THE INSTITUTE OF PREVENTIVE AND CLINICAL
Limbova 14, 833 01 Bratislava, Slovak Republic,
Phone (Secretariat): (+42-7) 374 980 Fax: (+42-7) 373 906,
(+42-7) 371 094
email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is our pleasure to introduce to you the Institute of Preventive and
Clinical Medicine (IPCM), Bratislava.
Assoc. Prof. Tomas Trnovec, MD, DrSc
Interaction of the Human Organism with Non-biological
Components of the Environment
Interaction of the Human Organism with Biological
Components of the Environment
Clinical Immunology and Allergology
As compared to developed democratic countries, the health status of the
population in post-communist countries (including Slovakia) is substantially
worse. Therefore, environmentally related diseases (both communicable and
non-communicable), their prevention and therapy, represent the main focus
of research efforts. Research on the health effects of environmental exposure
to chemical, physical and biological agents calls for new scientific initiatives
and approaches. Knowledge of mechanisms of exposure and biological response
provides the means for developing intervention strategies that may be expected
to reduce excessive exposures and/or prevent early biological processes
that result in damage and disease.
Since major objectives of environmental health science include identification,
investigation, and mitigation of risks to human health, the understanding
of the causal mechanisms of disease enhances our ability to evaluate risk
and to identify effective strategies. Tools that create new research opportunities
include molecular biology, genetics, human exposure assessment, and biomarkers.
Clinical research is oriented towards primary and secondary prevention
of environmentally related diseases (cardiovascular, oncological, etc.)
and towards the understanding of the fate and action of drugs in human
body with a view to find rational treatment of diseases that have particularly
worrying health and social consequences.
In addition to main research projects in preventive and clinical medicine
the Institute is also active in the following areas:
a/ Expert opinions on biological, physical, chemical and psycho-social
factors of the environment/working environment;
b/ Establishment and maintenance of a registry and an information system
on chemical substances;
c/ Design and evaluation of guidelines, standards and legislative measures
related to protection of the environment/working environment;
d/ National reference laboratories for AIDS, viral hepatitis, disinfection
and sterilization, enteral virus identification, Salmonella phage typing;
e/ Bank of collection microbial strains;
f/ National reference center for organ transplantation;
g/ Center of radiation monitoring network;
h/ Clinical pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, clinical trials with
new drugs phases I-IV;
i/ Assessment of toxic profiles of xenobiotics;
j/ Tests, analyses, expertises for contractual customers.
To meet the objectives of its mission, the IPCM has been organized into
* Department of Clinical Pharmacology
* Department of Clinical Immunology
* Department of Virology
* Department of Xenobiotics in the Environment
* Department of General Microbiology
* Department of Radiation Hygiene
* Department of Environmental Microbiology
* Department of Toxicology
* Department of Molecular and Cellular Toxicology
* Department of Ergonomics
* Department of Genetics
* Department of Epidemiology and Biometry.
The structure of the research departments is flexible and depends on
the current research projects. The Institute operates its own Quality Assurance
Unit so that all activities are conducted in compliance with the respective
guidelines, recommedations and legislation.
JOINT INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS
WITH US COUNTERPARTS
Project: Polychlorinated Dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), Dibenzofurans (PCDFs),
Biphenyls (PCBs) and Dioxin-like PCBs in the human populations of the Slovak
Republic P.I.: Anton Kocan, Ph.D.
Cooperating Institution: Dr. Donald Patterson, Chief Dioxin Laboratory
CDC, Toxicology Branch, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, Ga. 30333, U.S.A.
Project: Stability and Immunogenicity Studies of Vibrio Antigens in
Oral Vaccines, P.I.: Ivan Ciznár, Ph.D., D.Sc.,
Cooperating Institution: Dr. David A. Sack, The Johns Hopkins University,
Division of International Health, Baltimore, Md., U.S.A.
Project: Lead Exposure and Cognitive Development of Children in the
Slovak Republic - PENDING, P.I.: Eva Sovcikova, Ph.D.,
Cooperating Institution: Dr. Venkat Rao, Senior Toxicologist, Science Application
International, Cooperation Quantitative Analytical Division, 7600 A Leesburg
Pike , Falls Church, Va. 22043, U.S.A.
