Center for Translational and Clinical Research

OSTEOGROW among the most promising EU programs

Published 13.02.2017.

Web pages of Scientific Center of Excellence for Reproductive and Regenerative...

Published 14.02.2016.


Center for Translational and Clinical Research of the ZSM and the Clinical Hospital Center Zagreb was established in 2009 by the decision of the Faculty Council. With the establishment of this Center the ZSM has joined the league of the few Universities which stimulate the development of translational research.


The Center is comprised of the following research units:

  • Research and Technology Transfer Office is an important link in the translational research. The Office helps the ZSM researchers in applying for research projects and gives support for exchange of knowledge and technology transfer from the research labs, clinical research to industry. The foundation of this Office has strengthened the administrative support to the researchers at the ZSM, which significantly contributes to an increase of financing from competitive international funds and industry, thus strengthening simultane‐ ously the research capacities of the ZSM.
  • Functional Genomics Unit was founded in 2003 jointly by the ZSM and the Clinical Hospital Center Zagreb with the purpose of promoting translational research approach to the biomedical research. The Functional Genomics Unit has developed into the leading institution for the application of the genomic technologies in the South‐East Europe, and its researchers were first in this part of Europe to use the microarray technolo‐ gy by Affymetrix and Agilent. They were also first to use the next generation sequencing. The projects which takes place in the Unit are financed by the leading national and international financial sources: the Croatian Science Foundation, FP7 projects, UKF projects, or by other technological projects financed by the BICRO (the Croatian Agency for SMEs, Innovations and Investments) agency. The Unit was successful for competing for the projects sponsored by the international foundations such as Michael J. Fox Foundation and Parkinson’s UK Foundation. These projects resulted in numerous papers which were published in high impact journals.
  • Intercellular Communication Unit was founded as an affiliate of pharmaceutical industry within the aca‐ demic community for the purpose of stimulating close cooperation between these complementary, but often not integrated enough research activities. The Unit’s primary research interest is studying coexist‐ ence, interrelations and mutual regulation of the eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell systems. The staff em‐ ployed at the Unit have a longstanding experience and knowledge related to the wider context of develop‐ ment of the new drugs, therapeutic and clinical strategies, intellectual protection rights in medicine, apply‐ ing for and evaluating the research projects, together with the experience in educating students of medi‐ cine and pharmacy. The Unit cooperates closely with the clinical departments of the ZSM, thus contributing to the development of clinical and translational medicine.
  • The researchers of the Laboratory for Mineralized Tissues are devoted to the research of the bone mor‐ phogenetic proteins (BMP) in the system biology, bone regeneration, the influence of serotonin on the bone metabolism, the body regulation of iron, regeneration of the parenchymal organs, prevention of scar‐ ring after the acute myocardial infarction, prevention of the skin scars, production of antibodies, and the proteomic analysis of the biological specimens. 25 papers and two chapters in the textbooks (Springer Ver‐ lag) were published in the last 5 years. All the papers were published in high impact journals (New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of National Cancer Institute, Circulation, Blood, Gastroenterology, Journal of American Nephrology Association, etc.). The laboratory was also entrusted with the coordination of the biggest international research project OSTEOGROW, which was awarded by the European Commission to Croatia in 2012 for the clinical trials of the original drug for the bone regeneration. Six young researchers defended their doctoral theses in the last five years. The head of the Laboratory was elected as a full mem‐ ber into the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, he also presides the LS7 Diagnostic Tools, Therapies and Public Health Panel of the European Research Council.
  • The Unit for Biomedical Research of Reproduction and Development is equally successful in the use of the translational research in clinical practice. This work resulted in publication of the significant number of pa‐ pers indexed in CC journals, and successful application for the research centers of excellence announced by call of the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia. The Unit is successful in cooperating with Department of Urology and Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics of the Clinical Hos‐ pital Center Zagreb, and it takes part in the program of testis biopsy during which more than 80 patients with the most severe forms of infertility (azoospermia) were operated. Since the start of the program (1 February 2013) three healthy children were born, and the eighth pregnancy is currently going on.
  • Proteomics Unit takes part in various programs which analyse proteins in the plasma and serum in humans and animals and cell cultures media. The Units was particularly active in improving the procedures for the analysis of the samples for the OSTEOGRW project, which will soon be tested in clinical trials in patients with fracture of radius and tibia.


The following Unites are to be established:

  • Clinical Research Unit is to be established with the objective to raise the competitiveness for applying for the research projects, and solving the specific issues (such as work with patients, legal and ethical issues, personal data protection, patients’ rights, intellectual property, research at the premises of the Clinical Hospital Center Zagreb, and collaboration with the ZSM and other institutions). This Unit will have a service for giving support for the research, professional and legal issues and monitor the realization of the research projects in collaboration with the industry.
  • Unit for Drug Testing. This Unit is aimed at solving the problem of insufficient number of clinical trials at the Clinical Hospital Center Zagreb. Therefore, a Unit is planned to be established which will give organiza‐ tional support and provide equipment and competent staff for conducting clinical trials. This Unit is ex‐ pected to have a very important role within the North Campus project.
  • Biobank. The Clinical Hospital Center Zagreb already has a highly organized tissue and organ bank. The or‐ ganization of the Biobank unit is planned within the Center for Translational and Clinical Research which will enable cooperation with other biobanks in the basic research.
  • Laboratory for Flow Cytometry. The flow cytometry has already been used on a daily basis within the Clini‐ cal Institute for Laboratory Diagnostics of the Clinical Hospital Center Zagreb. Since there are also individual laboratories which offer techniques based on the flow cytometry, the harmonization of their work is being planned.
  • Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Unit. On the basis of the present cooperation there are plans for develop‐ ing research projects with researchers from other faculties. These two units will provide research support to all the researchers working within the North Campus.