For decades, the Soviet and then Russian governments have supported many dozens of large public research institutes with programs that address the foregoing and related challenges of infectious diseases. Appendix J identifies a number of the principal research institutes that are currently involved in this large national effort. Most are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health and Social Development, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, and the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences. A few that were previously state institutes have been privatized, although the government retains a substantial percentage of ownership in some. In addition, a number of Russian universities and other institutions of higher education have important biological research activities. A handful of commercial organizations, such as those in the veterinary sciences, are also beginning to recognize the importance of supporting applied research at universities.
Most Russian research institutes relevant to this study have applied research programs designed to directly support public health or agricultural activities. A few are oriented toward developing products for the commercial marketplace, although most continue to look to government organizations as their principal clients—and therefore the funders—of research. As indicated in Appendix J, a few institutes have been designated by the government as State Research Centers with access to special funds available through the Ministry of Education and Science.
One of the largest centrally coordinated research efforts in the field of infectious diseases directed toward the improvement of general approaches to disease prevention and control was organized by the former Ministry of Health and is now under the purview of the Ministry of Health and Social Development. Several research institutes of the ministry and numerous institutes of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences are involved (see Appendix J). The following research areas have received primary attention:
fundamental and applied research in medical microbiology, virology, immunology, epidemiology, parasitology, and disinfection
improvement of the nationwide epidemiological surveillance system (previously discussed in Chapter 2)
development of new preparations and methods for diagnosis, vaccine prophylaxis, and drug-based prophylaxis
improvement of the prevention system and anti-epidemic measures consistent with regional characteristics of infectious pathology
This program has claimed many successes even in recent years when budgets were severely constrained. Specifically, Russian officials point to the following successes: the development of several dozen new medical vaccines and drugs