Project: Epidemic Investigation of Allergic Diseases Among Children
in the Slovak Republic, P.I.: Eva Reichrtova, M.D., D.Sc.,
Cooperating Institution: Scott J.N. McNabb, Ph.D., CDC, 1600 Clifton Road,
Atlanta, Ga. 30333, U.S.A.
Project: Minority International Research Training Grant, Fogarty
International Center,P.I.: Tomas Trnovec, Assoc. Prof., M.D., D.Sc.
Cooperating Institution: John Hamilton, M.D., Div. Infect. Dis., Duke Univ.
Med. Center, Durham, N.C., U.S.A.
Cooperating Institution: Burton C. Kross, Ph.D., The University of Iowa,
Iowa City, Ia. 522 42, U.S.A.
Project: Down Syndrome: Superoxide Dismutase and Antioxidants as Important
Biological Variables Effecting Intracellular Mechanisms at Various Ages
- PENDING P.I.: Maria Sustrova, M.D., Ph.D.
Cooperating Institution: Dr. Siegfried M. Pueschel, M.D., Ph.D., MPH,
Professor of Pediatrics, Brown University School of Medicine, Rhode Island
Hospital., 593 Eddy Street, Providence, RI 02903, U.S.A.
Project: Development of a strategy to improve the quality of health
in the communities of both U.S. and Slovak Republic Partners P.I.: Tomas
Trnovec, Assoc. Prof., M.D., D.Sc.
Slovak Republic Jana Sturova, Ph.D., President Aid to Children at
Risk Foundation U.S.A. Daniel M. Couch Truman Medical Center, Inc. The
American International Health Alliance ("AIHA")
WITH EUROPEAN COUNTERPARTS
COPERNICUS (European Union grant)
Project: Comet Assay (SCGE) - Application in Genotoxicity and Screening
Methods for Exposure Assessment of Human Population to Genotoxic Substances,
P.I.: Maria Dusinska, Ph.D.
Slovak Republic Darina Slamesová, Ph.D., Cancer Research Institute
of Slovak, Academy of Sciences,
Czech Republic Rudolf Stetina, Ph.D., Czech Academy of Sciences,
Poland Marcin Kruszewski, Ph.D., Institute of Nuclear Chemistry,
Germany Beatrice Pool-Zobel, Ph.D, BFE Institut für Hygiene
und Toxikologie, Karlsruhe
Coordinator: Andrew R. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Rowett Research Institute,
Greenburn Road, Bucksburn, Aberdeen AB2 9RD, Scotland, The United Kingdom
Project: Assessment of Early Signs of Biological Action Following Human
Exposure to Polychlorinated Dibenzo-p-dioxins and Related Substances P.I.
: Anton Kocan, Ph.D.
Cooperating Institution: Dr. A. G. Smith (coordinator) Medical Research
Council University of Leicaster, Leicaster LE1 9HN, The United Kingdom
Project: Standardization and Validation of the Use of Pulmonary Epithelial
Cells for Toxicity Assessment of Occupational Agents and Drugs, P.I.: Zuzana
Cooperating Institution: Dr. Benoit Nemery, Ph.D., Katholieke Universiteit,
(The Collaborative Project involves 11 other European Institutes)
EUROCAT - Concerted Action of the E. E. C. Brussels
Project: Occupational Exposures and Congenital Malformations, P.I.:
Elena Szabova, Ph.D.
Cooperating Institution: Dr. Sylvaine Cordier, INSERM - U 170, Unité
de Recherches Epidémiologiques et Statistiques sur l' Environnement
et la Santé, Villejuif Cedex, France
SWEDISH INSTITUTE, Stockholm, Sweden
Project: Genotoxic Effects and DNA Repair in Mammalian Cells Induced
by Carcinogenic Epoxides, P.I.: Maria Dusinska, Ph.D.
