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Faculty of Health Sciences

 

Specialisation: • Health Sciences • Medical Biology • Epidemiology • Disease Prevention • Health Promotion

Contact: ul. Michałowskiego 12, 31-126 Kraków, wnz@cm-uj.krakow.pl

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Major studies and research projects

The main research directions of the faculty include: the biological bases of schizophrenia and depression; determinants of fertility; determinants of ageing; health education and health promotion; experimental gastroenterology; programmes for cardiovascular disease prevention; health psychology; e-health technologies and problems; and human resource management in nursing. Current research projects:

  • Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: Efficiency Control.The main purpose of this activity is to improve the standards of preventive cardiology measures. As a part of the Ministry of Health Care's POLKARD programme, an assessment of the cardiovascular disease prevention programme was conducted. Due to the use of standard research tools, the obtained data are used for international comparisons conducted in a research project run by the European Society of Cardiology (the EUROASPIRE project).
  • Economic and Psychosocial Factors and Health Status. The international research project HAPIEE (Health, Alcohol and Psychosocial Risk Factors in Eastern Europe) is based on long-term simultaneous observations in four Central and Eastern European countries. It researches the health of 36,000 people aged from 45 to 69 years (in Poland, more than 10,000 people).
  • Factors Affecting the Levels of Female Sex Hormones. This research documented that levels of female sex hormones are influenced by nutritional status at all stages of life. Knowledge of factors determining hormone levels is vital for breast cancer prevention programmes. This project is conducted in collaboration with Harvard University and the University of Tromsø in Norway.
  • Changes in Dietary Habits. An analysis of the efficiency and social approval of programmes that promote changes in eating habits (the EATWELL research project). The results of this study were used in providing recommendations for effective ways of changing these habits.
  • Organisation of the Employment of Nursing Personnel. The research is aimed at formulating new assumptions of policies for the productive employment and management of hospital nursing personnel. It also aims to establish guidelines on the impact of employee job satisfaction and staff resources on the results of treatment and the quality of patient care. The RN4CAST research project is the first project of this type implemented in Poland. Due to international research procedures and the comparison of results obtained in twelve European countries and in the United States, the project confirmed that improving hospital employment conditions is a relatively inexpensive way of increasing the quality of care, patients safety and satisfaction, and the sustained employment of nursing personnel.

Collaboration

Scientists from the Faculty of Health Sciences participate in research projects conducted by scientific consortia (e.g. the 7PR UE Eatwell Consortium and UE CHANCES – Consortium on Health and Ageing: Network of Cohorts in Europe and the United States). They also collaborate with the following universities and research centres: the University of Texas; the Health Science Center San Antonio; the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology; the Artificial Limb Centre (CRA – Centre de Rééducation et d'Appareillage) of Institut Robert Merle d'Aubigne, Valenton (France); Harvard University; the University of Tromsø; Katholieke Uniwersiteit Leuven (Belgium); the University of Kuopio (Finland); Technische Universitat Berlin; and many others.

Scholars

Prof. Andrzej Pilc – is a physician and psychopharmacologist who conducts research on the biological basis of mental disorders. He is a corresponding member of both the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Research Units Evaluation Committee. He is the author of more than 200 publications and has been cited more than 6,000 times.

Prof. Marian Szczepanik – a medical biologist conducting research on: provoking immunological tolerance; inhibiting Th1 contact hypersensitivity reactions; suppressing the inflammatory reaction in the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; collagen-induced arthritis; ulcerative colitis in mice; and multiple sclerosis.

Prof. Andrzej Pająk – a physician, specialist in internal medicine and public health, member of the Committee on Public Health of the Polish Academy of Sciences, and a member of the Central Commission for Academic Degrees and Titles. He has many years of experience in research on epidemiology and non-infectious disease prevention, particularly of circulatory system diseases. He has participated in numerous international research programmes.

Prof. Jolanta Jaworek – a leading expert on pancreas physiology and pathophysiology, a precursor of pioneer research on the role of melatonin both as a natural factor in preventing the development of acute pancreatitis and as a regulator of the exocrine activity of the gland. In 2005, she was awarded the Individual Award of the Minister of Health for her work on the role of melatonin and leptin in pancreas physiology.

Achievements

The Faculty's scientific achievements include developing the Charter of Rights of Elderly Participants of Clinical Tests and establishing a model of therapeutic communication that has a wide variety of uses in medicine and health sciences.

The Faculty's scientists have also contributed to establishing essential scientific facts including: demonstrating that the average education level of the local community is a determinant of individual fertility; indicating the importance of riboflavin as an immunomodulator; investigating the role of circadian variability and physical strain in the regulation of food intake and adipokine and ghrelin release in humans.

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