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Address: 2nd Medicine Bldg., Spl. Tudor Vladimirescu nr. 14
Telephone: 0256/493085
E-mail: fiziopatologie@umft.ro

 
Academic staff

Head of the discipline

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📧 Email: borza.claudia@umft.ro

📃 Curriculum vitae

 

Members

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📧 E-mail: daninamuntean@umft.ro

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General presentation

Pathophysiology is the topic that represents a typical example of interdisciplinarity (Physiology, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Cellular & Molecular Biology, Medical Genetics) being recognized as the bridge between basic sciences and clinical medicine. It is not limited to the description of the functional changes of the cells and tissues elicited by the disease, which are complementary to the structural ones that represents the topic of Morphopathology.

Pathophysiology is the integrative science that allows the knowledge and understanding of the:

  • etiology and pathogenesis of the disease, i.e., the causes and mechanisms underlying the initiation, progression, compensation and finally, healing of pathological processes;
  • relationship between cellular/subcellular changes at tissue/organ level and their effects on the

function of whole body;

  • clinical manifestations (signs, symptoms) of the disease through a logical cause-effect type

     approach;

  • pathogenetic diagnosis based on algorithms, which explore the functional and lesional changes specific for each pathological entity;
  • rational background for the correction of functional imbalances, for therapy and, when appropriate, for the prophylaxis of disease.

The foundation of the study of Pathophysiology has been established in Timișoara back to 1950 by Prof. Ioan Cotăescu, corresponding member of the Academy of Medical Sciences, who led the discipline until 1977. Under his supervision, teaching and research laboratories were organized and a complex research program was started addressing the metabolic mechanisms of  pathophysiological cellular processes integrated with studies of cellular pharmacodynamics.

Between 1977-1979 the discipline was led by Prof. Adrian Creţu.

From 1979 to 2009, under the leadership of Prof. Alexandru Cristescu, member of the Academy of Medical Sciences, a School of Pathophysiology has been settled in Timișoara and a program of modernization of both didactic and research activity was initiated by introducing modern methods of teaching and computer-assisted examination as well as by implementating the  systems of data acquisition and automatic processing of experimental data and functional explorations. A unitary teaching system was introduced to the General Medicine study program and unique courses and guidelines to practical laboratories were published in Romanian, English and French languages. The discipline has a long tradition in the field of cardiovascular research, one of the priority directions being the study of lesions induced by ischemia/myocardial reperfusion and cardioprotective strategies. In the 90s, research contracts funded by the Academy of Medical Sciences allowed the construction of the equipment for body surface electrocardiographic mapping  and of non-invasive exploration of peripheral circulation, respectively; also, the preclinical testing of several cardiovascular drugs was conducted. Under his leadership, the Laboratory for Functional Explorations, Laboratory for Experimental Electrophysiology, and Laboratory for In Vitro Experimental Studies were settled.

Between 2009 and 2019, the discipline was led by Prof. Danina-Mirela Muntean who was particularly interested in increasing the quality of education, in terms of both using modern, interactive teaching methods and providing constant access to updated information, as well as in continuing and expanding the domains of scientific research.

Regarding the teaching activity, a unique course of Pathophysiology has been made available on-line on the university Moodle platform, as well as the laboratories, for all the students of a certain study program, the information being regularly updated and adapted to the requirements of each specialization. The teaching activity for lectures and laboratories is student-centered, aiming at the improving their communication skills and critical thinking in order to link the pathomechanisms of  diseases (presented during the lectures) with the exercises and case studies (detailed during the laboratories). Development of analytical medical thinking and a unitary vision of diseases are prerequisites in order to prepare the students to formulate the diagnosis in their future clinical practice. The practical activity is carried out in five laboratories and has the following objectives: i) systematic analysis of pathological laboratory bulletins and functional explorations presented in case studies and ii) presentation of several diagnostic algorithms – in order to help the formulation of positive and differential paraclinical diagnosis. Also, in line with the concept of “education through research”, demonstrative videos were recorded for the students showing experimental models on organs (heart, vascular rings) and organelles (isolated mitochondria) and research protocols (e.g. high-resolution respirometry using the O2K-oxygraph and extracellular acidification using the Seahorse-Agilent XF24e flow analyzer) currently used in the research activity within the discipline.

