A new microscopy centre will help both Czech and foreign researchers in their fight against diseases
One of the best-equipped microscopy centres in Europe celebrated its opening ceremony today at the Institute of Molecular Genetics of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague. The most up-to-date imaging technologies will be used by both Czech and international research communities to identify important processes in cells and tissues. The knowledge gained will be used in the treatment of severe diseases, such as cancer and viral infections. The redevelopment of the laboratories and the cost of equipment amounted to CZK 55 million. The project involved participation by the European Union and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic
The new microscopy laboratory covers a wide range of ultrastructural biomedicine imaging – from molecules and their interaction, structures and cell and tissue processes to infection mechanisms. The availability of these technologies for the research community is indispensable for making major discoveries and in order to maintain the competitiveness of biological and medical sciences in the Czech Republic.
“Transmission electron microscopy is a method that enables us to see details of the inner organisation of cells, bacteria and viruses, and to recognize components that constitute them, especially biological macro-molecules, such as different proteins,” explains Prof. Pavel Hozák, the Head of the Microscopy Centre at the Institute of Molecular Genetics of the Czech Academy of Sciences. “So far, thanks to this technology we have been able to explore the structure of liposomes developed for targeted drug transmission, the Franciscella tularensis cell infection mechanisms (bacteria that cause tularemia), the mechanisms of virus particle formation, the role of mitochondria in apoptosis, the mechanisms of spermatogenesis, and many other topics. The results have been published in prestigious scientific journals.”
The laboratory is part of the national infrastructure for biological and medical imaging, Czech-Bioimaging, which combines the top-class research institutes of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and leading universities in the Czech Republic. It also provides Open Access to the most modern imaging technologies and data analysis, both for the national and, through Euro-BioImaging, the international research communities.
“It is no longer sufficient to place a sample on a larger plate and look through a microscope lens. Today, we need highly qualified experts who will guide customers through the complex process of experiment planning, the selection of suitable metering technology, the preparation of samples and data interpretation,” says Vlada Filimonenko, Head of the Electron Microscopy core facility. “Our experienced team provides initial training, consulting services, sample preparation, data analysis, tools for image processing and assistance during the interpretation of obtained results and the preparation of data for publication.”
“I am very happy that our company was able to participate by providing technology for the new Microscopy Centre at the Institute of Molecular Genetics, the Czech Academy of Sciences. I believe that our devices will contribute to the making of new discoveries in human health and will move both Czech and international research forward,” announced Bruno Achard, President and General Director of JEOL SAS.