting biomedical research,” said György Vámosi, a Senior Research Fellow of the Department of Biophysics and Cell Biology of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Debrecen, who serves as a representative of both of the above infrastructures in the body called Euro-BioImaging Board.

The nodes have been created through the joint effort of several institutions (DE, SE, ELKH SZBK, Femtonics Kft, PTE Szentágothai Kutatóközpont, Scanomed Kft, ELKH ATOMKI) underneath the supervision and coordination of the University of Debrecen. At the Faculty of Medicine, the instrument clusters located in Damjanovich Szolgáltató Laboratórium [Sándor Damjanovich Cell analysis Core Facility] of the Department of Biophysics and Cell Biology, in Élettani Intézet [Department of Physiology] and in Anatómiai Intézet [Institute of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology] belong to the imaging microscopy node. 

“The nodes provide free access and expert assistance to medical imaging equipment and methods for Hungarian and European users in the academic and industrial spheres. Thanks partly to the GINOP tenders of previous years, the nodes dispose of state-of-the-art euipment and several decades of experience in the application of a number of procedures. The present recognition reflects the result of long years of preparation,” said János Szöllősi, a professor of the Department of Biophysics and Cell Biology of the University of Debrecen, who is also a representative of Hungarian imaging microscopy infrastructure in the European organization.

The medical and preclinical imaging node comprises imaging technology and equipment available at the Department of Nuclear Medicine, Scanomed Kft. and ATOMKI [Institute for Nuclear Research].

At the Department of Nuclear Medicine, the primary activities include the examination of radiopharmaceuticals or solutions containing radioactive isotopes. In small animals, for example, it is examined how they spread in the organism or the body and whether they get to the destinations intended. The department also conducts university research projects, while they receive commissions from phramaceutical companies too. 

“A company may have a pharmaceutical molecule about which there is no information concerning where it might end up or start to accumulate when injected into the organism because they do not possess the proper analytic methods to find out. So they come to us, and we mark the molecule with a radio-isotope, which we can then monitor and trace. The molecule thus marked is then given to the lab animal, and we can follow how and in which organs it accumulates. The company receives information from us whether their molecule indeed arrives at its destination. For example, if they aim to send it to a brain receptor if the pharmaceutical molecule does end up there indeed.  Once they have this kind of information, they can take the next step and start the examinations in humans,” said György Trencsényi, Head of the Department of Nuclear Medicine of the Medical Imaging Clinic of the Faculty of Medicine at UD, and Assistant Professor István Hajdu, who is the representative of the Hungarian medical and preclinical imaging infrastructure in the European organization.

So far, the nodes have contributed to the achievement of several outstanding biomedical findings in the institutions concerned.

“For competitive biomedical research, we also need world-class research tools and equipment in addition to the well-trained and innovative researchers. The excellent research infrastructure that has been established at the University of Debrecen provides an unparalleled opportunity for collaborations at home and abroad. The cooperation between research groups multiplies the efficiency of research efforts and presents a realistic chance for the achievement of outstanding results,” said László Mátyus, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at UD.

A high priority for the future is to keep abreast of the development of the methods, the instruments and the equipment and, thus, continue to contribute to the success of basic and applied research

Press Office