Comenius University in Bratislava (coordinating organization, CU)

CU has established, during its 100 years of existence (1919-2019), itself as the largest and most productive research higher education organization in Slovakia. Research and synergistic enterprise is one of the primary strategic objectives of the CU. The CU provides extensive training to over 11,000 master students and 1,000 PhD. students per year. CU staff are active in many fields of research and active participants in several national and international projects. It composed of 12 faculties.CU is the oldest Slovak university with credibility with the highest quality and meets the strictest criteria in many parameters. It covers studies at all university education levels and is a scientific center of various branches of natural sciences. The academic ground of FNS is an ideal basis for interdisciplinary research in the fields of biology and chemistry, which is also the case of this project. In terms of the parameters of scientific outputs, FNS, with many national and international projects, is one of the best faculties in Slovakia. The staff of FNS publishes many high-quality publications that are highly cited. The faculty provides good conditions for basic as well as applied research in various scientific fields, including biology and chemistry. The staff of the teams has close cooperation with other universities in Bratislava, especially with the Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology, Slovak University of Technology, as evidenced by joint research publications. The educational process, especially the Ph.D. program, is the most successful at the FNS within the entire university. In general, it can be concluded that FNS is a guarantee of high-quality research in an indivisible connection with the educational process.

Two scientific teams from FNS CU is created from teachers, PhD. and Master students from two departments: Department of Microbiology and Virology (DMV) and the Department of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry (DPTCh). Both the departments are, in terms of quality of scientific parameters, ones of the best in FNS CU.

DMV is headed by prof. Helena Bujdáková and she is also a leader of the Laboratory of Medical Microbiology. The members of team examines a various aspects of the community of microorganisms – biofilm, such as communication, adaptation to adverse conditions, the immune-modulatory properties of surface antigens and their role in the adherence to biotic and abiotic surfaces. Different methods of microbiology and molecular biology (CLSM, real time PCR, different antimicrobial assays), biocompatibility and cytotoxicity testing on ex vivo (cell lines, i.e. HeLa cells) and in vivo model organism of Galleria mellonella are the part of the group expertise. A few years ago, the group involved a study of anti-biofilm properties of new materials based on clay minerals and photoactive compounds using photodynamic inactivation.

DPTCh is one of the best chemistry departments in Slovakia developing various theoretical and experimental methods of physical chemistry. The experimental research at DPTCh is mainly related to reaction mechanisms, colloid chemistry and electrochemical and spectral methods applied in various fields of physical chemistry. The collaborations with the institutes abroad include chemistry institutes of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Japanese research institutes, in particular the University of Bilbao, Spain.

TEAM

Prof. Helena Bujdáková, PhD. (Coordinator) is the head of the Department of Microbiology and Virology (DMV), FNS CU. She guarantees master degree and she is a President of the Committee for PhD. study in the field Microbiology. She is a specialist in medical microbiology,working in various topics dealing with microbial biofilms. She has been a university teacher at the DMV more than 20 years. She has had experiences with a management of national projects, which were completed with the highest evaluation. Additionally, she was a deputy of head in former APVT project, and a leader of several bilateral projects with Austria, Armenia, Ukraine, and Portugal. She was a partner of the consortium in the project CanTrain Marie Curie Research Training Network (FP6) funded by EU and the consortium COST Action iPROMEDAI TD1305 (Improved Protection of Medical Devices, 2014-2018). So far, she has successfully supervised 9 PhD students, who were successful in their professional carrier at home and also abroad. She is also the President of the Czechoslovak Society for Microbiology, the bilateral join organization of the Slovakian and Czech microbiologists. She has been a member of the Committee for teaching Microbiology in Europe, established at FEMS (Federation of European Microbiological Societies). In recent years, she has been the chief organizer of several domestic conferences for young microbiologists entitled „What is new in microbiology“, and in the year 2015, the conference was upgraded to an international level with title „Hot topics in Microbiology – conference for young scientists under FEMS”. In the year 2019, she organized National Congress of Microbiology with more than 160 participants. Regularly she gave invited lectures at national and international conferences and congresses. In this very challenging and competitive science discipline, she published more than 65 articles indexed in Web of Sciences cited more than 700 times.


Prof. Juraj Bujdák, DrSc. is expert in the field of physical chemistry working in interdisciplinary research on functional hybrid materials of photoactive and bioactive organic substances and layered silicates. He is working at the Department of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry (DPTCh), FNS CU. He has visited several institutes for short and long research stays in the USA (Cornell University), Japan (NIMS) and Europe. He is the author of over 100 journal publications, monographs or chapters. A major part of publications has been published in prestigious journals with a high Impact Factor. He has won several domestic and foreign awards. Examples include the STA and JSPS Awards (Japan) and the Gerhard-Lagaly-Award of the DTTG from the German-Austrian-Swiss Clay Group. In 2012, he was one of the senior researchers assigned as a leader of the excellent team of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS) by the Academic Ranking and Rating Agency (ARRA). In 2014, he received and a year later Honorary Plaque of DionízŠtúr of the SAS for his contribution in natural sciences, in the field of inorganic, material and physical chemistry. He actively works as a member of the scientific advisory board of ChemistrySelect (Wiley-VCH) and is Associate Editor in the journals Applied Clay Science (Elsevier) and Chemistry Africa (Springer). He is a member of the Scientific Council of the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, SAS.


Dr. Barbora Gaálová is a teaching and research assistant at DMV, FNS CU. Her field is medical and environmental microbiology. At the present her work is focused on the study of different aspects of anti-biofilm materials, as well as on the study of bacterial composition of caves with speleotherapeutic potential. During short studies abroad she has gained experiences in different techniques of microbiology, molecular biology and visualization techniques. She supervises students at the MSc. and Bc. degree. Currently she is a leader of microbiologic part of international project no. SKHU/1601/1.1/035; Slovakia-Hungary Cross Border Cooperation Programme with the title “Medical/wellness tourism development in the world heritage caves of the Aggtelek and Slovak karst” and participate on several national projects within working group. From 2014 to 2018 she was a partner of the consortium COST Action iPROMEDAI TD1305 (Improved Protection of Medical Devices, 2014-2018). In 2014 she participated also on Research and Development Operational Programme funded by the ERDF; no. ITMS: 26240220048 “Preparation of biologically active substances based on recombinant proteins (BIOREKPROT)” From 2009 she is also a member of Czechoslovak Society for Microbiology and is one of the organizers of regular domestic and international conferences (Hot Topics in Microbiology; 28th Congress of CSSM ). She has published 8 reviewed articles indexed in Web of Sciences and 1 chapter in book.


 

PhD. students participating in the research group                                                                                                                                                                      Project administrator

Kristína van der Ploeg
Samuel Kendra
Matúš Štefánek
Nitin Chandra Teja Dadi
Jarmila Vargová