As concerning the scientific activity, following the tradition in the field of cardiovascular research, the members of the discipline involved in translational research have implemented novel experimental models and, set up research techniques, in order to become a competitive partner on the European research market and consolidate national and international interdisciplinary partnerships. Moreover, besides the translational research regarding cardiovascular protection strategies in experimental models and humans, in the past decade, special attention has been paid to the study of endothelial and mitochondrial dysfunctions as potential therapeutic targets in cardio-metabolic, renal pathology, senescence and carcinogenesis. Other important research directions are represented by the investigation of the mechanisms of action of phytochemicals, the study of oxidative stress, and the contribution of arterial stiffness changes to the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases (associated with comorbidities). Last but not least, there was a constant interest of the discipline members for writing meta-analyses and systematic / narrative reviews on chronic diseases with major impact on health, in partnership with prestigious national and international research groups.

The research projects carried out within the discipline since 2006 and until now have allowed the endowment of the existing laboratories with novel equipments and more important, 4 novel laboratories have been settled, as follows: Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Electrophysiology  (2013) , Laboratory of Confocal Microscopy (2012), Laboratory of Experimental In Vitro and In Vivo Studies (2010), Laboratory of Mitochondrial Studies (2008), the latter being a national premiere.

In 2014, the Centre for Translational Research and Systems Medicine was established, with the approval of the University Senate, under the coordination of Prof. M.D. Muntean M. Danina as director. The centre includes 6 laboratories in which a translational and interdisciplinary research activity is carried out, in preclinical-clinical partnership, meant to contribute to the increase of the international visibility of the university. Since 2016, the centre was registered on the erris.ro website and starting with 2020 it was re-accredited, in partnership with the discipline of Public Health and Sanitary Management, as the Centre for Advanced Research (CAR) of UMFVBT.

A particular attention is permanently paid to the development of highly-qualified human resources – PhD students, postdoctoral students – which have benefited from scholarships / research mobility abroad and also, to the involvement of undergraduate students in research. Over the past two decades the young researchers coordinated by the discipline members won several prizes and awards in both national and international conferences and also, in UEFISCDI competitions.

Students interested in the research activity are affiliated to the research centre, work under the direct supervision of the discipline faculty, participate in lab meetings where the results of the research activity of the team/research novelties are presented, attend national / international student conferences and finalize license theses. The discipline was also the host for foreign students which chose our university within the IFMSA (International Federation of Medical Students Association) Research Exchange summer program.

Currently, the discipline is led by Prof. Claudia Borza who is constantly concerned with maintaining the quality of the educational and research activity at national and international standards.

Teaching activity

The Pathophysiology lectures were posted between 2009 and 2015 on the  discipline’s website. Starting with the academic year 2016-2017, both the Pathophysiology course and practical laboratories, updated annually, are posted on the university’s Moodle e-learning platform.

Starting with the academic year 2013-2014, the volunteering program in the academic activity (VADA) was implemented, under the coordination of Prof. Danina M. Muntean. The program allows the best students from the IVth – VIth year of the Faculty of Medicine (Romanian, English and French sections) to participate as volunteers in either teaching the Pathophysiology labs or carrying out research activity in our centre. So far, a number of 36 volunteer certificates have been issued (of which 4 certificates to students in the English section and 3 certificates to students in the French section, respectively).

Research activity

I. Research topics:

  1. Strategies for cardiovascular, metabolic and renal protection in animals and humans: translational studies on the central role of mitochondria.
  2. Endothelial dysfunction: etiopathogenesis and innovative therapeutic approaches.
  3. Mitochondrial dysfunction in cardiometabolic pathology, senescence and carcinogenesis: from mechanisms to new therapeutic targets.
  4. Study of the mechanisms of action of phytochemical compounds at mitochondrial and vascular level.
  5. Evaluation, prevention and control of oxidative stress in pathology: the contribution of monoamine oxidase (MAO).
  6. Studies of changes in arterial stiffness and signal-mediated electrocardiography in cardiovascular pathology and comorbidities.
  7. Meta-analyses and systematic reviews of chronic diseases with major impact on health.

