Witold Stefański Institute of Parasitology, PAS

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Name: Witold Stefański Institute of Parasitology, PAS

Address: ul. Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warsaw, Poland

Website: http://www.ipar.pan.pl

Description:

The Witold Stefański Institute of Parasitology of the PAS is a specialist and unique national establishment, conducting interdisciplinary basic research which leads to solving important parasitological problems. The Institute pursues complex studies on parasites and parasitic diseases of humans, animals, and is engaged in an effective and fruitful international collaboration. The researchers at the Institute are dedicated to making discoveries primarily in basic research. The uncommon level of interdisciplinary interactions provides an exceptional environment for learning and research.

Currently Institute employs 36 scientists: 7 professors, 6 associate professors, 11 doctors, 8 assistants and 4 technicians. Researchers of the Institute have expertise in genomics, proteomics, microbiology, molecular biology, parasitology etc.

Our researchers are passionate, collaborate across disciplines with many academic and scientific laboratories, and attend numerous seminars and conferences. The Institute organizes educational and popularization activities  associated with the implementation of results into practice.

The Institute of Parasitology has more than six decades of history that is reflected in successful interdisciplinary parasitological research and provides a solid foundation for its future growth.

The Institute has a Parasitological Library containing 25,000 volumes of books and 533 titles of periodicals. It contains literature on general, medical and veterinary parasitology as well as relating sciences : zoology, ecology, zoogeography and others. It is the most complete, specialist library which serves the whole parasitological environment in Poland, both scientific and student.

Disciplines: biology

Fields of activity

The Institute conducts interdisciplinary basic research intended to solve important parasitological problems. It addresses the following aspects:

zoological aspects – biodiversity of parasites in various ecosystems, parasitic fauna of wild animals (invertebrates, fish, birds, mammals), morphology of parasites (including their ultrastructure and study of genomes), relationship of life-cycles and population biology with various environmental factors, systematics of certain groups (protozoans, platyhelminthes and nematodes), structure of zoonotic foci of arthropod-borne and transmission diseases; parasitic arthropods, blood parasites;

physiological aspects of the host-parasite system –biochemical and physiological conditions needed for the establishment of parasites in hosts, immunology and immunopathology in parasitoses (especially in trichinellosis, neosporosis, echinococcosis, fasciolosis, thelasiosis);

molecular aspects –molecular diagnosis of parasitic infection, evaluating the protectivity of recombinant proteins and cDNA vaccines against gastrointestinal helminthes, investigating immune responses of animals vaccinated with “naked” DNA, molecular analysis of parasite diversity;

epizootiology and control of parasitic diseases – dynamics of the occurrence of parasites in domestic and wild animals and on pastures under various breeding conditions, influence of breeding mode on the distribution of parasites, efficacy of some antiparasitic drugs and parasitic resistance to them.

Latest achievements:

Recently we have obtained a patent entitled "Oligonucleotide sequences and their use - detection of parasite DNA (Trichinella spp.) in blood". Currently in the Institute are conducted innovative studies on Galleria mellonella immune system and its use as a model for human immune system studies. Our research are focused on Fasciola hepatica vaccine and the search for immunomodulatory molecules and novel diagnostic methods. We have selected numerous molecules with the potential anti-inflammatory properties and further analyses are undertaken of their therapeutic use in inflammatory processes and autoimmune diseases. For the last 20 years Fasciola hepatica and Trichinella spiralis strains have been maintained in our laboratory allowing studies on each of the developmental stages.Our researchers publish over 50 scientific articles in internationally renowned journals annually.

The Institute is the owner of the international scientific journal Acta Parsitologica (Springer  Publisher) publishing original papers on all aspects of parasitology and host-parasite relationship.

Research facilities:

  • laboratories for molecular biology, immunology, chemistry, biology. A room for sterile work, a cooler room and an animal room for small laboratory animals with laminar cabinets and a ventilation system.
  • IP PAS has two field stations outside the city - one, located in Kosewo Górne (225 km from Warsaw), currently focuses on controlling parasitic diseases, vertical transmission of parasitic infection and optimization of deer-breeding conditions (kosewopan.pl); the second is located 22 km from Warsaw in Łomna Las, and offers the possibility to study the immune response against gastrointestinal nematode infections in goats, sheep and cattle.

Contact person:

Professor Bożena Moskwa
Director of the Institute
moskwa@twarda.pan.pl
(+48 22) 620 62 26