Advanced Research Centre ROVETEMERG


Center of Advanced Research for Emerging Diseases, Zoonoses And Food Safety

The aim of ROVETEMERG ( project is to develop a Regional Center of advanced research, able to sustain applied, experimental and fundamental interdisciplinary research. The research domains to be implemented in the cadre of the laboratory are related to: highly pathogenic microorganisms with mass spreading potential, (re-)emerging and rare infectious diseases microbial drug resistance, food safety and other related areas of bio economy and medical research. The results shall improve human and animal health, promoting the concept of One Health.  Implementation of the “Regional center for advanced research emerging diseases, zoonoses and food safety” (ROVETEMERG) project will lead to the following general objectives (GO):

GO 1– development and added value of the UASVM Iasi RD capacity and knowledge transfer in the smart specialization field of Bio Economics and also in the interconnected Health domain by

means of bringing into being and developing an integrated regional center for translational research, that will generate partnerships between human and veterinary medical institutions, universities, research institutes, hospitals, academic groups of experts and economic partners within clusters;

GO 2 – increasing the quality and efficiency of the UASVM Iasi RDI activity through the achievement of high scientific standards and by providing services, processes and performant products for enterprises, thus contributing to the increase of economic competitiveness in the region.

 Derived specific objectives (SO) are:

SO 1To increase the research infrastructure of UASVM Iasi through modernization and revamping of 7 new laboratories, equipping it with „state of the art” equipment, tools, and software and obtaining official accreditation for laboratories in order to be competitive on the national and European level;

SO 2Attract and retain highly qualified young people, especially doctoral (no=16) and postdoctoral (no.=10) students trained by POS-DRU projects as well as researchers from abroad (n=4);

SO 3Integration in the European circuit of values and scientific competences, by accessing the Horizon 2020 program (no=10 in the durability period) and by attending to European research areas through international research partnerships;

SO 4 – Transforming the ROVETEMERG Centre, in the perspective of 2019-2023, in a pole of excellence and competitiveness of bio economical  and public health research in the Northeast and Southeast developing regions  but also with  a trans boundary and  internationally impact.

The implementation of the project will allow high level research domains to be approached: different health risk assessment and control and also assessment of the relationship between animal health, food and public health; topics can be summarized as follows: epidemiology, pathogenic mechanisms and diagnosis of (re-) emerging and zoonotic diseases and of animal communicable diseases, new and competitive methods and techniques for screening and diagnostic  to improve the identification and control of transmissible infections in humans and animals), development of imaging applications using a translational research framework based on in vivo and in vitro experiments in order to develop bio relevant alternative methods, health surveillance methods and more efficient prevention, both epidemiologically and economically/technologies for biopharmaceutical and pharmacokinetic profile improvement through molecular design/developing tools to identify the chemotherapeutic and antibiotic susceptibility of Mycobacterium and Enterobacteriaceae bacteria genus and providing new strategies of prevention and intervention for improving public health and bringing economic benefits, quick and efficient methods of control for food safety.

Development for the first time in the medical research domain area in Romania of a research center for EMERGING DISEASES, ZOONOSES AND FOOD SAFETY, which is structured into two platforms of biosafety level 2 and 3:

Platform of Biosafety Level BSL3 structured in 2 laboratories:

  • Laboratory of experimental modeling BSL3
  • Laboratory integrated of virology and bacteriology.

Platform of Biosafety Level 2 (BSL2) structured in 5 laboratories:

  • Laboratory of molecular biology and metagenomics;
  • Laboratory of immunology and cellular and molecular imagistic;
  • Laboratory of medical entomology and parasitology;
  • Laboratory of conservation and bio archiving;
  • Research laboratory for microbiological food safety.

Unit of biosafety level 3 will serve for the diagnostic, production, clinical research and training:

Isolation, Cultivation and Evaluation: animal viruses (virus influenza avian HPAI), viruses with waterborne transmission (enteroviruses),virus transmitted by vectors (alphaviruses and flaviviruses), simulant viruses (including particles with empty capsid), bacterial identification (Genus Mycobacterium, Mycoplasma, Rickettsia,  Enterobacter ESBL), developing and maintaining of bioarchives, maintenance of the adherent cell cultures and in suspension, serology including development and validation of ELISA, micro-neutralization and neutralization in plaque, infection through  aerosol  for different  animal models.

