Ongoing Projects



Interreg DANUBE

Innovation for Dementia in the Danube Region, INDEED (INDEED is DTP2-087-1.2) Investigator: doc. MUDr. Aleš Bartoš, Ph.D.
Principle investigator: Klinikum rechts der Isar der Technischen Universität München
Co-investigators/Partners: NIMH; The Brain Company Austria, Wirtschaftsuniversitat Wien; Bulgarian Society of Dementia; Social Cluster Association HU; Romanian Alzheimer Society; Memory Centre Bratislava; University of Ljubljana, Alzheimer Association Bosna Hercegovina; Associated partners: Federal Ministry of Health- Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Medical University of Sofia, City of Zagreb, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia, University of Zagreb, MEDIWARE corp.CZ, Bavarian Research Alliance GmbH, Bavarian State Ministry of Health and Care, German Alzheimer Association, Slovak Medical Association
Duration: 1.7.2018–30.6.2021
Total budget: 1 726 514 Euro
Total budget NIMH: 52 074 Euro


The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of The Czech Republic

From the Micro- to the Macro-level: The Link between the Microbiota-gut-brain Axis and the Neuropsychological Development of the Child (Mobility 8JPL9071)
Investigator: PhDr. RNDr. Tereza Nekovářová, Ph.D.
Principle investigator: NIMH
Co-investigator-partner: Uniwersytet Gdański
Duration: 1.1.2019–31.12.2020
Total budget: 148 000 CZK Total budget NIMH: 148 000 CZ
Abstract: The relation between gut microbiota and brain functions is new promising area of research. However, only few studies address microbiome and neuropsychological development of children. The aim of this project is to investigate the effects of perinatal factors (pre-term birth, Caesarean section, impaired breastfeeding) on forming of child's gut microbiota, its composition and diversity. Our research will also focus on the effects of gut microbiota alteration on neuropsychological development. We will examine whether changes in gut microbiota may mediate the relationship between perinatal risk factors and child development. In addition, our aim is to gain understanding of the interaction between gut microbiota and HPA axis functioning; both these systems are affected by perinatal risk factors and may interact to affect child development. The project therefore aims at deepening the knowledge regarding the functioning of the "gut-brain axis" in the perinatal period, i.e. in the period which is of great importance for timely detection of developmental risks. Last but not least, we plan to test the effects of so called "bacterial baptism hypothesis" on child outcomes, i.e. to test whether the exposure to maternal vaginal microbiota of infants born through Caesarean section may function as a protective factor for infant's neuropsychological development.

European Sexual Medicine Network – Czech Sexual Medicine and Research (Cost Action CA18124) Investigator: Mgr. Kateřina Klapilová, Ph.D
Principle investigator: Austrian Academy for Sexual Medicine
Co-investigators-Partners: cost members: 38 countries; cooperating member: Izrael
Duration: 5.42019–4.4.2023
Abstract: In the Czech Republic, there are two major clinical sexological societies (The Czech Sexological Society, the Czech Society for Sexual Medicine) connected with a professional sexological research group (The Laboratory of Evolutionary Sexology and Psychopathology) at the National Institue of Mental Health Klecany, Czech Republic. All organizations share common values and aims with the European Sexual Medicine Network. This is why they want to participate in the COST-Action CA18124.

Targeted Depletion of the TRP-VR1 in Murine Nociception Models for Treatment of Analgesics Resistant Pain (LTAB19024)
Investigator: Prof. Saak Victor Ovsepian, MD, PhD
Principle investigator: NIMH
Co-investigator-Partner: Technical University Munich and Helmholtz Zentrum Munich (Prof. Vasilis Ntziachristos)
Duration: 1.7.2019–31.12.2021
Total budget: 90 000 Euro
Total budget NIMH: 1 200 000 CZK
Abstract of the Czech part: There is major unmet need in developing effective and long-acting therapeutics for management of chronic, analgesic-resistant pain, including cancer pain. This project will apply a new genetic methodology developed by the Czech principal investigator for depletion of TRP-VR1 receptors in trigeminal nociceptors, to improve management of drug-resistant neuropathic and cancer pain in mouse models. IgG192 targeted lentivirus encoding VR1 shRNA will be used for retro-axonal depletion of TRP-VR1 pain sensing channels in trigeminal sensory neurons of mice in primary neuronal cultures and in vivo. Immunohistochemistry, biochemistry and confocal imaging will be used for verifying the effectiveness and specificity of VR1 depletion in trigeminal nociceptors. Reduced pain response will be confirmed using capsaicin-induced pain model in behaving animals, as well as specific molecular readouts such as expression of nuclear mGluR5 and phosphorylated-ERK1/2, Arc/Arg3.1 and c-fos. The new anti-nociceptive targeted vectors will be supplied to the German partner for its validation in cancer pain model, through the use of advanced methodologies for imaging dermal pain response as well as mapping brain response to pain in intact animals in vivo.
Abstract of the Bavarian part: The recently developed imaging methodologies such as raster-scanning optoacoustic mesoscopy (RSOM) will be utilized for detection of dermal nociceptive response to capsaicin-induced pain at the periphery. Multispectral optoacoustic tomography (MOST) on the other hand will be applied for mapping hemodynamic response in the brain in response to nociceptive inputs in intact animals in vivo. The effects of targeted anti-nociceptive vector depleting TRP-VR1 supplied by the Czech PI will be tested in capsaicin-induced pain models, as well as cancer pain model in mice produced by grafted subcutaneously with UM-SCC-104 (the human papillomavirus-16-positive head and neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma cells) into the sub-cutis of the external rostrum area of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). The anti-nociceptive effects of targeted VR1 in trigeminal ganglion neurons will be verified with RSOM and MSOT methods in vivo. The results of these studies will be rigorously tested versus controls, and correlated with data obtained by Czech principal investigator’s group using conventional immunohistochemistry and microscopic methods.