Cooperating Institution: Dr. Ada Kolman, Department of Radiology, Arrhenius
Laboratory, University of Stockholm, Sweden
EU - COOPERATION IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY WITH CENTRAL AND EASTERN
Project: Creutzfeldt - Jakob Disease in Slovak Republic, P.I.: Eva Mitrova,
Cooperating Institution: Dr. Roger G. Will, Department of Pathology,
Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH 4 2 XU, The United Kingdom
EU - PHARE - Project No. EU/AIR/22
Title: National Needs Assessment of Air Pollution P.I.: Eva Reichrtova,
Cooperating Institution: Dr. B. Griepink, European Commission, Brussels,
EU - PHARE - Project EU/AR/206/91
Title: Danube Regional Pesticide Study, P.I.: Jana Kovacicova, Ph.D.
Dr. Maria Tasheva, Center of Hygiene, Sofia, Bulgaria
Dr. Jeno Molnar, National Institute, of Public Health, Budapest,
Dr. Magda Kurucova, VUCHT, Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Project: Collaboration between the Free State Bavaria and the Slovak
Republic in the field of the Health Care: Immunologic Investigations for
Kidney and Bone Marrow Transplantation, P.I.: Stefan Nyulassy, Assoc. Prof.,
Cooperating Institution: Prof. Eckehart Albert, M.D., Immunogenetic
Laboratory, Children Policlinic of the Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich,
Project: European Union Informatics for Kidney and Bone Marrow Transplantations,
P.I.: Stefan Nyulassy, Assoc. Prof., M.D., D.Sc.
Cooperating Institution: Prof. Pavol Ivanyi, M.D., D.Sc., Red Cross
Blood Transfusion Center, Immunogenetic Laboratory, Amsterdam The Netherlands
Project: European Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood (ELSPAC),
P.I.: Ida Valkyova, Dr.
Cooperating Institution: Prof. Jean Golding, Institute of Child Health,
Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Bristol BS 2 8 BJ, The United Kingdom
MAIN RESEARCH AREAS
In considering research needs and opportunities with respect to environmentally
related diseases it is important that insights into their nature and mechanisms
contribute to prevention and treatment strategies and thus reduce serious
impacts of toxic environmental components (of both non-biological and biological
origin). The most effective approach to environmentally related diseases
is to develop appropriate preventive measures.
I. Interaction of the Human Organism with Non-biological
Components of the Environment
Contributions to the prevention and/or treatment of environmentally
related diseases cover the whole range of hazard evaluations for environmental
pollutants, the assessment of exposure (biomonitoring), development and
use of biological markers and the detection of damages on organism, organ,
cellular and subcellular levels as well as epidemiological approaches.
* Environmental pollution and human exposure.
Exact measurements or model estimates of human exposure to environmental
pollutants are of crucial importance for the assessment of public health
risks. Research projects dealing with environmental pollutants are based
on their monitoring in environmental compartments, biota, food and human
organism (particularly body fluids, placenta).
Particular attention is being paid to:
* metals - Pb, Cd, Hg, Ni, As, Cu, Zn, Mg, Se;
* polychlorinated biphenyls, dibenzodioxins, dibenzofurans, phenols,
benzenes, hydrocarbons, pesticides, etc.;
* dusts (asbestos fibres and their substitutes and other selected
* Protection against ionizing radiation
The main purpose is to control ionizing radiation sources in the working
and general environment, with special attention to nuclear industry safety.
After the Chernobyl accident a wide monitoring programme was developed
in the territory of the Slovak Republic. The Institute serves as a Center
of Radiation Monitoring Network which continuosly collects data on the
radiation situation in Slovakia. New legislation was introduced to protect
the population in events of radiation accidents.
The internal contamination with radionuclides is evaluated by whole
body counting and radiochemical procedures. The study of effects of ionizing
radiation on humans includes development and implementation of biophysical
methods and biological dosimetry. The Department of Radiation Hygiene serves
as Secondary Reference Center for the Metrology of Radon and Radon Products
Measuring Devices. Indoor radon concentrations are screened and radiation
burden from radon to the Slovak population are determined.
Also of concern are the estimation and optimization of the radiation
dose to patients in diagnostic radiology including the application of the
quality assurance programme in radiology.