II. ISI articles published by the discipline members in journals with FI in the last 10 years > 100.

III.  Research projects – with the discipline of Pathophysiology as coordinator or partner:

International:

  • Romania-France bilateral cooperation project competition Romania-France Cooperation Mobilities Program Brancusi-Hubert Curien “Novel Insights in Vascular Protection Mediated By Purinergic Signaling – acronym PUR-VASC-PROTECT, code 75 BM, period: 2017-2018
  • Romania-Hungary cross-border cooperation project 2007-2013 “Twinning Project for the Joint Development of Research Infrastructure” – acronym HURO-TWIN, code HURO / 1101/086, period: 2013-2015
  • Romania-Hungary cross-border cooperation project 2007-2013 “Development of the Infrastructure for a Pole of Excellence in Cardiovascular Research” – acronym HURO-CARDIOPOL, code HURO 0802 / 011_AF period: 2010-2012
  • Romania-Hungary cross-border cooperation project 2007-2013 “Implementation of a Regional Project for Translational Medical Research Concerning Diseases with High Impact in Population”, acronym HURO-TRANS-MED, code HURO 0901/137 / 2.2.2, period 2010- 2012
  • CAPACITIES Project Module III, bilateral cooperation Romania – Hungary, “Implementation of a regional training network in experimental cardiology”, acronym CARDIO-REG, contract 55/2008, period: 2008-2009
  • European projects type COST (COoperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research):

Prof. M.D. Danina M. Muntean – representative member for RO in the Management Committee of the actions:

“Realizing the therapeutic potential of novel cardioprotective therapies – EU-CARDIO-PROTECTION”, code CA16225, period 2017-2022

“Mitochondrial Fitness Mapping – Evolution-Age-Gender-Lifestyle-Environment – MITO-EAGLE”, code CA15203, period 2016-2021

“The Network for the Biology of Zinc”, code TD1304, period 2013-2017

“European Network on Gasotransmitters”, code BM1005, period 2010-2015

“Hypoxia Sensing, Signaling and Adaptation”, BMBS code TD0901, period 2010-2013

“Bioactive Food Components, Mitochondria Function and Health”, code FA0602, per. 2007-2011

Assoc. Prof. M.D. Ioana Mozoș – representative member for RO in the Management Committee of action:

 – “Network for Research in Vascular Aging”, code CA18216, period 2019-2023

Assoc. Prof. M.D. Adrian Sturza – alternate member for RO in the Management Committee of actions:

 – “Realizing the therapeutic potential of novel cardioprotective therapies – EU-CARDIO-PROTECTION”, code CA16225, period 2017-2021

 – “European Network on Gasotransmitters”, code BM1005, period 2010-2015

National:

  • Exploratory research project type IDEAS “Evaluation of the cardioprotective effects of ATP-dependent potassium channel modulators”, code PN-II-ID-PCE-2012-4-0512, period: 2013-2016
  • PNCDI II Project, Program 4, category Partnerships in priority areas type PC “Cardioprotective strategies for reperfusion – mitochondria as a multiple therapeutic target” – acronym: CARDIO-MITO-PROT, code 2560/2008, period: 2008-2011
  • Grant of the Romanian Academy “In vitro studies on the respiratory function of subpopulations of mitochondria isolated from the mammalian myocardium”, code 266/2007, period: 2007-2008
  • CNCSIS type A project “The integrative role of mitochondria in cardioprotection in experimental myocardial ischemia/reperfusion”, code 752/2006, period: 2006-2007

Internal of the UMFVBT:

  • CERC.EXP type project. “Innovative translational study: from basic research to clinical applicability regarding mitochondrial dysfunction and inflammation in chronic diabetic kidney disease”, acronym MITO-DIAB, code 6EXP / 2020, period: 2020-2023
  • POSTDOC type project “Modulation of mitochondrial function by blue methylene in the cardiovascular adipose tissue”, acronym MITO-MB-CURATE, code 2POSTDOC / 2020, period: 2020-2022
  • POSTDOC type project “Monoamine oxidase and metabolic memory – repositioning MAO inhibitors as vascular protective agents in diabetes”, acronym MAO-DIAB, code 6POSTDOC / 2020, period: 2020-2022
  • DOC project “Translational study on the characterization of mitochondrial dysfunction and the identification of metabolomic biomarkers with diagnostic and prognostic value in patients with chronic kidney disease”, acronym MET-MIT-CKD, 6DOC / 2020, period: 2020-2023
  • Partnerships in fundamental innovative research type project “The role of vitamin D in modulating vascular and mitochondrial function in adipose tissue in animals and humans”, acronym VASC-ADIPO-MIT, code PIII-C5-PCFI-2017 / 2018-01, period: 2017-2018
  • Partnerships in fundamental innovative research type project “New pharmaceutical approaches for modulating the bioavailability of flavonoids with chemopreventive potential in malignant melanoma” – acronym “FLAVO-FORM”, code PIII-C2-PCFI-2015 / 2016-04, period: 2015-2016
  • Partnership in innovative fundamental research type project “The contribution of monoamine oxidase-induced oxidative stress to cardiovascular dysfunction and the prognosis of coronary patients with and without diabetes” – acronym MAO-CARDIO-SOX, code PIII-C1-PCFI-2014, period: 2014 -2015
  • Project for young researchers “Research on the interaction of mitochondria-purinergic signaling in cardioprotection in postischemic reperfusion” – acronym MITO-P2-REP, code PII-C3-TC-2015
  • Project for young researchers “The role of monoamine oxidases in the pathogenesis of peripheral arteriopathy in experimentally induced diabetes” – acronym ARTERIO-MAO-DIAB, code PII-C2-TC-2014

