Department of Immunology
|head of dept.:
|Imre Kacskovics professor
1117 Budapest, Pázmány Péter sétány 1/C.,
(+36-1) 381-2175; (+36-1) 372-2500 /8075
Description of the scientific field
Immunology is a branch of biology that investigates the defence mechanisms of the body. The main function of the immune system is to discriminate between self and non-self-structures; moreover, it is able to identify hazard and respond to these inputs in different ways. In this sense, the immune system is a system for recognition, transmission of information and effector (executive, destroying) functions.
The Department of Immunology at ELTE was the first immunological department established in Hungary and even today it is the only one dedicated exclusively to immunological sciences. The knowledge and interest (both in teaching and research) of the members of the department covers the whole spectrum of immunology and immune homeostasis ranging from innate to adaptive immunity. Parallel to the basic or discovery research projects, applied research plays important role, as well.
The Department of Immunology has research projects investigating both innate (linked to immune homeostasis) and adaptive immunity and the integrated operation of these two arms of the immune system. In many cases the goal of the investigations is the better understanding of pathological conditions of the immune system and discovering early diagnostic tools to detect these diseases in time or to contribute to the effective treatment of them with knew knowledge.
Current research projects at the Department of Immunology:
We use up-to-date classical immunological, cell- and molecular biological methods to investigate the above-mentioned topics. We realize these research projects in national as well as international collaboration with partners from the academic field, pharmaceutical companies and clinical investigators.
Currently, we have four workgroups at the Department, supported by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the National Research, Development and Innovation Office. The research activity of the Department results in 15-20 publications in top journals of the scientific field yearly.
Life at the Department of Immunology
Besides biologists, doctors, veterinarians, physicists and bioinformaticians are welcome to join our department.
Our primary goal is to train researchers who will work in the field of immunology after obtaining their PhD degree. These experts are needed both at universities and in research projects all around the world. The knowledge in immunology is highly appreciated since several diseases have an immunological background; moreover, the latest treatments are therapeutical antibodies (biologicals). To this end, both national and international research institutes, hospitals, pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies seek for immunologists and further carrier options are offered for who are specialized in biotechnology (e.g., development of antibody based therapies).
How can I become an immunologist?
The easiest way to start is studying biology BSc at ELTE. As a university student, everyone has the opportunity the take immunological courses and join one of the research teams at our Department. The next step is MSc in Molecular-, Immuno- and Microbiology, where even more lectures and practical courses are available in immunology and the related scientific fields. University students at all levels (even during BSc) are welcome at the Department of Immunology to gain hands-on experience in immunology research.
Highest education of the future immunologists is finished with a 4-year doctoral programme in immunology at the Doctorate School in Biology at ELTE. Prerequisites to defend a PhD thesis are MSc degree, excellent scientific research and appropriate knowledge in English, and personal qualities like endurance, motivation and creativity.
Where and how can I apply to join the Department of Immunology as a student?
Students interested can apply by writing an email to the professor whose research group they would like to join. The e-mail addresses can be found here.