* The role of nutrition and antioxidants in the detoxification of
The relatively short life expectancy and the high incidence of cardiovascular
and oncological diseases in the Slovak Republic and other post-communist
countries is a multifactorial phenomenon in which pollution and nutritional
disorders (mainly deficiency of antioxidants) play an important role. Detoxification
of xenobiotics in the membrane-bound cytochrome P-450 cycle is accompanied
by the release of free oxygen radicals. Chronic deficiency of antioxidants
therefore potentiates negative effects of xenobiotics on membrane phospholipids,
membrane-bound enzymes and membrane-bound receptors. Some of these changes
are preventable by the administration of free radical scavengers and antioxidants.
The aim of the research projects in this field is to find an optimum combination
of water- and lipid-soluble natural antioxidants (ascorbic acid, tocopherols,
selenium) in subjects exposed to foreign substances (cadmium, chlorinated
The research on the potential synergism of protective effects of
selected antioxidants is of great importance for designing a rational diet
or efficient pharmacological prevention of "free-radical diseases" (atherosclerosis,
* Mechanisms of the toxic effects of xenobiotics
The descriptive and static approach is being completed with toxicokinetic
parameters of xenobiotics and interactions of xenobiotics with organ and
tissue structures (determination of glucocorticoid receptor concentration
in liver cytosol, determination of estrogenic receptor in rat uterine cells).
Besides standard tests for toxicological evaluation (acute, short-term
and long-term studies incl. carcinogenicity,immunoto- xicity and teratogenicity
studies) new alternative methods have been introduced for studying toxic,
teratogenic and carcinogenic effects of xenobiotics.
Alternative methods comprise: cytotoxicity in vitro (plating efficiency,
proliferative activity of cells, Bradford method determination of proteins),
teratogenicity in vitro (chick embryo culture), toxicity and carcinogenicity
in the fish model.
Research in this field is aimed at elucidating the mutagenic and genotoxic
effects of chemical substances on various biological models. An integral
part is biological monitoring of population groups exposed in industry,
health service, etc. The objective of epidemiological studies is to investigate
the effects of environmental factors on genetic health and on reproduction
quality of the population.
* Molecular and cellular toxicology
* Study of DNA damage and DNA repair in mammalian cells in vitro,
particularly oxidative DNA damage, gene mutations in locus HPRT, DNA adducts,
single and double strand breaks;
* Molecular toxicology studies at the level of genes, DNA, chromosomes
and DNA products, and genetic epidemiological studies, such as DNA polymorphism
and gene mutations;
* Neoplastic transformation in vitro (clonal morphology in Syrian
hamster embryo cells, focus assay in mouse fibroblasts C3H10T1/2, immunodetection
of selected cytoskeletal proteins);
* Modulation of mutagenesis and carcinogenesis in vitro, e.g. by
DNA repair inhibitors, tumor promoters and other factors;
* Molecular toxicology evaluation of xenobiotics using mutagenicity
and carcinogenicity tests in vitro.
* In vitro study of the role of cytoskeletal components, especially
proteins associated with actin microfilaments in manifestation of cytotoxicity
caused by selected xenobiotics in mammalian cells.
* Pharmaco- and toxicokinetics
Biological effects of drugs and other chemicals are determined by their
pharmacokinetics (absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion processes).
Owing to this, the investigation of the interactions of xenobiotics with
the organism include as an essential part pharmacokinetic studies which
proceed in several directions. Genetically determined differences (genetic
polymorphism) in biotransformation of xenobiotics are also assessed.
Experimental investigations of new drugs are undertaken on laboratory
animals, with subsequent human studies as a part of phase I of drug investigations.
Biocompatibilty studies of constituents of bone replacement materials
remain an important part of research.
Concentrations of drugs and their metabolites in biological matrices
are measured using gas and liquid chromatographic equipment in compliance
with GLP requirements. An air conditioned animal house and an operation
theatre with the possibility of inhalation anesthesia, of monitoring cardiovascular
and respiratory functions, using extracorporeal circulation and surgical
microscopes enable to carry out a range of experiments.
