The Laboratory of Molecular Biology is a specialized laboratory at Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Faculty of Natural Sciences (Department of Botany & Genetics, Department of Zoology & Anthropology). Current research focuses primarily on bone biology.

OUR MISSION IN RESEARCH

Effects of toxins, drugs and nutrients on bone tissue and cells


Our broadest research area includes microstructural analyses of bone tissue and molecular analyses on cultivated bone cells after exposure to hazardous substances (heavy metals, toxins), drugs (amygdalin), as well as unprocessed or processed food ingredients (alcohol, acrylamide).

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Genetic and pharmacogenetic research of osteoporosis


We study genes that affect bone structure or function and try to use them to predict the risk of bone loss and osteoporosis development. We also investigate genes influencing the efficacy of disease therapy that could be used to determine the appropriate type of treatment.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Structural and molecular research of historical bones


Based on structural and molecular analysis of historical bones we are able to identify the biological species, pathologies or to determine the age of the individual at the time of death. We also discover the origin of individuals and relationships between populations in the past.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

OUR TOP RESULTS

We have achieved many valuable bone research-related results which are internationally accepted and are documented by publications. Here are some of our top results that can be considered as breakthroughs in world science:
We have developed a new method of species identification from bones - the publication presenting the method (Martiniakova M. et al. 2006. J Forensic Sci, 51: 1235-9) was recommended by the prestigious Oxford Bibliographies database as the basic literature for scientists and students from around the world in the field of bone histology; this method has thus become one of the technologies that have greatly influenced the global development and direction of bone histology research.
We provided worldwide the first exact evidence of osteoporosis in archaeologically recovered animal bones - we confirmed an early stage of osteoporosis using microstructural analyses in sheep femur of medieval date (8th -9th century). (Martiniaková, M. et al. 2008. Archaeopress; Oxford, 87-94)
We have revealed the effect of specific polymorphisms in the ESR1 gene on the effectiveness of osteoporosis therapy - this genetic test may be used in prediction of the effectiveness of hormonal therapy (17ß estradiol/progesterone), as well as SERMs/raloxifene therapies in patients with osteoporosis (Mondockova V. et al. 2018. BMC Med Genet. 19:174).

OUR MISSION IN EDUCATION

We use our laboratory facilities and equipment also in education. Our biology and molecular biology study programs focus on modern trends: biomedicine, biotechnology and biodiversity, where modern technologies are indispensable.

We use both standard and state-of-the-art molecular and imaging technologies, including DNA sequencing and new generation sequencing, microarrays, PCR techniques and electrophoresis, micro-computed tomography, microscopy, cell cultures.

The ability to work on top-of-the-range devices and to learn modern methods provides our students a competitive labor market advantage in laboratory experience and knowledge.

Virtual laboratory of molecular biology (SK version)

OUR MISSION FOR PRACTICE

Testing of new drugs for osteoporosis and diabetes treatment


We test new medicaments for prevention and treatment of human diseases using imaging methods.

Analyses for archaeozoology and forensics


We apply microstructural methods to identify biological species, age at the time of death, or pathologies.

Pharmacogenetic analyses of osteoporosis treatment efficacy


We analyse genes affecting the efficacy of osteoporosis treatment by hormonal therapy and raloxifene.

OUR TEAM

The research team of the laboratory consists of scientists and PhD. students from the Department of Botany and Genetics and the Department of Zoology and Anthropology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Slovakia.

