Biotechnology, health and environmental protection

Indisputably, biotechnology stands out as one of the most dynamically developing sciences of the 21st century. What is in the backgroundof this dynamism?

Industrial development provides for the increasing level in our quality of life. However, we can only enjoy the opportunities offered by these technological achievements if our state of health is at the highest possible level.

Biotechnology, together with its related partner areas (health and environmental protection), is also destined to satisfying this need as far as it is possible for it to do so. How?

  1. In the area of prevention, it can ensure:
    • that everyone is able to obtain the most appropriate and safe food products (personalised diet, food safety) for their needs
    • that everyone has an appropriate amount of food raw materials at their disposal as their needs dictate (agricultural biotechnology)
    • a healthy environment with the production of products adopting the use of environmentally friendly technologies (green chemistry), the utilization of by-products and the disposal of byproduct pollutants (environmental biotechnology);
  2. the earliest, effective diagnostics of diseases and personalised therapy following precise diagnostics.

This is inconceivable without:

  • selective, sensitive, high throughput analytical and diagnostic imaging procedures
  • the efficient processing of results (bioinformatics)
  • the prediction and knowledge of targeted pharmaceutical molecules, the target site of agents
  • the efficient synthesis and biotechnological production of molecules (industrial biotechnology)
  • the efficient apportion and formulation of molecules (nanobiotechnology);
  • the aid of instruments and infocommunication tools supporting the home care of the elderly and/or people with a poor health status.

Taking all this into consideration, it is not surprising that the biotechnology sector – which fortunately includes the Hungarian biotechnology sector – has experienced explosive development in the past two decades.  It is safe to say that biotechnology may very well be a potentially major breakthrough point for Hungarian industry. This fast paced development exerts its influence on Hungarian technological tertiary education in at least two ways. The need arises for:

  1. centres cooperating with industry to satisfy the basic and applied research needs of those industries;
  2. the education of an increasing number of experts.

The research groups of the University involved in scientific, basic and applied research cover nearly the entire spectrum of biotechnologies listed above. Thus these may provide a good starting point for a university research network dealing with biotechnology, health and environment protection where research groups, by cooperating and undertaking complementary efforts in synergic effect, may contribute to the development of the domain with more efficient, higher levels of research, whilst training groups of specialists with higher levels of knowledge and with a view on related domains.

Accordingly, the research (university) program of BME which commenced in 2010 in the biotechnology, health and environment protection areas consists of the following prominent elements:

  • The biotechnology research of the University now focuses on research areas that are current and that will point the way to the future. As a result of these developments, molecular biology, biotechnology rank amongst the University research and education key directions. Consequently, the theoretical support of the applied areas are strengthened, the efficacy of developments is expected to increase.
  • By harmonizing university researches, the number of overlapping researches decreases and the number of complementary and vertical researches increases. New co-operations are formed among the research groups of the University whilst existing ones are strengthened.
  • Core facilities are created where high levels of special knowledge and infrastructure concentrate. For example, the new molecular biology laboratory helps by covering the needs of research and by the funding of the University in this area.
  • In the future, we need to give priority to establishing and maintaining domestic and foreign relationships. We regard the partner research groups such as MTA Szegedi BiolĂłgiai Központ (MTA Biological Research Center, Szeged), MTA MezĹ‘gazdasági KutatĂłintĂ©zet (MTA Agricultural Research Institute), Semmelweis University, Eötvös LĂłránd University, and Corvinus Egyetem, as key domestic cooperating partners.
  • We place emphasis on transferring procedures developed at, or with, the participation of the University to industrial applications. Therefore, we are endeavouring to form close cooperation with large industrial companies and small and medium size companies in these areas.
  • Education can never take a subordinate role at a research university. This is why we make efforts to continuously introduce modern technologies and procedures to education, and to involve theme laboratory and students’ scholarly circle students in the research.
  • In educating the specialists of the future, we also assign an important role to the acquirement of appropriate practical (industrial) experience.