Bioavailability and bioequivalence studies are run as a part of clinical
pharmacological investigations. These studies allow the selection of formulations
with optimal rate and extent of absorption. Up-to-date statistical approaches
are used to compare different formulations.
Among the most important problems in pharmaco- and toxicokinetics
is that of interspecies differences. In order to extrapolate experimental
data from laboratory animals to humans physiologically-based pharmacokinetic
modelling is in progress. Modelling is a well-established approach which
not only enables obtaining of pharmacokinetic parameters in man but also
to predict human toxicity on the basis of animal data. Physiologically-based
models are also applied for cancer risk assessment. In addition to in vivo
studies in laboratory animals, in situ studies in isolated perfused animal
organs are conducted. Data of therapeutic drug monitoring from Slovakia
are used to compile a pharmacokinetic database on the population level.
II. Interaction of the Human Organism with Biological
Components of the Environment
Policy implications in the field of communicable diseases, transmission
associated with environmental factors and international migration all point
to the importance of programmes and strategies in this field. Surveillance
calls for new highlights in research.
* Mechanisms of interaction between microorganisms and host structures;
* Genetic determination and regulation of pathogenic potential of
* Interactions between potential and obligatory pathogens in the
ecosystems in vitro and in vivo with regard to factors influencing environmental
* Antigens stimulating human immune system:
Studies conducted at molecular, cellular and organ levels;
* Bacterial resistance to antibiotics and its consequences for the
prevention and treatment of diseases and for ecology.
Primary mechanisms of pathogenicity and antibiotic resistance of intestinal
bacteria belonging to Salmonella, Shigella, Escherichia coli and Vibrio
species, and of potential pathogens such as Pseudomonas, Yersinia and Mycoplasma
species. Bacterial cell surface structures and the mechanisms responsible
for the interaction with host cell receptors are studied at the molecular
and cellular level. Genetic determinants of pathogenicity factors are investigated
by hybridization and cloning methods utilizing the latest knowledge of
bacterial genetics and genetic engineering.
Special attention is paid to factors determining bacterial adherence,
invasiveness and production of bacterial toxins, and to finding ways of
modifying their production with biologically active substances. Bacteriologic
studies are designed to elucidate specific problems of relationships between
microorganisms, the human body and the environment, mainly with regard
to trends in urbanization.
Biological and genetic properties of selected viruses with the aim of
defining and understanding the early and long-term changes that develop
as a result of viral infection. The results obtained are utilized to design
new therapeutic and preventive measures.
* Enteral viruses
The relationship between viral nucleic acids and the protein composition,
and the pathogenetic role of enteroviral infection in acute and chronic
clinical syndromes (e.g. myocarditis, diabetes mellitus, enteritis, etc.)
including the mechanisms of autoimmunity induction. Evaluation of highly-pecific
methods of enteral virus diagnostics.
* Hepatotropic viruses
Etio-immunopathogenesis of chronic viral hepatitis B and C. Strategy
planning and monitoring of immunomodulation therapy.
Interferon and other regulatory molecules are studied at the cellular
level and during their therapeutic administration to patients. Methods
of molecular biology are increasingly applied in studying viral hepatitis.
* "Slow viruses"
The consequences of infectious amyloidosis as well as those associated
with the persistence of the measles virus in the CNS. Transmission of "unconventional"
infections is being investigated together with the identification of sources
in regions with higher incidences (in the Slovak Republic, the rates are
rather high). Explanation is sought of why the breaking of the interspecies
barrier occurs allowing an infection to spread. Methods of molecular biology
are applied, especially for the detection of specific mutation PrP gene
on codon 200, 178, and polymorfism 129.
* Human Immune Deficiency Virus
Investigation of the activity of natural immunity factors and of autoimmune
processes in HIV infected patients. Confirmations of HIV reactive samples
are provided and data on HIV infection incidence are assembled for both
the local and the WHO authorities.
Prevention of diseases caused by microscopic fungi in man: allergic
disorders in genetically determined subjects, mycoses in sensitive individuals
and mycotoxicoses caused by toxic metabolites of micromycetes.
