Semmelweis University

Research on the field of biotechnology at Semmelweis University


The understanding of fundamental biological processes has advanced dramatically in recent decades thanks to the development of molecular biology and information technology. Harnessing of these processes has led to the booming field in biotechnology. The term biotechnology has been coined in 1919 by a Hungarian engineer Karoly Ereky. Since then, biotechnology has expanded to include new and diverse sciences such as genomics, recombinant gene technologies, applied immunology, and development of pharmaceutical therapies and diagnostic tests.

Semmelweis University, Hungary’s leading biomedical university contributes greatly to these advances by its basic and applied researches in areas such as understanding the cell biology,  and the pathophysiology of the diseases, identification of new biomarkers especially in the field of pharmacogenomics and genetic testing, tissue regeneration and reconstruction. Personalized medicine and regenerative medicine are in the main stream of the university’s research focus. The biomedical research is going on in 100 research groups by more than 1000 scientists. The researchers participate in international cooperations in the field and have a strong collaboration with the biggest Hungarian pharmaceutical company Richter Gedeon Plc. as well.

One of key research focuses of the university is human pluripotent stem cells. This includes disease modelling in vitro, tissue regeneration and engineering approaches for cell transplantation. Further regenerative medicinal projects focus on the development of traumatological, spine surgical, implants and joint replacement protheses. At our university novel tissue engineering techniques for creation of implantable heart valves and vascular grafts have been developed. In the frame of a clinical study, patients receive intramyocardial bone marrow derived stem cells for the treatment of heart failure. We have focuses on cartilage repair, revision surgery of anterior cruciate ligament deficient knees, and posterior and anterior interbody fusion. A combination of mesenchymal stem cells, scaffold elements and bioactive peptides for regenerative purposes take place not only in dentistry but also for neuronal and gastrointestinal disorders. This triad may serve to modulate local inflammatory mechanisms and also to achieve tissue regeneration.

We have 3D cephalometric measurements  on the basis of CBCT database. With the help of these measurements  we can carry out planning and modelling of 3D facial reconstructive surgery as well as preparation of surgical templates and preparation of implants, as necessary. Prosthodontics train outstanding students to become advanced research scientists in their field of interest within the oral sciences and dental biotechnology. We provides clinical researches in CAD/CAM dentistry; intraoral digital scanners and 3D printing technology in prosthodontics for graduated and PhD students too.

Next generation sequencing-based methods have been developed in several laboratories of the university. These target diagnostic in oncology and several hundreds of inherited rare diseases. Semmelweis University is active in validation the routine clinical use of whole exome sequencing as well. The analysis of the whole genome serves the individualized treatment of the patients and the prevention and early prediction of the disorders. An interdisciplinary group of researches plays a key role in functional and structural genomics, and proteomics, and forms a key component in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector.

The basic research studies in oncology, central nervous system disorders and cardiovascular disorders use different vectors and synthetic oligos by transfection to influence functions of isolated human primer cells and in vitro cell lines an many theroterical institutes and clinics. Serum-based technologies for musculoskeletal applications such as osteoarthritis or bone necrosis are develpoed. The research efforts has resulted in several patent applications which are now under commercial development through international companies. SU participates in the development of tyrosine kinase inhibitor ATP analogs in collaboration with Vichem Chemie Research Ltd. The compounds of a molecular library are tested in different knockout mouse models with a focus on amelioration of autoinflammatory processes. The action of the kinase inhibitors is also analyzed in cellular assays of neutrophil granulocytes and osteoclasts.

Electrochemical sensors based on protease-specific peptides are being developed in SU division in collaboration with the Institute of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (Research Centre for Natural Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences). These biosensors allow in situ monitoring of proteolytic events in atherothrombotic lesions. Thus, they bear the potential for future implementation in the invasive diagnostic evaluation of the status of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques in patients at high risk of myocardial infarction and stroke. The university has a Nanoscience Network which is active in the field. Their current research activities cover the fileds of molecular and cellular biophysics, nanobiotechnology and radiation biophysics, single molecule mechanics.

Our universtiy is involved in biotechnology research in collaborative manner, in which the products of genetic biotechnology or plant biotechnology are characterized and assessed by hyphenated chromatographic and high resolution mass spectrometry methods and/or high field nuclear magnetic resonance techniques. Thes have also several in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo experimental models to test the efficacy, safety, and pharmacokinetics of biological and advanced therapy products developed for cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, hearing loss, phsychiatry (behaviour), and aging/longevity indications.”