Leading Partner
Institute of Pharmacology Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków

The Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences is one of the leading research institution in psychopharmacology in Poland. The scientific activity is focused on the development of new methods and novel drugs for treatment of psychiatric and neurological diseases such as depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, addiction, Parkinson’s disease, learning and memory dysfunctions. The main goal of the above efforts is to improve the efficacy of pharmacological treatment, investigation of pathological mechanisms, analysis of psychiatric drugs action in animal models of human diseases. The changes induced by drugs are tested at different levels of: receptor’s binding, second messengers, release and metabolism of biogenic amines, behavioral responses, receptor’s density and localization, protein kinases, genes’ expression and cytokines activity.
The Institute has the status of Centre of Excellence in Neuropsychopharmacology FRAM as well as is a member of Consortium (with Jagiellonian University Medical College) which has been awarded by Polish Minister of Science and Higher Education with the status of Leading National Research Center KNOW 2012-2017 in medical science.
Currently, one of IP PAS priorities is the implementation of translational medicine in the field of psychopharmacology and the conversion of scientific discovery into real human health improvement. In this direction a number of initiatives are taken to bring together research scientists and industry partners to speed the translation of medical advances from the laboratory to clinical services.

Department of Medicinal Chemistry IP PAS
Department of Medicinal Chemistry, headed by prof. Andrzej Bojarski, conducts the research of ligands interacting with G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). The used methodology is based on the tight integration of computer methods, organic synthesis and in vitro screening, which allows for a quick verification of the assumed hypotheses. The studies of molecular modeling group are dedicated to creating new and improving existing computational methods to support the process of designing of the original chemical substances. Chemists from the group of organic synthesis prepare compounds whose activity for a number of receptor proteins is evaluated in radioligand and functional assays.

Department of Neurobiology IP PAS
Department of Neurobiology headed by prof. Andrzej Pilc id focused on: the mechanism of action of antidepressant drugs at the receptor and post-receptor levela, including second messengers and protein kinases; central effects of stimulation/antagonism of metabotropic glutamate receptors; the function of neuropeptide Y (NPY) and corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) in brain structures; the role of monoamines in the regulation of NPY or CRF expression in the cortex, amygdala or hippocampus; studies on the role of NPY or CRF in the anxiolytic/anxiogenic action of glutamatergic ligands; the neuroprotective role of NPY and metabotropic glutamate receptor ligands in vitro and in vivo; the role of interaction between metal ions (Zn, Mg) and neurotransmission in the pathophysiology and treatment of affective disorders (animal and human studies).

Norwegian Partner
University of Tromsø, The Arctic University of Norway

Molecular Modelling Group, Medical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Department of Medical Biology, Faculty of Health Science

The molecular modelling group, headed by professor Ingebrigt Sylte, uses molecular modelling and structural bioinformatics to gain insight into protein structure, function and interactions of drug target proteins. Sequence and structure analysis and homology modelling are used to construct three dimensional (3D) protein models. Automatic docking and molecular dynamics simulations are used to predict binding affinities and to study time dependent structural changes following protein-drug or protein-protein complexation.
The molecular modelling group provides tools for molecular modelling of proteins, ligands, protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions.

Polish Partner
National Medicines Institute, Warszawa

National Medicines Institute exists since 1951. It is a state owned (Ministry of Health) research based unit whose activity is concerned with medicines control and health protection. It employs ca. 270 employees, among them ca. 90 scientists (10 professors). Scientific research concerns medicines quality and mechanisms of activity, state medicines control as well as reference, consulting and educational activity form the basic platform of the Institute expertise. The Institute activity is interdisciplinary and encloses such fields as pharmacy, pharmacology, chemistry, biochemistry, biophysics, microbiology, molecular biology, epidemiology and vaccinology. National Medicines Institute is a member of European Network of Official Medicines Control Laboratories (OMCL Network) and collaborates with such organizations as European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines (EDQM) in Strasburg, World Health Organization/Centers for Decease Control and Prevention (WHO/CDC) in Atlanta and Health Protection Agency (HPA) in London.