III. Clinical Disciplines
Scientific studies are directed to:
* The clinical pharmacological evaluation of new drugs;
* The evaluation of treatment schedules for various diseases, particularly
in internal medicine;
* Pharmacological prevention and treatment of kidney diseases with
special emphasis on new drugs slowing down their progression;
* Cardiovascular diseases. Particular attention is paid to new drugs
in the treatment of hypertension;
* Metabolic alterations and diseases such as atherosclerosis and
* Treatment of kidney diseases with cyclosporin A and prevention
of the progression of kidney diseases through diet, angiotensin converting
enzyme inhibitors and antithromboxane therapy;
* The effect of drugs for the treatment of kidney and cardiovascular
diseases on carbohydrate and lipid metabo- lism, functional performance
of the kidney, liver, and striated muscle;
* Platelet aspects of antihypertensive treatment from the point of
view of cardiovascular risk (which is not adequately decreased by simple
* The relationship between oxidative status and hemocoagulation:
identification and explanation of the risk associated with factors such
as lipoprotein(a), fibrinogen, ß-thromboglobulin and means of their
* The value of antioxidative, antiaggregatory and lipid modulating
therapy for the inhibition of progression, or even regression, of atherosclerosis
and coronary sclerosis;
* Postmenopausal osteoporosis;
* The effects of nootropic and other drugs on the mental state of
* Lipid and Glucose Metabolism and Genetics of Atherosclerosis
Main research orientation on:
* Clinical and laboratory evaluation of hypolipemic drugs;
* Evaluation of the silent ischaemia in patients with premature myocardial
infarction before and during hypolipidemic therapy;
* Effect of the hypolipidemic therapy on the prevalence of premature
* Evaluation of the effect of genetic and environmental factors on
the occurrence of premature myocardial infarction in families;
* Prevalence of primary dyslipoproteinemias in families with premature
* Association of different apolipoprotein DNA polymorphisms with
the occurrene of premature myocardial infarction in families;
* Analysis of the role of reversed cholesterol transport disturbances
in the high prevalence of hypoalphalipoproteinemia in myocardial infarction
* Evaluation of the oxidative damage on the DNA level and its reparation
and its relationship with lipid peroxidation in patients with premature
myocardial infarction and control;
IV. Clinical Immunology and Allergology
The main research areas include:
* The effect of xenobiotics on the immune system
The two main topics are studied using immunopharmacological and immunotoxicological
Modulation of the immune response to achieve the desired therapeutic
effect on immune reactivity.
Estimation of undesired side effects of drugs and environmental factors
on the immune system.
* Immunopharmacologic clinical trials
in volunteers, in patients with diseases with the involvement of the
immunopathogenetic mechanism and in patients undergoing therapy for non-immunological
diseases, to investigate the influence of non-immunological therapy on
the immune system;
* Immunopharmacologic and immunotoxicologic studies
in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo in experimental animals.
The Institute provides differential diagnosis and treatment of immunopathologic
conditions (allergic and immunodeficiency-associated) for both in- and
out-patients. Evaluation of new drugs according to their respective immunotherapeutic
* Transplantation and clinical immunogenetics
Research activities are concerned with immunogenetics of organ (particularly
kidney) and tissue allotransplants, incl. the influence of the major histocompatibilty
complex (MHC) with respect to the development of diseases. The immunological
responsiveness to drugs and environmental factors is correlated with major
histocompatibility complex (MHC) characteristics of individuals. The genetic
influence of MHC on a certain type of immunologic response is then studied.
Department of Clinical Immunology serves as the National Center for
Organ Transplantation, and is responsible for running the National Transplant
Register, for quality assurance and for reference work in tissue typing
in Slovakia as well as for the coordination of Organ Transplantation Programme
from the immunogenetic aspect. Research activities are concerned with the
role of MHC in the outcome of cadaveric kidney transplantation.
Further activities from the point of view of clinical immunogenetics
are concerned with certain virus-induced diseases - subacute (de Quervain's)
thyroiditis and chronic active hepatitis.
