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A research group of 11 working at the Department of Internal Medicine and Oncology studying adrenal tumours received the title of Research Centre of Excellence from the European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumours (ENSAT). This has made the Division of Endocrinology at the Department of Internal Medicine and Oncology a Research Centre of Excellence in addition to another institution located in France.

The primary research areas of the team made up of 11 researchers are molecular genetics, genomics and bioinformatics with special focus on non-coding RNA molecules, specifically microRNAs.

“The majority of the adrenal tumours studied by the research group are benign tumours, however they have several rare forms that can cause serious conditions involving severe complications and poor survival rates.”, said Dr. Péter Igaz, professor of the Department of Internal Medicine and Oncology, head of the Division of Endocrinology and the research group.

They were among the first to describe the microRNA expression pattern of the adrenal cortex and adrenal tumours as well as to identify microRNAs that could be used in the diagnosis of tumours, such as differentiating between malignant and benign tumours of the adrenal cortex.

Previously, the research group worked at the Department of Internal Medicine, currently they are at the Division of Endocrinology at the Department of Internal Medicine and Oncology, their research lab is located at the Department of Laboratory Medicine. The research group includes the MTA-SE Molecular Medicine Research Group led by Dr. Péter Igaz, and the MTA-SE Hereditary Endocrine Tumours Research Group led by Dr. Attila Patócs. The members of the research group are: Dr. Péter Igaz, Dr. Gábor Nyírő and Dr. Márton Doleschall (Molecular Medicine Research Group), Dr. Attila Patócs, Dr. Henriett Butz, Dr. István Likó and Dr. Vince Grolmusz (Hereditary Endocrine Tumours Research Group). The team has a current PhD student (Dr. Péter Turai) and PhD students who have already obtained a degree: Dr. Ábel Decmann, Dr. Pál Perge and Dr. Zsófia Tömböl (residents at the Department of Internal Medicine and Oncology). 

Dr. Péter Igaz highlighted the role of clinicians in their research, including endocrinologists Dr. Miklós Tóth, Dr. Nikolett Szücs and Dr. Judit Tőke.

The European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumours (ENSAT) is an organization with several European and non-European members studying adrenal tumours. The research excellence title was founded in 2020 by ENSAT; the Department of Internal Medicine and Oncology has been awarded with this title and became one of the research centres of excellence along with a centre in Nice, France.

Bernadett Bódi
Photo: Attila Kovács – Semmelweis University
Translation: Ágnes Raubinek