Professor Alicja Józkowicz and professor Józef Dulak win the Tadeusz Browicz Award
The Polish Academy of Arts granted the 2010 awards of the Class V of Medicine. The 2010 Tadeusz Browicz award was granted to professor Józef Dulak and professor Alicja Józkowicz from the JU Department of Medical Biotechnology of the Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology for “unique and innovative research into the role of heme oxygenase in the process of blood vessels growth.”
The second award, aimed at young academics, was granted to professor Tomasz Guzik, the head of the JU Clinic and Department of Internal and Agricultural Medicine, for unique and innovative research on the mechanism of oxidative stress in blood vessels of those suffering from cardiac ischaemia.
The awards were granted by the President of the Polish Academy of Arts professor Andrzej Białas and the director of the Class V of Medicine, professor Edmund Przegaliński on June 19, 2010.
The growth of new blood vessels, know as angiogenesis (when blood vessels grow from
the existing capillaries) or vasculogenesis (when they grown from stem cells) is indispensable for the growth of the whole organism and in adults is responsible, among other factors, for the proper wound healing. Growth disorders are due to, among other things, the development of cancer, when new blood vessels stimulate the growth of a tumor, and insufficient angiogenesis or vasculogenesis negatively contribute to the onset of cardiac ischaemia or to the development of unhealing ulceration in diabetic patients.
Heme oxygenase 1 breaks down heme (blood dye) which can be illustrated by the change in the bruise colour or by jaundice (yellow bilirubin is one of the end products of heme breakdown.) The awarded research has shown that heme oxygenase 1 plays an important role in the growth of blood vessels and that is why it can be targeted in the therapy of diabetes and its complications, in the process of inhibiting cancer growth or stimulating regeneration of cardiac muscle after cardiac arrest. Moreover, it turns out heme oxygenase 1 plays a key role in the functioning of various stem cells, like those coming from bone marrow which currently are under the scrutiny of regeneration medicine.
The results of the research conducted by the team of professor Józef Dulak and professor Alicja Józkowicz has been published in such prestigious journals like Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, Antioxidants and Redox Signaling, Circulation, Journal of Experimental Medicine, Plos One, and American Journal of Pathology. The research will be further developed thanks to, among other things, structural funds assigned to the research projects “Innovative methods of using stem cells in medicine” and “Endothelium in civilization illnesses: from preliminary research to innovative endothelium medication” carried out with the help of investment structural grants: “Molecular Biotechnology for Health” , “Jagiellonian Center of Drug Development” and “Małopolska Biotechnology Centre.” The JU Department of Medical Biotechnology of the Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology has been collaborating with pharmaceutical industry in development of new antidiabetes and anticancer drugs.
Published by: Leszek Śliwa