Child development and immune disorders
* Diagnosis,treatment and special medical care of children and adolescents
with primary immune deficiency and with genetic disorders, particularly
* Guidelines for optimum medical care and intervention in Down syndrome;
* Prevention of secondary metabolic disorders due to phenotypic expression
of 21 trisomy;
* Early recognition of signs of immunity changes (e.g. thyroid dysfunction
and its consequences);
* Analysis of immunologic examinations in individuals with Down syndrome
( determination of phagocytic function of PMNs, evaluation of serum immunoglobulins
and IgG subclasses, etc.) and other parameters ( e.g. serum Zn, Cu and
Se, antioxidant enzyme activities, etc.).
V. Interdisciplinary Fields
Ergonomic research deals with various forms of work load resulting from
the influence of environmental factors, work and their combinations. Diseases
of the locomotor system of occupational origin, particularly those which
represent causes of working inability, remain an important health-related
and economic problem.
* Setting up guidelines and development of methods
to prevent excessive load, strain or health damage, and creation of
a comfortable working environment.
* Epidemiology and Biometrics
Epidemiological studies are used for significant advancement of the
understanding of environmental problems, distribution of diseases and health
in the population. The Department of Biometrics participates in the formulation
of problems of biological nature, in the evaluation of data, and in the
interpretation of research results. Mathematical modeling plays an integrating
role both in clinical and experimental research.
* The WHO coordinated European Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood
is conducted to improve the health status of children. Data on factors
within the most intimate environment (family) are collected with the aim
to elucidate their influence on the development of the fetus and on the
formation of biologic, mental and social components of pre-school children's
FROM THE HISTORY OF I P C M
The predecessor of the Institute, the Regional Institute of Hygiene,
was established in 1948. In 1977, the Institute of Hygiene, the Institute
of Industrial Hygiene and Occupational Diseases, and the Institute of Microbiology
and Epidemiology merged to form Research Institute of Preventive Medicine.
The present Institute of Preventive and Clinical Medicine was formed in
1990, after a merger of the Research Institute of Preventive Medicine with
the Centers of Clinical Pharmacology and Immunology of the Medical Bionics
The period from 1990 has been full of principally positive turbulence.
Investments were made into sophisticated new research equipment, there
has been a considerable growth in output (publications and invited lectures
at international conferences). The advancement of scientific knowledge
has been strongly related to creativity of young researchers working under
the guidance of experienced and highly qualified leading scientists of
the Institute. Research activities integrate both experimental and clinical
The Institute of Preventive and Clinical Medicine is located in the
western district of Bratislava on the rolling foothills of the Carpathian
mountain range. With its nearly 400 employees, the Institute is the largest
scientific and research institution in the health sector of Slovakia. It
is funded and supported by the Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic
and by private sponsors.
SHORT HISTORY of BRATISLAVA
Bratislava, the capital of the Slovak Republic, is situated on both
banks of the Danube on the foothills of the Little Carpathians, just a
few kilometers from the Austrian and Hungarian borders and close to the
geographical center of Europe.
Bratislava has a colourful history. In 1291 the town had been granted
full royal urban privileges. After 1526, when the Turks occupied a major
part of Hungary, the town prestige grew, and Bratislava became the capital
and coronation town and the town where Hungarian Assembly would held its
sessions for three centuries. Eleven Habsburg kings and 8 royal spouses
were crowned in St. Martin's Gothic Cathedral. In 1991, Bratislava celebrated
the 250th anniversary of the coronation of the Empress - Queen Maria Theresa.
In 1465, King Matthias Corvinus founded Academia Istropolitana, the first
university in Slovakia on the territory of Bratislava. In 1805, Peace of
Bratislava was signed between Napoleon's France and Austria at the Mirror
Hall of the Primate's Palace.
Today's Bratislava is characterized by strong promotion of science,
culture, education (Comenius University, the Slovak Academy of Sciences,
Slovak Technical University, research centers).
Bratislava can be accessed by rail, road, waterway or air. The city
has its own airport, and can also be easily reached from the Vienna airport
Schwechat (40 km).