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PP12 - UPR - University of Primorska

Preclinical oncology and pathohistology diagnostic, informatics in healthcare and education, nutrigenomics.


The Faculty of Health Sciences (UP FHS) is an autonomous member of the University of Primorska. It offers two Bachelor study programmes: Nursing Care and Nutritional Counselling- Dietetics, and as well the Master study program in Nursing. Apart from the education UP FHS is also a research organization, holding funds from the Slovenian Research Agency and funds from the international level. The ongoing research work covers the following areas: oncology, orthopedics-prosthetics, dietetics, nursing and elderly care. Its mission Is to implement the undergraduate and postgraduate education in health care and nutritional counselling-dietetics and to simultaneously carry out a fundamental, applied and advanced research work in the field of conservation and recovery of health and health related issues. The best Slovenian and International experts in their field participate in the educational process at the Faculty. In addition to young scientist the Faculty research group is also formed. The Faculty provides a continuous cooperation between the teaching staff and researchers as well as various partner Institutions. The results of its own and foreign research are not transmitted just on the students but-through lifelong learning and sustainable development-on other human resources in the field of health sciences as well.


For the culturing of bacterial cells, cell lines and primary cells, the laboratory is equipped with two laminar flow hoods for cell cultures and one for bacterial cultures, CO2 incubator (bacterial culture (Sanyo) and cell culture (Heraeus) incubators), and inverted Olympus IX51 microscope equipped with the most common fluorescent filters. Also present are: custom built micro/milli-second electroporator, Tecan spectrophotometer, upright Nikon Eclipse 80i microscope for off-line analysis of immunofluorescent histological sections, water bath, autoclave, microcentrifuge (Eppendorf), and multipurpose cooled centrifuge (Heraeus).
Genotyping of different polymorphisms and quantification of DNA is performed on Real-time PCR ABI Prism 7000 (Applied Biosystems).
For detection of DNA and proteins, the laboratory is equipped with gel electrophoresis and western blot equipment (BioRad) and electrophoresis gel documenting machine.
For histology, in the laboratory is also rotational microtome and water bath for histological sections.
For assessment of body composition and basal metabolic rate we use bioelectrical impedance analyzer (Tanita BC 418MA (Tanita Corporation, Arlington Heights, IL) and hand-held indirect calorimeter (MedGem® Microlife).
Simulation room is equipped with part-task simulators (IV arms, …) and two human patient simulators, Laerdal’s VitalSim and Meti’s iStan.


The ongoing research work covers the following areas: oncology, orthopedics-prosthetics, nutrigenomics, dietetics, nursing and elderly care.
The prevalence of overweight is increasing globally and has become a serious public health problem. Overweight increases the risk of chronic metabolic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Obesity is also associated with low-grade chronic inflammation characterized by inflamed adipose tissue with increased macrophage infiltration. This inflammation is now widely believed to be the key link between obesity and development of insulin resistance and metabolic diseases development. Adipocytes secrete both pro- and anti-inflammatory adipokines, including pro-inflammatory tumour (TNF-α) factor α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and the anti-inflammatory adiponectin.
The aim of our research is to investigate the role of different adipokines in normal weight and overweight asymptomatic adults with respect to anthropometric/biochemical parameters, nutritional status, physical activity, and eating behaviour. In addition, we are also interesting in the relationship between TNF-α, IL-6, adiponectin, resistin, and visfatin gene polymorphisms with obesity and investigate whether specific dietary compounds intake modulates these associations and how the specific dietary compound modulates adipokine secretion.
ONCOLOGY: The research in this field of oncology is performed in collaboration with the Institute of Oncology Ljubljana. At the UP FHS one line of the research is focuses on the mechanisms of electroporation and electrochemotherapy, studying the changes in cytoskeleton of endothelial cells after application of electric pulses alone or with bleomycin, which is one of the chemotherapeutic drugs used In electrochemotherapy. In addition, electroporation can be also used for delivery of plasmid DNA into the cells and tissues for gene therapy. The group is studying if the endocytosis is involved in the electro transfer of plasmid DNA into the cells. Our PhD student is trying to prepare a plasmid DNA without antibiotic resistance genes and with tissue specific promoters that could be used in clinical trials where safety and specificity of gene therapy is of major concerns.
ORTHOPEDICS-PROSTHETICS: The research in this field of orthopaedics is performed in collaboration with the Valdoltra Orthopaedic Hospital. The prosthetic joint infections are the most serious complications occurring in knee and hip arthroplasites, among them Staphylococci account for more than half of cases. The aim of the research is to evaluate different intraoperative diagnostic tests such as microbiological culture, pathophysiological analysis and molecular methods analysis and molecular methods for prosthetic joint infection diagnosis. Moreover, the most common cause of clinical failure of joint prostheses is aseptic loosening of the implant components, which is hypothesizes to be a result of a harmful combination of mechanical and biological events destroying the band between the implant and bone bed. So, the pathogenesis of loosening of joint replacement continues to be a major focus of research in orthopaedics.


Inflammation, obesity, nutrigenomics, oncology, orthopaedics-prosthetics


University of Primorska
  Maja Cemazar
Polje 42 6310 IZOLA – ISOLA Slovenia