Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology

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We are the faculty about life and for life.

The Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology was founded in October 2018 with the support of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The aim of the Faculty is to train highly qualified specialists in the field of biology and molecular biotechnology as a response for the demand in the field of science (research centers, academic institutes, technology parks) and various sectors of the economy (pharmaceutical, medical, biotechnology industry, chemical industry, commercial structures operating in the field of biological sciences, etc.).


About the Faculty

Programmes

Bachelor's Programmes NEW

BSc in Cognitive Neurobiology


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Bachelor's Programmes

BSc in Cell and Molecular Biotechnology


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Master's Programmes

Master's in Cell and Molecular Biotechnology


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Doctoral Programmes

Doctoral School of Biology


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Departments

International Laboratory of Microphysiological Systems

The laboratory is developing a new method of personalized drug therapy for cancer patients, which includes establishment of a three-dimensional culture of tumor organoids, followed by a personalized test of chemotherapeutic and targeted drugs to determine the most effective therapy for each individual patient.


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Laboratory of Molecular Physiology

Established in 2020, the Laboratory of Molecular Physiology studies the role of microRNA isoforms in the pathogenesis of intestinal diseases and develops new therapeutic approaches to intestinal condition treatment using microRNA isoforms. We collaborate with the National Medical Research Radiological Center, the Shemyakin–Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf.


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Joint Department with RAS Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry

The aim of the department is to use the scientific and teaching potential of the leading IBCh researchers to organize a world-class scientific and educational center at the Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology.


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Publications

  • Book

    Alshanskaia Sokolova E. I., Martynova O.

    2023 Fifth International Conference Neurotechnologies and Neurointerfaces (CNN) 18-20 Sept. 2023

     Cognitive and emotional load in the course of increasing the complexity of tasks leads to the activation of various parts of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and can be accompanied by an increase in the efficiency of problem solving. An increase in cognitive load under the condition of high motivation is a stress factor and is expressed in a different reaction of the sympathetic and parasympathetic links in response to the load. This study explored the ANS reactions by measuring the pupil size of 61 healthy sub-clinical volunteers in response to the gradually increasing complexity of tasks. The experiment included 3 blocks of a combined visual search and 1-back task with six levels of difficulty. K-mean clustering method was used for the analysis. An increase in the complexity of the task from the first to the sixth level led to different dynamics of the pupil size in the three clustered groups. In one group, an intense high switchability and an active reaction with a large amplitude of changes were visible, in the second group the dynamics of changes was minimal, and a third intermediate group was also identified. Our results highlight individual differences in the reaction of the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of ANS under cognitive workload depending on biometric and psychometric parameters. 

    IEEE, 2023.

  • Article

    Alshanskaia Sokolova E. I., Zhozhikashvili N., Polikanova I. et al.

    Heart rate response to cognitive load as a marker of depression and increased anxiety

    Introduction: Understanding the interplay between cardiovascular parameters, cognitive stress induced by increasing load, and mental well-being is vital for the development of integrated health strategies today. By monitoring physiological signals like electrocardiogram (ECG) and photoplethysmogram (PPG) in real time, researchers can discover how cognitive tasks influence both cardiovascular and mental health. Cardiac biomarkers resulting from cognitive strain act as indicators of autonomic nervous system function, potentially reflecting conditions related to heart and mental health, including depression and anxiety. The purpose of this study is to investigate how cognitive load affects ECG and PPG measurements and whether these can signal early cardiovascular changes during depression and anxiety disorders.Methods: Ninety participants aged 18 to 45 years, ranging from symptom-free individuals to those with diverse psychological conditions, were assessed using psychological questionnaires and anamnesis. ECG and PPG monitoring were conducted as volunteers engaged in a cognitive 1-back task consisting of two separate blocks, each with six 1 progressively challenging levels. The participants' responses were analyzed to correlate physiological and psychological data with cognitive stressors and outcomes.Results: The study confirmed a notable interdependence between anxiety and depression, and cardiovascular responses. Task accuracy decreased with increased task difficulty. A strong relationship between PPG-measured heart rate and markers of depression and trait anxiety was observed. Increasing task difficulty corresponded to an increase in heart rate, linked with elevated levels of depression and trait anxiety. A strong relationship between ECG-measured heart rate and anxiety attacks was observed. Increasing task difficulty corresponded to an increase in heart rate, linked with elevated levels of anxiety attacks, although this association decreased under more challenging conditions. Discussion: The findings underscore the predictive importance of ECG and PPG heart rate parameters in mental health assessment, particularly depression and anxiety under cognitive stress induced by increasing load. We discuss mechanisms of sympathetic activation explaining these differences. Our research outcomes have implications for clinical assessments and wearable device algorithms for more precise, personalized mental health diagnostics.

    Frontiers in Psychiatry. 2024.

  • Book chapter

    Okhrimenko G., Malko D., Zateyshchikov D. et al.

    Detection of non-coding variants in regulatory elements in patients with early atherosclerosis based on whole genome sequencing data

    In bk.: Proceedings of 11th Moscow Conference on Computational Molecular Biology MCCMB'23. IITP RAS, 2023.

  • Working paper

    Liutsko L., Malova Y., Vinokurova E. et al.

    Stress Resilience (Proprioceptive and Verbal Individual Differences) in Onco-Patients, Sportsmen and Controls

    The characteristics of response to stressful situations depend on a complex of factors such as personality traits, emotional regulation, health state, features of the nervous system, motor functions and proprioception. In cases of disruption of the brain's dopamine system due to disease or chemotherapy, hormone discharge due to stress, changes in emotions and proprioception may occur. The aim of our study was to find the relationship of stress resilence in verbal test and individual differences performed in proprioceptive test in onco-patients, sportsmen and group of control; as well as to observe the differences between these groups in the verbal stress resistance and individual differences proprioceptive tests. The results showed that onco-patients were less resistant as per verbal stress resistance outcomes for a major part of variables compared to other groups. The sportsmen were superior in verbal Risk and Control dimensions compared to other groups; but less in Positive Affectiveness. The proprioceptive test perfomance revealed the only statistically significant difference in performance in the dimension related to Mood, showing more Pessimism in the sportsmen group, but more Optimism in the oncopatients at temperamental (or intrisinc) level. The obtained results can be used by psychologists, therapists, coach and healthcare when needed to attend the specific needs of public, being pateints or sportsmen, etc.

    public health and health services. 20944. MDPI, 2023

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