The Institute of Neuroimmunology (NIU) SAS is a leading research centre in the field of basic and applied neurosciences and immunology in Slovakia. The research at the institute covers the broadest range of interests, starting from the molecular pathways, through the cellular signalling, and molecular communication between brain networks, up to the cognition, movement, and behaviour.
The primary focus lies on the expanding our current understanding of the physiology and pathology of the human brain and spinal cord, with special emphasis on neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer´s disease, Parkinson´s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis etc.), infectious diseases of the central nervous system (Lyme disease, tularaemia, West Nile fever etc.), and traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries.
To achieve these objectives NIU employs the current state-of-the-art genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomic, molecular, and cell biology techniques to investigate problem-oriented basic and applied research. In addition, it hosts doctoral studies in a) neuroscience, b) immunology and c) molecular biology, in collaborations with universities across the country. In order to coordinate the neuroscience research with university partners, the Centre of Biomedical Microbiology and Immunology (CBMI) was set up as a joint laboratory based at the campus of the University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Košice.
The institute has become the scientific representative of the Slovak Republic in the EU Joint Programming – Neurodegenerative Disease research (JPND), the largest global research initiative aimed at tackling the challenges of neurodegenerative diseases. JPND aims to increase coordinated investments in research between participating countries directed at finding causes, developing cures, and identifying innovative ways to care for those with neurodegenerative diseases.
NIU represents the National Scientific Centre of the Slovak Republic in the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB). ICGEB is a unique intergovernmental organisation, which forms a highly interactive network with almost 70 member states.
The mission of the Institute is to deliver the results of the research from the bench directly to the patients suffering from neurodegenerative disorders and consequently translate the scientific knowledge into the improvement of their everyday life. In order to achieve this goal, the Institute established the first Alzheimer’s Diagnostic Centre, the Centre MEMORY, a specialized preventive diagnostic, educational and day-care facility for elderly people and people with memory complaints or disorders, especially for patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
The purpose of the institute is to increase awareness about brain diseases, provide education and disseminate the current knowledge on these disorders throughout the country. In a collaboration with Slovak Alzheimer´s Society and Slovak Society for Neuroscience we organise regular conferences for clinicians, scientists and patients’ caretakers.