Research Programs and Projects Conducted by the Academy of Medical Sciences

The Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS) is a national public institution engaged in medical and pharmaceutical research activities, subordinate to the Ministry of Public Health.

Since its establishment in 1969, AMS has collaborated with the Ministry of Health to develop priority programs for medical and pharmaceutical research in our country.

In organizing medical research activities, multidisciplinary, phased, reviewed, and annually updated research programs were chosen. These programs were largely based on ongoing research in medical and pharmaceutical research and higher education institutions. The programs developed by AMS aimed to develop new lines of research in the context of national and international trends.

The priority program was an exceptionally important document designed to specify tasks related to health care, prioritize them based on the highest incidence among target groups, and the researchers’ ability to address these issues.

The leadership of AMS developed mandatory thematic objectives for research units: priority programs, nominated topics, contracted topics, provision of technical and methodological assistance. These were supplemented by measures to unify research efforts, regardless of whether the research was conducted in production, education, or departmental research institutes. The proposed objectives could be achieved through a methodology for coordinating activities carried out by institutes and centers under the auspices of AMS The methodology used focused on concentrating research efforts and training specialists with higher education; coordinating research conducted in our country in the medical and pharmaceutical fields. The coordination and monitoring of research programs are part of the methodology for developing medical-pharmaceutical research programs and directions.

Through the developed programs, the scientific medical research activity of AMS was structured around four main directions: medical biology research, research in the field of preventive medicine, research in the field of clinical medicine, especially chronic diseases widespread in the population, and research in the field of pharmaceuticals.

In order to stimulate and achieve increased efficiency in the research conducted by units coordinated by AMS, the first comprehensive medical research plans began in 1972. The unified concept underlying the development of the unified plan ensured the orientation of medical research over longer periods of time and also made it possible to develop forecast studies. Studies were aimed at understanding both the stage of development of medical sciences and the trends in development, technology, and technical progress. In other words, the approach to medical scientific research over defined periods (5 years) contributed to a better understanding of the field under investigation, the development trends, and the directions in which research was heading nationally and internationally.

The AMS developed, within the initial priority program, the main research directions for the periods 1971-1975 and 1976-1980, which brought an additional level of concretization and focus to the concerns, in relation to practical needs and the actual potential of available research. In consistent application of a planning methodology based on stated principles, the AMS deemed it appropriate to revise the main directions adapted to research programs. Thus, the research themes were focused in the thematic plans, during the 1971-1973 period, on research domains such as:

  • Research in the field of air hygiene: “Study of the effects of atmospheric pollution on health, in relation to the qualitative and quantitative characteristics of pollution in the country’s main industrial and urban areas.”
  • Research in water hygiene: “Study of the quality of water in the country’s main natural basins, usable as drinking water for irrigation, therapeutic, and recreational purposes, in relation to its impact on health.”
  • Research in rheumatism: “Research aimed at improving the prophylaxis of streptococcal infection.”
  • Research in hepatitis: “Acute and chronic hepatitis.”
  • Research in pharmaceuticals: “Research on obtaining and introducing new pharmaceutical preparations into therapy.”

For longer periods, the AMS considered it appropriate to revise the initial main research directions, taking into account the research potential and the available technical-material base, the need for practical and scientific solutions, and the optimal utilization of results.

The AMS paid special attention to innovation and invention activities related to diagnostic investigation techniques, medical equipment, and instrumentation.

Improving research collaboration among various collectives in the network of the Academy of Medicine, units of the Ministry of Health, and some departments in higher education; correlating the obtained results were the objectives of the program for the periods 1971-1975 and 1976-1980.

Scientific basis for measures to improve environmental, living, and working conditions:

  • Prevention and control of communicable diseases.
  • Maternal and childcare.
  • Prevention and control of chronic and degenerative diseases. Study of preclinical phases.
  • Prevention and control of cancer.
  • Neuropsychiatric disorders.
  • Expertise and rehabilitation of work capacity. Organ transplantation biology. Research in the field of medicine and other means of diagnosis, prophylaxis, and treatment.
  • Genetic and immunological aspects in the pathology of some transmissible and non-transmissible diseases.
  • Optimization of medical assistance. Statistical studies and operational research.
  • Oral and dental pathology.
  • Medical aspects of urban and rural popular center systematization.
  • Health legislation. Documentary studies.

