Dr. László Prókai, an internationally renowned expert in neurodegenerative and ophthalmological diseases, is on a visit at Semmelweis University as a Fulbright Specialist.

Dr. László Prókai is a Professor at the Robert A. Welch Foundation’s Chair of Biochemistry and Department of Pharmacology at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, and the founder of the University’s Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Laboratory. The internationally renowned expert came to Semmelweis University as a guest of Dr. Andrea Fekete, MTA-SE Lendület Diabetes Research Group, at the Bókay Street division of the Department of Paediatrics. Dr. László Prókai’s research is primarily focused on exploring the mechanisms and drug therapeutic options for neurodegenerative and ophthalmological diseases, and he holds several patents in this field. He has a broad methodological background in preclinical research with a special focus on medicinal chemistry and systems biology.

The professor is the university’s guest until 10 November, and he is going to give a series of lectures during his stay. These focus on teaching, mentoring, promoting science and sharing knowledge across disciplines, in line with the objectives of the Fulbright Specialist grant. From 10 to 26 October, he delivers a PhD course on “Drug discovery and drug design” in the Department of Paediatrics’ classroom.

Dr. Judit Kis Hodrea, Senior Research Fellow of the Lendület Diabetes Research Group of MTA-SE, leader of the project on the pathomechanism of glaucoma and identification of new drug targets, met Dr. László Prókai in 2022 thanks to a collaboration. As she said, it is an outstanding recognition that she won a Fulbright Research Scholarship for the academic year 2023/24, independently of the professor’s application, which will further strengthen the active cooperation. This will allow her to conduct research experiments under the mentorship of Dr. László Prókai at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. According to Dr. Judit Kis Hodrea, a special behavioural study will involve visual field testing of glaucoma pet models with a promising drug. Preclinical experiments could help us to understand this,” she added, stressing that the combination of the two separate Fulbright grants has led to a major international collaboration that could benefit both students and researchers.

Péter Pogrányi
Translation: Viktória Kiss
Photo: Dr. László Prókai, Kristóf Balázs