Research and innovation at Semmelweis University is coordinated by the Office of Vice-Rector for Research and Innovation, which provides the leadership in the effective realization of the research and innovation vision, international excellence and ranking strategy of the University. It is responsible for the creation, implementation and further development of the research profile, major RDI projects and infrastructure of Semmelweis University in coordination with the units of our RDI Support System.
Major priorities and tasks:
- To coordinate the RDI Support System
- To participate in strategic/high-level RDI project planning and implementation;
- To coordinate university RDI projects and to monitor operative execution;
- To support operation of university committees related to scientific activities, research and innovation, to record;
- To connect and cooperate with domestic and international organizations and internal university units.
1085 Budapest, Üllői út 26. Rector’s Building Floor 3
RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND INNOVATION STRATEGY
The exposure of health industry and the need for safe, flexible and innovative solutions have become more prominent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the experiences of the epidemic, it has become clear that health care and the health industry are not only undergoing digitization and digital transformation, but a data-driven paradigm shift is taking place.
Data-driven health creates a new direction for research and innovation at Semmelweis University by building on and integrating our current e-health, network research and big data research, as well as infrastructural and methodological developments. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, network research and data- and information security are our priorities in the area of data-driven health.
One of the most important trends in the field of life sciences and biomedical sciences is the increasing importance of complex, theoretical and experimental systems approach. Knowing and understanding the sequence of the human genetic material (human genome), the development of a powerful digital tools and related complex theoretical approaches are the main drivers of the scientific revolution. They enable processing, manipulating and managing huge amount of data generated by high-throughput analytic methods, which also require centralized, dedicated and specialized infrastructure. The process is also strongly driven by the economy. The pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry have increasing interest in the development of personalized medicine and medical devices as well as in the translational research of their innovative combination. At the same time, the imaging and molecular diagnostics industry have increasing demand for high-throughput, multimodal and multidimensional methods and technologies.
Translational medicine is the natural evolution of evidence based medicine that combines basic biomedical research, modern epidemiology and social sciences. The rapid development and advance of new technologies enable the accelerated implementation of basic research findings in medical and social sciences.
Biomedical Basic Research
Medical bioinformatics specializes in processing analyzing and interpreting the increasing amount of multidimensional patient data. Recently, systems biology related to bioinformatics and high-throughput analytical methods has emerged, which enables the discovery of new links through the systematic analysis of large amount of biological data.
New types of biological model systems are becoming more and more prominent in the study of complex biological life processes. High-throughput, simultaneous time and space tracking of complex biomolecular networks and the detection of small amount of biomolecules are becoming possible through increasingly complex and expensive technologies.
High-throughput genomic, epigenomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolic diagnostics
The amount of information generated by sequencing genetic material is increasing. This technology is in constant evolution and development, it has become dominant in nucleic acid-based measurements mainly due to the continuously developed central service provider units. In proteomic and metabolomics diagnostics the proteins, metabolites and biomarkers of the patient’s samples are analyzed using mostly mass spectrometry. The rapid development of genomic, epigenomic, proteomic and metabolic analytical technologies is leading to a data and information boom, and consequently to the intensification of biological data management problems.
Imaging from molecular and microscopic level to human imaging has been the most remarkably developing areas of RDI in recent years. Due to its rapid development, the European Union considers this field as one of its main areas of support, thus set up the European bio-imaging network. The remarkable development of super-resolution techniques and molecular and multimodal imaging methods are expected in the realm of bio-imaging technologies.
In personalized medicine, targeted therapeutic interventions are designed by systematically using specific information obtained from the patient.
The increasing use of biomedical engineering and material sciences, including synthetic biology, medical bionics, medical device development, nanomedicine and nano-biotechnology are becoming more common in medicine in the future.
Advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMP) is a new category of drug registration. It is a group of gene, cellular and tissue therapy products. The development of these new products, in particular their combination with medical devices developed using various materials science technologies, such as nanotechnology, is expected to grow prominently. To keep up with these processes, it is essential to develop cell and tissue therapy laboratories with appropriate GMP quality assurance.
RDI Support System
The new RDI support system will provide researchers with tools for efficient work: planning clinical trials, biostatistics support, access to biobanks of tissue samples, protection of intellectual property, submitting ethics permits and research financing are all areas that are essential for the successful work of researchers. In order to provide a full range of background support, a decision has been made to set up several new organization units, in addition to the current ones (e.g. Central Library, Innovation Center), that will support RDI.
The task of the Clinical Research Coordinating Center (4K) set up in January 2021 and led by Dr. János Filakovszky is to harmonize university background activities related to clinical trials, especially commercial clinical trials. The center provides trial management, medical professional, legal, financial, administrative and logistics aid to university research locations that join the clinical trial phase of pharmaceutical and medical equipment developments. “If this allows us to join more such trials we can boost our R&D&I revenue, and the further increase in the quality of the trials can lead to a bigger presence in international publications,” the vice-rector explained.
The Center for Translational Medicine, which will be set up as of June 1 under the direction of Dr. Péter Hegyi will mainly help in the working out of meta-analyses and the methodology and protocols of clinical trials initiated by the researchers, and supports the increase in the quality and quantity of clinical trials by channeling the generated knowledge directly to PhD training and patient care.
The Laboratory Animal Science Coordination Center will help researchers conduct animal testing in line with modern ethical and professional requirements, as well as providing a unified management to the university’s animal houses on the long term.
Also starting its activities this year is the R&D&I Business Development Center, which will harmonize the market sales of R&D&I products and services created at the university, contributing to their utilization through the involvement of private partners and investors.
Core facility management and science data center
In the course of setting up the new support system, existing organizational units have also taken on new roles, thus for example the Center for Health Technology Assessment will provide services in the area of clinical trial planning and biostatistics, while the Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy will assist by providing advice on the dosing and safety of medical drugs.
The support system also provides a foundation for the activity of the planned Health Industry-Biotechnology Science Park, which is the flagship project of boosting R&D&I performance, Dr. Ferdinandy made clear. The vice-rector also highlighted the significance of the university having a transparent, separate R&D&I budget for the first time, with the goal of taking maximum advantage of the available funds, and reinvesting existing revenues into supporting even more efficient research and innovation.