Chemistry and biochemistry have always been among the basic theoretical subjects from the beginning of the Faculty of Medicine. Because of the worldwide development in this field, biochemistry has come to dominate and the role of chemistry has diminished to the basic necessary of understanding the biochemical processes. We have gradually introduced seminars into the classes which, together with laboratory classes, provide the students basic information on metabolic processes in organisms and give a good foundation for understanding pathology. Biochemistry is a dynamically developing field and a lot of new crucial information must be introduced into classes. For this reason, we welcome the possibility of introducing elective subjects. In cooperation with clinical workplaces we have introduced a subject devoted to the pathobiochemistry and metabolic disorders. Other subjects include pathobiochemistry of cells and toxicology. All of these elective courses are avilable in English as well. To make up for any lack of knowledge from secondary school, we offer our students the elective subject of Basics of Chemistry. Another aspect of our department is the teaching of future dentists. A portion of the biochemistry hours is dedicated to the newly introduced subject Materials for Dental Medicine. First, the students experiment and work in the chemical laboratory with basic stomatology materials. They then continue to work in the phantom laboratories of the Department of Dentistry. For many years we have also organized secondary school competitions at various levels. We also participate in preparatory courses for study at our medical school.
Mechanisms of cell death and reparation of DNA
Our interest in the problematics of molecular mechanisms initiated by DNA molecular damage can be seen in our long-term cooperation with the Department of Radiobiology at the Faculty of Military Medicine at the University of Defense. The effort to expand our knowledge on the molecular basis of the reaction of living organisms to ionizing radiation exposure has resulted in research focusing on the study of intracellular signalization as a reaction to DNA damage by ionizing radiation or by cytostatics, research on observing repairs of double-strand breaks in DNA caused by these noxae, cell cycle regulation, and the induction of apoptosis and senescence.
Proteins of connective tissue and expression of appropriate genes
Our third traditional research area is the study of connective tissue and fibrogenesis. Many diseases are connected with a changed metabolism in connective tissues. We study the influence of extracellular matrix on the behavior of normal and carcinoma cells.