Introducing scientific group of Professor Zdeněk Fišar
This group works in the research laboratory of the Department of Psychiatry of the First Faculty of Medicine of the Charles University and the General University Hospital. It consists of Professor Zdeněk Fišar, Doz. Jana Rečková Hroudová, laboratory technician Zdeněk Hanuš, and three postgraduate students. The group closely collaborates with a number of psychiatrists, especially Professor Jiří Raboch, Doz. Roman Jirák, and Doz. Martina Zvěřová.
The group uses the methods of neurochemistry and molecular (biological) psychiatry to study the molecular mechanisms of psychoactive substances and changes in cellular functions which accompany mental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. It has a long-term programme focused on investigation of interactions between psychotropic drugs and both model and human cellular membranes and their effects on the monoamine neurotransmitter system. In recent years, the team has been introducing and using advanced experimental methods to study intracellular changes arising in connection with mental disorders and due to psychotropic drugs. Current research focuses on two areas: First of all, the effects of existing and newly synthesised medications on the function of isolated mitochondria, and secondly, plasmatic biomarkers and changes in the mitochondrial functions of platelets in persons with mental disorders or neurodegenerative diseases. The goal of this research is to contribute to improved diagnostics of mental disorders and to detect mitochondrial effects of psychotropic drugs.
Collaborations, grants, projects
The group cooperates with other research groups of the First Faculty of Medicine and the General University Hospital, especially the Institute of Medical Biochemistry and Laboratory Diagnostics and Department of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine. Among external institutions, important partners include the Institute of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Chemical Technology in Prague (Professor Vladimír Setnička), in collaboration with whom the team searches for plasmatic biomarkers of Alzheimer disease, and Department of Chemistry of the Faculty of Science of University in Hradec Králové and Centre of Biomedical Research of the University Hospital in Hradec Králové (Professor Kamil Musílek), with which the team tests the effects of new modulators of mitochondrial enzymes. International cooperation with the Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University in Raipur, India (Professor Kallol G. Ghosh) led to a two-year stay of an Indian postdoc at our department and several joint publications on mitochondrial effects of bioactive substances.
So far, the team had successfully implemented over 30 grants of the Internal Grant Agency and Czech Health Research Council of the Ministry of Health of Czech Republic, Grant Agency of the Czech Republic, Grant Agency of the Charles University, and University Development Grants (FRVŠ). At the moment, the team is working on a grant by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic which focuses on the effects of new medications on monoaminergic system and energy metabolism and had already applied for a follow-up grant of the Czech Health Research Council on molecular and clinical manifestations of the Alzheimer disease. The team is a long-term participant in institutional projects of the Ministry of Education and Charles University, currently in Progres Q27 project ‘Neuropsychiatric aspects of neurodegenerative diseases’, which searches for biological manifestations of mood disorders and dementia as well as predictors of efficiency of medications targeting these diseases. The team also participates in international project COST Action CA15203 MitoEAGLE (Professor Erich Gnaiger), whose aim is to further our understanding of the role of mitochondrial functions in health and disease.
This group follows up on a long traditional of biochemical research at the Department of Psychiatry. With respect to the number of publications in international journals (Current Alzheimer Research, Mitochondrion, Clinical Biochemistry, Molecular Neurobiology, Toxicology Letters, Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry etc.) and their international reception, the most important subjects our team works on is the issue of biomarkers of mental diseases that can be measured in peripheral blood and the subject of mitochondrial effects of psychotropic substances. So far, five doctoral students had successfully defended a thesis based on experimental work on our laboratories. Two team members had recently habilitated: Doz. Rečková Hroudová and Doz. Martina Zvěřová.
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