Recent shift in importance from genomics towards the postgenomic fields of functional genomics, proteomics, glycomics and metabolomics, necessitates the development of high resolution separation techniques to solve formidable bioanalytical problems and provide the means for novel applications in life sciences. Bioseparation science is expected to play a crucial role in making global gene expression analysis possible at the systems biology level. To address these challenges, the Horváth Csaba Laboratory of Bioseparation Sciences has been established as a Center of Excellence in the Central and Eastern European region at the Research Centre for Molecular Medicine, located in the Medical and Health Sciences of the University of Debrecen, Hungary to pursue fundamental and applied research in the field of bioseparation sciences particularly multidimensional separations, miniaturization and proteomics and glycomics based biomarker discovery.

The mission of the Laboratory is to become a major international academic center in bioseparation sciences and enhance academic interactions within the European Union especially between central and Eastern European Countries.

Based on the success of such models as the Barnett Institute (US), the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (Germany) and other Centers of Excellence around the world, the Horváth Csaba Laboratory of Bioseparation Sciences represents a specialized research focus in life sciences and biomedical applications. The Laboratory has been hosting visiting scientists from all over the world, but especially from the newly joined Eastern European countries for education and training purposes, also providing temporary relief from their administrative and teaching obligations, thereby allowing them to fully concentrate on their chosen research plan. The Innsbruck site also serves as a transition base for scientists returning from the US to the EU, especially to the Eastern European countries. Typical fellowships are awarded for individual projects lasting up to one academic year. The average number of invited fellows staying at the Institute at any given time is about 4-6 per year. We expect most of the research fellows to come with a genomics, proteomics and/or metabolomics background to study how novel bioseparation tools can be efficiently utilized in biomedical and life sciences research. In this way the coexistence of scholars from interdisciplinary fields will be encouraged to greatly stimulate methodological enrichment.

In order to complement the ongoing scientific endeavors within the Laboratory and to contribute to the scientific life of the Central and Eastern European region at large, highly recognized guest speakers, famous scholars, and public personalities are invited for lectures, workshops, or for smaller symposiums. In addition, special thematic focus groups and bioseparation science courses are be organized by the Laboratory.

The activities of Laboratory are financed by international funding, including contributions from the European Commission (EU), local and federal governments of individual Central and Eastern European countries and from private enterprise. This enables the Laboratory to strengthen its bioseparation science expertise, to get the necessary equipment, to be able to focus on the fields of life sciences and to create an optimally balanced multidisciplinary research group.

The main office of the Horváth Csaba Laboratory of Bioseparation Sciences is located in the Institute of Analytical Chemistry and Radiochemistry of University of Innsbruck and the first full subsidiary has just been established at the Department of Medical Chemistry in University of Debrecen (Hungary)., The chairman of the Board of Directors is Prof. Guenther Bonn (Institute of Analytical Chemistry and Radiochemistry, University of Innsbruck, Austria), and the chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board is Prof. Barry L. Karger (Director, Barnett Institute, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA). Professor András Guttmen serves as head of the Laboratory and several principal investigators assist him in HPLC and chromatographic methods, in CE and related microanalytical methods and in proteomics-based biomarker discovery.

The political and economic developments in the Central European region, especially the joining of the majority of Eastern European countries to the European Community have set a very favorable time to establish the Horváth Csaba Laboratory of Bioseparation Sciences in 2004. Since then, the Laboratory became an international institution, a meeting and studying place for research fellows from East and West, North and South, Europe and the US. It established links and close collaborations with other center of excellence type institutions around the world. Due to its multidisciplinary character and flexible structure, the Laboratory is ideally suited for initiating interdisciplinary programs with separation science emphasis in postgenomic, proteomic and metabolomic endeavors. It retains its unique focus as Center of Excellence in Bioseparation Sciences, jointly funded by the European Commission and local government grants as well as private foundations. In order to complement its resources, to strengthen its autonomy through diversification, and to meet the challenges of real-life problems, the Laboratory will seek to establish contacts with market players and address problems that are of high fundamental interest as well as of practical importance. In addition the Horváth Csaba Laboratory of Bioseparation Sciences is further developing its capability to attract major research grants by combining basic academic research with focused, goal-oriented biopharma projects such as biomarker and therapeutic protein discovery that will provide scientific autonomy but also serve the needs of the society at large.

The Horváth Csaba Laboratory of Bioseparation Sciences is also playing an important role in Central and Eastern European, academic life. Continuous effort are made to further develop, foster, and expand the wide range of existing contacts to participate in the training of young researchers from the newly joined Eastern European countries and for researchers willing to return to the EU from the US. For the most efficient use of available resources, the research programs are built around the central themes of the role of bioseparation sciences particularly utilized in the postgenomic, proteomic and metabolomic fields in special emphasis on biomarker discovery.