2018. March 21., Wednesday
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Investigating Endemic Diseases

A new research programme investigating the possibilities for treating neurological, inflammatory and degenerative muscle diseases has been launched. The programme will involve researchers from the University of Szeged and from the Biological Research Centre, Hungarian Academy of Science, Szeged.

At the moment, the most common public health issues include neurodegenerative diseases, inflammatory diseases of the digestive tract and cardiovascular diseases. The processes leading to these problems are still not completely known; therapy options are scarce and the available medication usually just alleviate the symptoms of these diseases.

Prof. Dr. László Vécsei, lead investigator of the project says that “The processes involved in the degeneration of the nervous system may differ with each disease but there might be common underlying mechanisms.

The goal of this four-year project is to investigate the role of kynurenines in the function of the nervous system, the immune system and the muscular system. Kynurenines are compounds found in the human body, produced during the degradation of an essential amino acid, tryptophan. Kynurenines take part in the functioning of the immune system and also have an important role in neurodegenerative disorders. Long-term research plans include the development of molecules that allows the manipulation of these systems through kynurenines, and thus opening new therapeutic possibilities.

Prof. Vécsei emphasized that the programme aims to train and equip the next generation of future researchers as well as seeking patent-eligible scientific results and publishing scientific publications. The programme will help keep talented young researchers in Hungary by providing an opportunity to carry out valuable research and to earn a doctoral degree.

SZTE Experience

simsonSimson Ndadaleka Shaakumeni - Faculty of Arts - PhD Studies

I heard about Stipendium Hungaricum from a fellow countryman. I would love to teach at a university one day, but a Doctorate degree is often required in order to do so. That is why I came to Szeged, where I am currently working on my doctoral thesis in educational science – my special field of interest is scientific literacy of students. Life is completely different in Namibia; it is mostly a rural country and agriculture is still hardly mechanised and many homesteads in villages in the countryside are built of wood. The weather is totally different from the one in Szeged, the cold and icy weather caught me by surprise after returning from Christmas holiday, I didn’t have proper shoes so my feet were constantly freezing.

amin-alawar2Amin Alawar - Faculty of Science and Informatics - Biology (PhD)

Being awarded the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship, I came from Lebanon to Szeged. Student life here is astonishing; I simply adore being a student at SZTE. A variety of foreign scholars, and young people have arrived here from all corners of the world. After having finished with academic work at the lab, there is still time for relaxing. The town itself is also impressive – my favourite place is Széchenyi tér.