Open Day of the Brno Living Lab

The RECETOX Centre has studied the relationship between humans and the environment for 40 years. The celebration of this event, which will take place throughout the autumn and summer semesters of 2023/2024, began on 21 September with the opening of an exhibition presenting the history of the Centre. The exhibition can be viewed in the Bohunice campus corridor until mid-December.

22 Sep 2023 Jitka Vaňáčková

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In a friendly and informal spirit, many of our former colleagues, alumni, Masaryk University representatives, and Brno city representatives met in the university campus corridor. The visitors were welcomed by the director of the Centre, Professor Jana Klánová, Professor Ivan Holoubek, and Professor Milan Gelnar. This was followed by tours of the modern RECETOX laboratories and the biobank of the Brno population studies CELSPAC.

RECETOX has come a long way towards a healthier future in its 40 years of existence. The roots of the Centre go back to 1983 when the Department of Environmental Protection and Creation was established at the Faculty of Science. The Center's first ten years focused on pollutant search and ecology. From the beginning, RECETOX was ambitious to become a "living lab," looking for ways to improve the environmental situation and actively collaborating with industry.

The next ten years were focused on exposure, hazards, and risks. The Centre's staff analyzed toxic substances and began to work on experimental ecotoxicology and environmental and health risk analysis. The department moved three times before it finally moved to its own pavilion, D29, at the university campus of Masaryk University.

The third decade was crucial in developing the centre, which successfully implemented the INCHEMBIOL research project and the first European Structural Funds project CETOCOEN. This led to the establishment of interdisciplinary teams with the Departments of Chemistry and Experimental Biology of the Faculty of Science MU and the St. Anne's University Hospital. These years were also the beginning of intensive cooperation with the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic and the United Nations Environment Programme.

Human health became the central research theme of the fourth decade of RECETOX. The Centre's focus has broadened even further, with experts from other fields studying the interactions of various natural and social environmental factors together with genetic predispositions. These interactions can be monitored through exceptional long-term population studies. The Centre has, therefore, built new laboratories and biobanking capacity.

RECETOX is entering its fifth decade as the Brno Living Lab, striving for a healthier future through understanding the role of individual stressors in the development of chronic diseases and developing personalized approaches not only to the treatment but especially to the prevention of chronic conditions. The Brno Living Lab has the ambition to bring together researchers, citizens, authorities, and companies for mutual cooperation that will lead to better living conditions in the Brno region. We aim to create a healthier environment for the next generation of Brno children.

We thank everyone who has supported us over our long history. We also appreciate the significant participation in this event.

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