Molecular research: Detection of RNA and DNA from known and newly discovered pathogens, design, development and validation of PCR protocols; including the real time PCR and reverse transcriptase, cloning genomic of segments viruses of RNA and DNA.

Applied research: Safety and efficacy studies of vaccine molecules, studies of resistance of viruses (to decontaminating), testing of formulations of vaccine (including pH, osmolarity and Karl Fisher Test).

Basic Research: design and development of vaccine molecules ,development of animal models, expression of eukaryotic protein  and viral vectors, the production of antibodies, selection and characterization of viral mutants, evaluation of viral evolution, development of expert evaluators.

The research within the BSL2 unit will consist in:

Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Metagenomics

  • genomic sequencing of known and newly discovered microorganisms
  • High precision sequencing of DNA and RNA sequences
  • the use of RNA sequencing to discover new RNA variants and engaging sites, or to quantify mRNA for gene expression analysis.
  • microbial diversity study
  • design, development and PCR validation
  • the development and validation of new recombinant antigens
  • High-tech computers will help creating and maintaining a database for storing, retrieval and analysis of biological data.

Laboratory of medical entomology and parasitology

  • testing and identification of parasitic agents, followed by bioarchiving
  • ecological and behavior studies of arthropods with public health implications
  • ecological and epidemiological studies of vector-borne diseases
  • molecular base of mosquito breeding, molecular virology on insect samples.
  • arthropod collection and research

Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Imaging and Immunology

  • serotyping + ELISA / immunochromatography, antigen detection.
  • cellular and sub-cellular distribution analysis of protein of interest
  • tissue and cell architecture analysis
  • detailed determining of absorption, release and intracellular compartmentalization
  • Target protein expression studies and their location
  • co-location of therapeutic target agents

Laboratory for conservation and bioarchiving

  • cells and tissues cryopreservation and storage, for use in tissue engineering and gene therapy studies.
  • bank for viruses and bacteria, to be used by all research groups.

Microbiologic al food safety laboratory

  • isolation, identification and molecular and phenotypic characterization of pathogens isolated from animal carcasses and by-products (L. monocytogenes, E. coli, Salmonella, S.aureus)
  • identification and molecular characterization of germs of the Mycobacterium and  Mycoplasma  genus
  • microbiological assessment of antibiotics
  • identification and molecular characterization of ESBL enterobacteria.

Within the ROVETEMERG center, will be purchased a total of 714 RD components, 83 IT components and autolaboratory. For the BSL3 platform, will be acquired a number of 270 RD components of which 153 are RD equipment and 117 are RD laboratory furniture items and support and the rest, 51 IT equipment.  For BSL 2 platform will be acquired a number of 444 components, of which 161 RD equipment   and 283 items of laboratory furniture and support and 32 IT equipment. Detailing of the equipment location for each room, IT, furniture components and support be found in the architectural plans (DALI).

The research directions that will be addressed in ROVETEMERG center, which is to have an infrastructure that can offer innovative and valid results, are align to the objectives of the National Strategy for Research, Development and Innovation 2014 – 2020 and Horizon 2020 program. Regarding public health domain, the approach will consist in fundamental and applied research on vector-borne zoonotic infections (borreliosis, ricketsiosis, West Nile encephalitis, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever). The investigations will be supplemented with entomology studies, distribution of the main vectors involved in infectious and parasitic pathology. These themes will be materialized through partnerships with research teams from research units of the European Community (UMR 1161 INRA ANSES- -ENVA Virology France, PathoQuest SAS-NGS based Dx company France, UMR BiPar INRA-ANSES-ENVA France, Institute of Parasitology – University of Zurich, Switzerland) with which we already have collaborations. From the same field of zoonosis, two infections currently studied will be approached, namely hepatitis E and rabies. The studies will focus on research regarding molecular identification and characterization of these two viruses from samples collected from domestic animals and wildlife, accompanied by spatial bio distribution studies.