Goals and Brief History

Institute of Endocrinology is an independent allowance organization in frame of the Czech health system, directly managed by the Czech Ministry of Health. The Czechoslovak Ministry of Health has established it in 1957. Its seat is Prague, Národní 8.

The main tasks of the Institute are highly specialized preventive, diagnostic, treatment, research and pre- and post-gradual education activities in the field of endocrinology and related fields of medicine. The latter includes especially clinical biochemistry focused on endocrinology and metabolism including molecular endocrinology, diabetology, obesitology, and clinical immunology.

The minister of Health of Czechoslovak Republic established the Institute on January 1st 1957; the Czech minister of Health has delivered the new installation document on August 1st 2001. The first director of the Institute was nominated Assoc. Prof. Karel Šilink, DSc, who led the Institute until his death in 1972. Even at the time of its born the Institute had 69 employees – physicians, scientists, nurses and technicians. At the moment the stuff exceeds 150 persons. Since its early existence the Institutes occupies a part of the historical buildings of the monastery of holy Ursula, which, after the „velvet revolution“, has been given back to the Order. Since that the Institute resides in the rented spaces in good terms with the lessor.

The activities of the Institute reflected rapid development of endocrinology and related fields of medicine in the last 50 years. Among the pioneer works should be mentioned at least the screening of iodine deficiency in the country in late fifties, at that time among the first and most extensive in Europe, organized and performed by the Institute. Epidemiology of iodine and also selenium deficiency was renewed in the last decade. The Institute and personally Professor Šilink was the first who introduced radioiodine therapy of thyroid disorders including thyroid cancer and showed the new ways of treatment in nuclear medicine.  To the traditional problematic of the Institute belong – besides thyroid disorders – steroid and pituitary hormone research and diagnostics. The Institute was also the first in introduction of immunoassays in the country and many original methods for hormone determination were developed therein. Later on the topics were extended to diabetology, clinical immunology, and neuroendocrinology, reflecting thus new discoveries pointing to connecting lings among these disciplines. To the new fields advanced in the Institute belong obesitology and molecular endocrinology and genetics and even proteomics, focused on endocrine and metabolic disorders.

At the moment the Institute registers more than 100 000 patients from all the country and even from abroad, who attend the specialized ambulances and advanced physical laboratories as the Laboratory of functional tests or ultrasonography. It disposes with a large laboratory complement, providing besides basic clinico-biochemical tests specialized hormonal analyses, immunological examination and molecular genetic investigations.