Radoslav Omelka


professor and head of the lab

Research fields: study of genetic variability in associations with bone-related traits and diseases, microstructural 3D analysis of bones, molecular processes in cultivated bone cells (osteoblasts)
E-mail: romelka@ukf.sk

Monika Martiniaková


professor

Research fields: microstructural 2D and 3D analyses of cortical and trabecular bone tissues with applications in biomedical research, biotechnology, toxicology, nutrition and forensic sciences
E-mail: mmartiniakova@ukf.sk

Mária Bauerová


professor

Research fields: study of ancient DNA (isolated from historical skeletal material) and its application in a reconstruction of past population changes, and an identification of genetic relationships between individuals
E-mail: mbauerova@ukf.sk

Vladimíra Mondočková


assistant professor

Research fields: study of genetic variability in associations with human osteoporosis, analysis of genes affecting oteoporosis treatment efficacy, molecular analysis in cultivated bone cells
E-mail: vmondockova@ukf.sk

Ramona Babosová


assistant professor

Research fields: microstructural analysis of bone tissue, determination of qualitative and quantitative characteristics of bone tissue with applications in biomedical research and forensic sciences
E-mail: rbabosova@ukf.sk

Veronika Kováčová


assistant professor

Research fields: microstructural analysis of bone tissue, determination of 3D parameters of bone tissue with applications in biomedical research, molecular analysis in cultivated bone cells
E-mail: vkovacova@ukf.sk

Patrik Šranko


Ph.D. student

Research fields: microstructural and molecular analysis of bone tissue, determination of 2D and 3D parameters of bone tissue with applications in biomedical research, in vitro cultivation of osteoblasts
E-mail: patrik.sranko@ukf.sk

Jana Blahová


Ph.D. student

Research fields: microstructural and molecular analysis of diabetic bone tissue, determination of 2D and 3D parameters of bone tissue with applications in biomedical research, in vitro cultivation of osteoblasts
E-mail: jana.blahova@ukf.sk

Martina Bábiková


Ph.D. student

Research fields: microstructural and molecular analysis of bone tissue after nutrient supplementation, determination of 2D and 3D parameters of bone tissue, in vitro cultivation of osteoblasts
E-mail: martina.babikova@ukf.sk

OUR TECHNOLOGIES

Micro computed tomography (micro CT)


Using micro computed tomography we obtain information about 3D structure of the bones. We evaluate some important volume parameters of the tissue such as bone volume, trabecular number or bone mineral density. We use the Scanco Medical Micro CT Scanner in our lab.

Light microscopy and thin section preparation


Analysis of histological bone slides reveales the qualitative and quantitative characteristics of the tissue. We evaluate quantitative parameters of primary and secondary osteons. In the laboratory, we use a special Leica microtome and microscopes Leica and Optika.

Sequencing and next generation sequencing


Sequencing allows direct DNA sequencing and detection of polymorphisms or mutations in DNA. "Next Generation Sequencing" (NGS) technology has a high performance, it produces thousands to millions of sequences in one run. We use ABI 310 and NGS MiSeq sequencers.

Genetic variability detection by PCR methods


PCR is used for DNA amplification which is usually followed by various post methods, such as sequencing, RFLP, electrophoresis or High Resolution Melting (HRM). We use PCR machines, Idaho High Resolution Melter, Agarose and PAGE electrophoresis.

Gene expression analysis


Quantitative real-time PCR is a basic method for gene expression analysis. It is also possible to use microarrays technology which is able to analyze an expression of hundreds to thousands of genes in one reaction. We use the Agilent real-time PCR machine and the Innoscan microarray scanner in our lab.

Bone cells (osteoblast) cultivation in vitro


The use of cultured cells is a way to explore the molecular processes inside them. In our lab, we cultivate bone cells - osteoblasts (especially from human or mice), and then we analyze changes in their functions due to various genetic and environmental factors.

CONTACT US

CONTACT PERSON


prof. RNDr. Radoslav Omelka, PhD.


Address:

Department of Botany and Genetics

Faculty of Natural Sciences

Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra

Nábrežie mládeže 91

949 74 Nitra

Slovakia

Call: +421 37 6408 580

Email: romelka@ukf.sk

LAB LOCATION


Research Laboratories of the Faculty of Natural Sciences

Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra

Trieda A. Hlinku 1, Block E

949 74 Nitra

Slovakia