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Institute of Animal Physiology

Director: Prof. MVDr. Štefan Faix DrSc.
Profile of the Institute: The Institute was founded in 1964 as the Department of Animal Physiology of the Institute of Experimental Biology and it has become an independent Institute since 1969. The Institute is dealing with the basic research of animal physiology as the only institute of Slovak Academy of Sciences. Research is focused on the complex interdisciplinary approach of digestive physiology from the molecular and cellular level to the the systemic view, with the accent on the molecular diagnostics of commensal microflora in the relationship with the healthy foods, animal and human health protection and with the physiologic regulations of macroorganism. Current research activity is oriented on basic and applied research of food lactic acid bacteria with probiotic and bacteriocinogenic effects in digestive tract and their influence on animal and human health. The dynamics of development and antibiotic resistance mechanisms in animal enterobacteria on betalactams and fluoroquinolones is evaluated. The intrinsic and acquired antibiotic resistance in probiotic and commensal lactobacilli is also investigated. The production of conjugated linoleic acid in ruminants with the relation to the human nutrition is moduling. The morphological and functional maturation of the small intestine in relation to the overnutrition in youngs and adults is investigated. The relationships between obesity and intestinal microflora is also studied. The molecular design of new antibacterial agents, enzybiotics-degrading of bacterial cell wall is developing. The protection role of selenium and plant essential oils on the small intestinal functions in chickens fed diet contaminated with mycotoxins is studied and total antioxidant status is chickens is also evaluated. Gene expresion and physiological activities of selected cell receptors during preimplantation embryonal development, the apoptosis as an adaptation mechanism on disfavourable environmental effects is studied in the developmental physiology on the model of pre-implantation embryo. Institute is guarantor of PhD studies in following branches of study: a) veterinary morphology and physiology, b) biochemistry, c) microbiology, d) animal physiology in cooperation with Pavol J. Safarik University in Košice and the University of Veterinary Medicine in Košice.