Within the concerns, there were also objectives for scientific research, technological development, and the introduction of technical progress to be assimilated in micro-production. In implementing these objectives, considerations included: presentation notes, offer sheets, stage reports, contract values, program projects.

During the period 1974-1980, research topics were mentioned that fell within the objectives provided by the research plan coordinated by the National Council for Science and Technology, such as:

  • Priority research program for human and zoo-veterinary drugs, priority program for research on the protection and use of water resources, etc.
  • Utilization of new natural resources and elaboration: of new raw materials;
  • Development of new materials and substitutes, obtaining new antiviral vaccines; peptones, albumins, globulins; anticancer substances, antimetabolites, alkylating agents;
  • Development of new technologies, machinery, and new installations, and improvement (modernization) of existing ones;
  • Improvement of medical care planning and management;
  • Incidence and prevalence of chronic and degenerative diseases widely spread; optimization of the work of medical and health personnel and information in the field of health care; setting future needs for institutions, personnel, and medical services;
  • Improvement of quality and increasing competitiveness of products;
  • Development of mathematical, physical, economic, medical sciences, etc. and development of transplantation biology (immunity and preservation issues);
  • Improvement of working and living conditions, studies on air pollution; water pollution with radionuclides; establishment of maximum permissible concentrations of industrial toxic substances; studies on physical and neuropsychic development of youth.

The research plan for the period 1976-1980 included 40 nominated research topics. These research topics represented continuity concerns from the previous five-year period with a pronounced novelty character opening new fields of medical scientific research and affirmation. The results of the scientific research carried out opened new fields of investigation both for the 1976-1980 period and for the perspectives of the year 1990 and in some areas such as cellular biology and genetics until the year 2000.

The results obtained in the experience of planning and coordinating medical scientific research based on unitary orientation concepts allowed the elaboration of research objectives and themes for the five-year periods 1976-1980 and respectively 1981-1985, characterized by concentrating efforts on the same main lines. The inclusion of research results in some actions organized by the Ministry of Health regarding the evaluation of the situation, dynamics, and trends in the health status of the population, to establish the directions of health care programs. Their application will contribute to continuous improvement at all levels. In the period 1975-1980, the contribution of scientific research influenced the decrease in general mortality, morbidity due to respiratory, cardiovascular diseases, nervous system, etc.

In 1992, medical scientific research was carried out in 38 institutes, centers, and research collectives as well as in higher medical education institutes, with a total of 1400 researchers. They addressed a thematic consisting of 691 studied topics in 1992, from which research contracts were concluded with the Academy of Medical Sciences for 25 fundamentally character themes, 65 predominantly applied themes, and 15 additional research themes in the field of pharmacology.

Themes of the medical research plan for 1992 were included in the main directions formulated by the Academy of Medical Sciences:

  1. Promotion and protection of the health of the entire population;
  2. Promotion and protection of particular population groups;
  3. Prevention and control of communicable diseases;
  4. Prevention and control of chronic diseases;
  5. Optimization of health care actions;
  6. Production of drugs and medical equipment;
  7. Fundamental research.

In the period 1990-1993, the Academy of Medical Sciences carried out a series of scientific research projects in the medical-pharmaceutical field, involving all research institutes and centers, medical and pharmaceutical universities, etc. The projects addressed in that period were:

  • Identification and combating of risk factors from the environment;
  • Promotion and improvement of child health;
  • Complex program for protection and promotion of workers’ health;
  • Prevention and control of communicable diseases;
  • Prevention and control of cardiovascular diseases;
  • Prevention and control of cancer;
  • Research on the possibilities of providing new therapeutic means in correlation with health care requirements.