“Thanks to this state-of-the-art lab, dozens of researchers, associate researchers, and scientists have undergone training and are now testing samples for COVID-19,” says Dr. Tatjana Jevtović Stoimenov, university professor and head of the laboratory for functional genomics and proteomics at the Scientific and Research Centre of the Faculty of Medicine in Nis.
“The lab was built and equipped with top-notch equipment thanks to EU-funded EU HETIP programme,” she added.
Thanks to the EU, which pays great attention to investment in the education sector, the 200 square metre lab was reconstructed a few years ago; interior construction works were also carried out, along with hydro, electrical, and machine installations, and the place was entirely furnished.
“Lab equipment is particularly important for the development of science, the research modernisation, and the training of a younger generation of staff—undergraduates of integral studies and students of doctoral academic studies,“ project coordinator, Professor Jevtović Stoimenov, notes.
High Education Teaching infrastructure Project (EU HETIP) is a joint project of the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia and the European Union, for whose implementation the EU had secured EUR30 million from the IPA pre-accession funds.
For the Faculty of Medicine in Nis, as part of EU HETIP project, the EU has allocated EUR800,000. Additional funds were used to reconstruct University Library Nikola Tesla and JUNIS info centre. EU HETIP has also enabled the reconstruction of the Faculty of Occupational Safety in Nis and the purchase of modern teaching aids.
According to Professor Stoimenov, EU support for education lent through that project is still yielding results: while the world is facing the pandemic and serious health challenge, the reconstruction of the lab and equipment purchased for this facility have allowed its staff to put their knowledge and available resources to fighting COVID-19. This department is testing samples for COVID-19 (using PCR method), thus contributing to mitigating the impact of the epidemic.
The European Union has secured EUR93 million in emergency assistance for various activities aimed at fighting COVID-19 in Serbia.
Out of that money, EUR78 million have been allocated for short- and mid-term measures, with the goal of restarting the economy and encouraging employment, whereas the remaining EUR15 million are earmarked for urgent needs. Fifty ventilators, 25 high-tech ventilators, 100 containers for triage, and the accompanying medical equipment, 800,000 protective masks, and 25,000 test reagents are only a fraction of the assistance Serbia has received from the EU during the pandemic.
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The equipment purchased within EU HETIP 2010 for the Faculty of Medicine in Nis:
Flow cytometer Beckman Coulter; MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometer, Brucker; Laminar flow cabinet; Fluorophotometer Schimadzu; MCE-202 MultiNA Electrophoresis unit for DNA/RNA, Schimadzu; Biospec-Nano, Schimadzu; DNK pyrosekvenator, Roche; Gel doc, VILBER LOURMAT; Ultra-pure water machine, Human power integrate III; Zamrzivač, -82°C; Autoclave AES 75, Raypa, Spain; Lab glassware washer, SteelCo Spa., Italija; Flake ice machine, FIOCCHETTI model BF 80; Laboratory pH Meter, Qis, Holandija; Analytical balance, Radwag, Poljska; Fume hood TKD150, Alpet Srbija; Automatic ELISA WASHER, BIO-TEK, Instruments Inc. USA.