Dynamics of Hippocampal and Neocortical Neuronal Representations of Mutual Relationships between a Subject, Significant Moving Objects, and Environment (LTAUSA19135)
Investigator: RNDr. Eduard Kelemen, Ph.D.
Principle investigator: NIMH
Co-investigator-Partner: Institute of Physiology CAS; New York University (Prof. André A. Fenton), University of Arizona (Prof. Jean-Marc Fellous, Ph.D.)
Duration: 1.11.2019–31.12.2022
Total budget: 6 991 000 CZK
Total budget NIMH: 3 496 CZK
Abstract: Ability to orient and navigate in environment inhabited with moving objects, be it conspecifics, potential predators, prey or non-animate objects is crucial for survival and success in many animal species.  The main goal of the present project is to investigate in laboratory rat neural circuitry involved in controlling interaction with moving objects (conspecifics or a mobile robot) in an environment. The role of the hippocampus and neocortical areas in these cognitive processes has been already determined by our group. Now we plan to elucidate cellular and cell ensemble substrate of moving-goal navigation, which has so far remained relatively elusive. We aim to characterize patterns of activation of cortical networks in rats that are involved in processing interaction between the subject, moving objects and environments. We will use immediate early gene imaging and single cell ensemble electrophysiological approaches. To investigate causal relationship between neuronal activity patterns and rat’s interaction with moving objects we will use optogenetic manipulations of neocortical activity.


European Commission

Supporting Wellbeing and Integration of Transgender Victims in Care environments with Holistic Approach (Justice 881635)
Investigator: PhDr. Pavla Doležalová, Ph.D.
Principle investigator: Perseo Spa Impresa Sociale (IT)
Co-investigators/Partners: NIMH, Paradigma (IT), Fundacio Parc Tauli (S), Transparent z.s. (CR), Mirada Local SL (S), Azienda Unita Sanitaria Locale Di Reggio Emilia (IT)
Duration: 1.4.2020–31.3.2021
Total budget:516 542,5 Eur, EU subsidy 413 234 Eur
Total budget NIMH: 72 920,5 Eur, EU subsidy 58 336,4 Eur
Abstract: The general objective is to promote compassionate services to assist properly transgender and intersex survivors (TI) by enhancing competencies of psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapist and other social workers (direct target). TI people high exposition to discrimination and harassment exacerbate their risk for mental disorders, addictions and suicide (APA, 2015). Despite the need for healthcare assistance, the relationship with public services remains problematic, also due to the staffs’ implicit prejudices, and poor preparation (Carroll et al., 2012). The indirect target are TI victims of violence and their relatives. The project activities are: A model design including theoretical background, training system for professionals, supporting tools for TI; Training implementation including a training of trainers for trainers of the partnership and pilot training courses for the professionals involved; Networking and supporting tools implementation including MoU among public and private entities providing for TI supports, self-help groups promotion and information supports for both professionals and TI and their relatives; Results monitoring and dissemination. Expected outcomes are: Improvement of TI needs knowledge and awareness: 180 among professionals involved will be trained in the 3 partner Countries. They will be trained by 21 expert trainers coming from the SWITCH partnership; Start-up of a networking activity among public health care bodies and TI people private centres and associations including Recommendations to health care regional authorities in all Countries to support TI’s health ekvity; Improvement in wellbeing of TI victims through the start-up of 3 self-help groups in the partner Countries for about 90 TIs aiming identity integration and support; TI issues awareness increasing of the public: stakeholders of public and private of social health services as well as TI association will attend final workshops in the partner Countries.





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