Czech Centre for Phenogenomics
1 2023

Dear Colleagues,

The year 2022 was eventful and brought many challenges, but also successes and memorable events. In this e-Newsletter, we are looking back to 2022 and we also want to share recent and ongoing activities with you.
We hope you will find useful information. Please also check our other information channels (e.g. and follow our Twitter account @CZphenogenomics.
Enjoy the reading!
Radislav Sedlacek and the CCP team

4th CCP Phenogenomics Conference

15 - 16 September 2022
For the 2022 CCP Phenogenomics Conference in September, the scientific committee selected the topic of rare diseases: experimental models & delivery of therapies as the main thematic focus. The conference was held as a hybrid meeting again. The event provided an excellent opportunity for networking and interactions among researchers, CCP staff, users, and experts from the commercial sector. Altogether, we had almost 200 participants with 51 attending from abroad. Now in its fourth year, the conference has truly established itself as a gathering of all stakeholders in the field of phenogenomics, experimental models for human disease, and precision medicine.
The initial keynote lecture given by Ophir Klein (University of California, San Francisco) "Developmental cues as a foundation for therapies" was followed by a series of excellent talks on rare diseases, their models and gene-therapy approaches as exemplified by e.g. Seppo Ylä-Herttuala (University of Eastern Finland, Finland). Besides the rare disease and therapy we had also an attractive session on non-coding elements with outstanding speakers Len Pennacchio (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA), Nadav Ahituv, (University of California, San Francisco, USA), and Joris van Arensbergen, Annogen B.V., Netherlands. Another highlight represented the talk “Phenotype-based diagnostics and discovery in rare disease” by Damian Smedley (Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom).
If you are interested in program details and the presented abstracts please go to:

TEATIME Management Committee and Working Group Meeting at the Institute of Molecular Genetics

In early October 2022, members of the COST Action TEATIME - Improving biomedical research by automated behavior monitoring in the animal home-cage (CA20135) met at the Institute of Molecular Genetics at the Krč Campus for the 2nd Management Committee Meeting and a full day of working group discussions. The meeting was held hybrid. In-person and online participants used breakout sessions to discuss the progress made in the five working groups. On the second day, MC members reported on achievements but also the aims for 2023 to the COST Science Officer. In the discussions, it became very clear that important technological developments in the field of data science are still necessary to be able to make maximum use of the very large data sets generated. TEATIME will certainly make a significant contribution to these developments.
Group photo of present and online TEATIME members in the Milan Hasek Auditorium of the IMG.
Currently, CCP is involved in four COST Actions:
  • CA20140 - CorEuStem: The European Network for Stem Cell Core Facilities (CorEuStem)
  • CA19144 - European Venom Network (EUVEN)
  • CA21113 - Genome Editing to Treat Humans Diseases (GenE-Humdi)

ICRI 2022 Conference

From 19-21 October, the International Conference of Research Infrastructures 2022 (ICRI 2022) took place in Brno, Czech Republic. ICRI conferences are major worldwide events providing the opportunity for strategic discussions about international collaboration in research infrastructures (RI). It brings together RIs from all over the world to share the most important topics and emerging trends relevant to international cooperation in the field of global research infrastructures.
The ICRI2022 program also included side and satellite events before and during the main conference. CCP together with INFRAFRONTIER and IMPC organized a satellite event entitled “Global and European Infrastructures IMPC and INFRAFRONTIER Towards the Deciphering of Gene Functions for Human Health“. The session was moderated by the renowned journalist Alison Abbott. Participants presented their efforts to decipher the role of the genome in human biology and disease followed by a panel discussion on the importance of RIs in the scientific landscape. INFRAFRONTIER and the IMPC were represented by Radislav Sedlacek (Czech Centre of Phenogenomics, Current Chair of the IMPC), Yann Herault (PHENOMIN-ICS, Incoming Chair of the IMPC), and Martin Hrabe de Angelis (Helmholtz Munich, Scientific Director of the INFRAFRONTIER GmbH). Most importantly, this satellite event was a great opportunity to bring together key people from European RI’s working in the field of biomedicine like EATRIS ERIC, BBMRI ERIC, EJP RD, and ECRIN.

