Ministry of Education and Science granted University of Gdańsk with the designated subsidy from budgetary sources worth PLN 4 million, in order to adapt the infrastructure and create a laboratory with improved biosafety level (BSL-3+). The laboratory will study the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus. It will be the second such laboratory in Poland. The subsidy granted is the statement to the highest level of research conducted at the Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology UG and MUG.
On the initiative of prof. dr hab. Krystyna Bieńkowska-Szewczyk, Head of the Laboratory of Virus Molecular Biology at the Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology of University of Gdańsk and Medical University of Gdańsk (MWB UG and MUG), ever since the pandemic started efforts were made to modify the virology laboratory to enable working on SARS-CoV2 virus. The modification plan, together with subsidy application, prepared by Professor Bieńkowska-Szewczyk, were submitted by the University of Gdańsk in July of the current year. The four million zloty funding will enable increasing the level of biosafety at one of MWB UG and MUG labs to BSL-3+.
- We are prepared to continue research, which extends our knowledge of coronaviruses. The subsidy granting confirms the highest level of our research facilities. Suitable financing of the projects will lead to the increased pace of work – states Professor Krzysztof Bielawski, acting UG Rector.
Molecular virology as a scientific field has been developed in Gdańsk for over 25 years, since the beginning of the Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology of University of Gdańsk and Medical University of Gdańsk creation. The achievements of University of Gdańsk virologists in this field are world-recognized. During this time period, several dozen virology projects have been implemented, financed with Polish and International grants that Faculty’s researchers received. The following viruses, among others, are being researched: influenza viruses, herpes viruses, hepatitis B and c viruses, Zika virus and TBE (tick-born encephalitis). Currently two UG labs operate as BSL-2, increased biosafety level. Modifying one of them to BSL-3+ will allow full scope of works on the airborne virus pathogens.
Meeting with Minister Przemysław Czarnek took place on 17 November 2020 at the Ministry of Education and Science premises. Dr hab. Dorota Pyć, prof. UG, Vice Rector for Science and Internationalization of the University of Gdańsk also participated in the meeting.
The details are on the Ministry of Education and Science website.