IV. International cooperation (alphabetical order):

  • Denis Angoulvant, Head of Cardiology Clinic at Tours University Hospital,  Vice-Dean in charge of Medical Pedagogy at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Tours, Deputy Director of the Research Laboratory “Transplantation, Immunity and Inflammation“, President of the Scientific Committee of the French Federation of Cardiology
  • Atanas Atanasov, Department of Pharmacognosy, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria; Institute of Neurobiology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria; Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding, Polish Academy of Sciences, Jastrzębiec, Magdalenka, Poland
  • Ljuba Bacharova: Institute of Pathophysiology, Medical School, Comenius University; International Laser Center, Bratislava, Slovakia
  • István Baczko, Director of the Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Szeged, Hungary
  • Maciej Banach, Director of the Hypertension Department of the Medical University of Lodz, Poland, President of the Polish Mother’s Memorial Hospital-Research Institute, Founder and President of the Polish Lipid Association and the Lipid and Blood Pressure Meta-analysis Collaboration (LBPMC)
  • Ralf P. Brandes, Director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Physiology, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany
  • Bernhard Brüne, Director of the Institute of Biochemistry Pathobiochemistry of the Faculty of Medicine, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany
  • René Csuk, Director of the Department of Organic Chemistry, Martin Luther Halle-Wittenberg University, Halle, Germany
  • Eskil Elmer, Director of the Mitochondrial Medicine Research Unit, Lund University, Sweden
  • Peter Ferdinandy, Director of the Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy of the Faculty of Medicine, Semmelweis University, Budapest, founder of the Pharmahungary group, Hungary
  • Jarosław Horbańczuk, Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding, Polish Academy of Sciences, Jastrzębiec, Poland
  • Norbert Jost, Research Group for Cardiovascular Pharmacology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Szeged, Hungary
  • Peter Kruzliak, 2nd Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, Faculty of Medicine, St. Anne’s University Hospital and Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic; Department of Internal Medicine, Brothers of Mercy Hospital, Brno, Czech Republic
  • Antigone Lazou, Director of the Laboratory of Animal Physiology, School of Biology, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Prof. Mariana Roșca, Director of Department of Foundational Sciences, College of Medicine, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, USA
  • Milan Stehlik, Linz Institute of Technology, Johannes Kepler University, Department of Applied Statistics, Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria
  • Prof. András Varró, President of the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences – European Section.
Awards for the entire activity

Prof. Claudia Borza – awards for patents held (2015-2017)

Prof. M.D. Danina M. Muntean:

  1. Third Prize for teaching activity within the Faculty of Medicine of the “Victor Babeș”  University of Medicine and Pharmacy Timișoara from Timișoara (2015)
  2. International/national awards for doctoral students/coordinated students (over 50, from 2009-present)

Assoc. Prof. Adrian Sturza:

  1. Diploma for special merits in scientific research activity awarded by the Rector of UMFVBT (2018)
  2. Early Career Investigator Award granted by the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences – European Section at The 5th European Section Meeting of IACS, 23-26 May 2018, Smolenice / Bratislava, Slovakia
  3. Diploma of merit for the scientific research activity offered by the Timișoara City Hall (2014)
  4. Eminent Researcher Award offered by the Association “University Horizons” and the Romanian Academy – Timișoara branch (2014)

Assoc. Prof. Oana-Maria Duicu (Aburel):

  1. First Prize for scientific activity within the UMFVBT (2014)

Lecturer Maria-Corina Șerban – several UEFISCDI awards (2014-2018)

Enabling theses

2020

 Assoc. Prof. M.D. Ioana-Monica Mozoș

Cardiovascular pathophysiology and interdisciplinary collaboration 

2017

  • Prof. M.D. Claudia Borza

Diagnostic Role of Serum and Functional Markers in Pathology: Experimental and Clinical Studies

  • Prof. M.D. Mirela-Danina Muntean

Mitochondria as Therapeutic Target in Translational Research And Drug Repurposing