"Doba genová"

The Gene Age Lecture Series and Exhibition

Outreach is very important to inform the public about our research. In December 2022, CCP members started with a series of lectures on the links between gene functions and human disease. In addition in September next year, an exhibition introducing this topic will be launched and be presented for twelve months in seven cities of the Czech Republic. The campaign is organized by ASGENT a non-profit organization promoting gene therapy, especially in rare diseases, in cooperation with the Czech Center for Phenogenomics, the Institute of Molecular Genetics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, and the Czech Association for Rare Diseases.
The exhibition will be shown in publicly accessible places in Prague, Brno, Ostrava, Pilsen, Hradec Králové, České Budějovice, and Karlovy Vary. Exact places and times will be announced via our website, social media, and local news channels. Furthermore, we plan to present the exhibition in Brussels at the headquarters of the EU institution.
As the name suggests, the lectures and the exhibition aim to introduce the following topics to the general and professional public: 1) Functions of genes and their contribution to the development of genetic diseases. 2) Gene therapy – a new hope in the treatment of human genetic diseases.
The launching lectures were given by Radislav Sedláček (Director of the CCP) and Jan Procházka, (CCP head of the phenotyping module). For more information click here.
Organizers and speakers at the Gene Age project launch
Closely connected to The Gene Age Project, CCP presented a series of lectures on genetics and biomedicine for high school students in early December in science parks in Ostrava, Olomouc, Brno, and Pilsen. The lectures covered 1) Genes - how they work and how they are controlled (Genes and regulation of gene expression), 2) Genetic diseases - causes and emergence (Pathogenesis of genetic diseases), and 3) Gene therapy today and tomorrow (Current possibilities of gene therapy and its future development). Lectures were presented by CCP staff Radislav Sedláček, Jan Procházka, Petr Nickl, Tereza Nickl, Michaela Procházková, and Blanka Mrázková.

New publications

Again, studies that were conducted at the CCP resulted in numerous publications in 2022. We selected three publications to highlight the expertise and capacities of CCP researchers. The complete list of publications can be found here.
This methodological paper introduces the investigation of enamel microstructure by combining MicroCT analysis with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to characterize already formed enamel. Stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy provides extra information about protein structure before enamel mineralization. A combination of all these methods allows analyzing the same sample on multiple levels—starting with the live animal being scanned followed by high-resolution MicroCT scans.

Link to the publication [pubmed] [doi]
In this collaborative study, monoclonal antibodies were investigated that target two immunodominant epitopes on the Spike protein and neutralize newly emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. The background is that the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants (B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), P.1 (Gamma) and B.1.617.2 (Delta)) raised concerns about the activity of current vaccines and therapeutic antibodies. In this study, hybridoma technology, ELISA-based and cell-based S-ACE2 interaction assays combined with authentic virus neutralization assays were employed to develop second-generation antibodies, which were specifically selected for their ability to neutralize the new variants of SARS-CoV-2.
Link to the publication [pubmed] [doi]
The selection of chromatographic peak detection parameters and algorithms is a crucial step in preprocessing liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS) data. As mass-to-charge ratio and retention time shifts are often larger between batches than within batches, finding parameters for all samples of a large-scale multi-batch experiment becomes a challenging task. In the paper, a solution is presented for preprocessing independent batches individually to align and combine them for further downstream analysis.

Link to the publication [pubmed] [doi]

František Běhounek Award for Radislav Sedlacek

Only recently, CCP Director Radislav Sedláček was awarded the prestigious František Běhounek Prize. This prize is granted by the Czech Minister of Education, Youth and Sports to researchers who, through their participation in European cooperation projects in the fields of research, experimental development and innovation, have contributed to the promotion and popularisation of their scientific field and the spread of the good name of the Czech Republic in Europe.

This prize is named after the eminent Czech physicist, academic, professor and writer František Běhounek, who studied in Paris under the direct guidance of Marie Curie-Sklodowska. Professor Běhounek was an adventurous man, in 1926 he took part in Roald Amundsen's expedition to the North Pole, and in 1928 he was the first Czech to fly over the North Pole in the airship Italia. He was also a member of numerous professional organisations and international scientific associations and a UNESCO expert on atomic radiation research. This prize has been awarded since 2012.

Open Calls

Do you need specific research services, tools or resources to advance your research in infectious diseases? ISIDORe (Integrated Services for Infectious Disease Outbreak Research) is an EU-funded project that provides an integrated portfolio of cutting-edge research services and resources to study epidemic-prone pathogens including SARS-CoV-2
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Job Offers

For currently open positions please visit our website.
Last but not least, we want to conclude by wishing you all the best for the New Year 2023!
Czech Centre for Phenogenomics
Institute of Molecular Genetics of the
Czech Academy of Sciences
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