The Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences employs more than 8,700 researchers in 74 research institutes and 13 design bureaus. A few bioengagement activities are set forth below. These activities and the future interests of the institutes are less well known in the United States than those of institutes located in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other cities that are frequently sites of international scientific conferences, as well as being more easily accessible to American colleagues.
INSTITUTE FOR BIOLOGICAL PROBLEMS OF CRYOLITHOZONE, IBPC (YAKUTSK)
IBPC activities are wide ranging. The institute has investigated transcontinental differentiation, ecology, and migration of birds. Researchers have developed technology for mapping areas of locust mass breeding and investigated conjugate evolution of mammals and their parasites in Beringia. Researchers also study dynamics of Asian and European strains of gypsy moth baculovirus and polyhedrosis virus. They participate in monitoring of bird influenza in wild birds in Yakutia. In addition, they have investigated methane emissions from thermokarst lakes.
Collaborative projects have been supported through the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) and by numerous U.S. partners, including the University of Alaska, Fairbanks; Fish and Wildlife Service; University of Texas; North Prairie Wildlife Research Center; Geological Survey; Burke Museum of the University of Washington, Seattle; Forest Service; Northern Research Station
of the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; and Fairbanks Wildlife Research Center.
The institute is interested in further collaboration in investigating Arctic wildlife.
INSTITUTE OF BIOPHYSICS, IBP (KRASNOYARSK)
In collaboration with the University of North Carolina, IBP developed new nanodiamonds-based materials for medical diagnostics and therapy. Joint projects of the institute and Luminos LLC (Ann Arbor) aimed at development of new bioluminescent probes were supported through CRDF. ISTC supported development of technology of microbial production of the biodegradable polymer Bioplastotan (hydroxybutyrate-hydroxyvalerate copolymer).
The institute is interested in collaboration for further development and production of Bioplastotan-based materials and tools for medicine.
INSTITUTE OF CYTOLOGY AND GENETICS, ICG (NOVOSIBIRSK)
This institute has collaborated with the University of California, Irvine, and the Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics, Santa Barbara. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has supported bioinformatics research aimed at developing computer-assisted methods for interpretation of biological data and accumulation and systematization of data on gene expression in Arabidopsis. Using original animal models, ICG researchers have performed genetic studies aimed at elucidation of mechanisms of social behavior. This project was developed in collaboration with the University of Utah and supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The institute collaborated with Cornell University’s James Baker Institute for Animal Health on investigations of genes responsible for formation of skeletal tissue in mammals. Further collaboration with Georgia State University focused on investigation of human genetic predisposition to severe forms of tick-borne encephalitis. ISTC supported research at Vector aimed at development of oral vaccines against hepatitis B virus, and ICG contributed to this effort.
The institute is interested in further collaboration in several fields: (a) investigation of mechanisms of metastatic tumor growth and development of therapeutics for prevention of metastasis process; (b) computer reconstruction of gene nets describing interaction of viral and bacterial pathogens with mammalian cells; (c) investigation of molecular mechanisms and identification of genes providing resistance of wheat to fungi; (d) identification of molecular targets of different nanoparticles and investigation of molecular, cellular, and physiological mechanisms of response to different nanoparticles; (e) development of micro- and nano-fluidic systems for biotechnology and medical diagnostics; and (f) investigation of mechanisms providing reprogramming of somatic cells.
INSTITUTE OF CHEMICAL BIOLOGY AND FUNDAMENTAL MEDICINE, ICBFM (NOVOSIBIRSK)
ISTC and NIH have supported projects at this institute aimed at investigations of (a) mechanisms of DNA repair in mammalian cells, (b) papilloma virus infection and associated epigenetic effects important for progression of cervical cancer, (c) epidemiological studies of tuberculosis in the Novosibirsk region, (d) molecular biology of Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease), and (e) ecology of Siberian bogs. CRDF, ISTC, and the Food and Drug Administration have provided grants to ICBFM, along with grants to Vector, for development of oligonucleotide microarrays for identification and genotyping of influenza A, hepatitis C, and orthopoxviruses. Researchers at ICBFM have collaborated with Cornell University on development of computer programs for prediction of biopolymer folding and design of small molecules, targeted to specific nucleic acids and proteins.
The institute is interested in collaboration in the following areas: (a) investigation of infectious agents transmitted by ticks in Russia and the United States on the basis of genetic analysis of pathogens, (b) development of therapeutic phages for controlling bacterial infections, (c) search for viral markers in patients with cardiovascular diseases, (d) investigation of circulating DNA and RNA as potential biomarkers, (e) new approaches for personal and predictive medicine, (e) cell technologies for regenerative medicine, (g) development of telemedicine approaches, (h) development of micro- and nanofluidic analytical systems, (i) investigation of prehistoric and extremophilic microorganisms, and (j) comparative molecular genetic studies of viral intestinal infections.
INSTITUTE OF GENERAL AND EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY, IGEB (ULAN-UDE)
The institute is interested in future collaboration in the development of therapeutically useful preparations of medicinal plants.
INSTITUTE OF LIMNOLOGY, LIN (IRKUTSK)
LIN investigated different aspects of ecology of Lake Baikal: microalgae, endemic plants, and fish and animal species. Researchers have isolated biologically active compounds, as potential therapeutics, from endemic organisms. The research was performed in collaboration with a number of U.S. universities (University of California, Davis; University of Washington, Institute of Oceanography, Harbor-Branch; University of Southern Mississippi; New York Museum of Natural History). It has been supported by CRDF, NSF, the Global Change and Climate History Program of the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Geographic Society, and the Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust.
The institute is interested in future investigations of microorganisms and algae populating Lake Baikal.
INSTITUTE OF HUMAN ECOLOGY, IHE (KEMEROVO)
This institute is interested in joint studies for investigating mechanisms of chemical carcinogenesis and development of approaches to prevention and control of harmful processes initiated by chemical carcinogens.
INSTITUTE OF MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR BIOLOGY, IMCB (NOVOSIBIRSK)
Researchers of this institute perform fundamental studies of the organization of animal genomes: Drosophila genome was subjected to fine cytogenetic mapping, and comparative phylogenetic studies were performed on mammalians. These studies were supported by NIH. CRDF supported investigations of the epidemiology of inheritable mitochondrial diseases in Siberia and genetic history of ancient inhabitants of Siberia and America.
The institute plans detailed genetic studies of autochthonous Siberians and ancient Americans.
INSTITUTE OF SOIL SCIENCE AND AGROCHEMISTRY, ISSA (NOVOSIBIRSK)
The institute is interested in collaboration in investigations of soil bacteria.
INSTITUTE OF SYSTEMATICS AND ECOLOGY OF ANIMALS, ISEA (NOVOSIBIRSK)
The ISTC, CRDF, and the BioTechnology Engagement Program have supported the following research at this institute: (a) investigations of the epidemiology of influenza virus in wild birds, poultry, and pigs and (b) investigations of genetic and antigenic diversity of hantaviruses circulating in the Asian part of Russia.
The institute plans to develop the following projects in collaboration with American colleagues: development of biological methods for controlling populations of forest pests and insects harmful for agriculture; genetic studies of parasites found in human patients and in Siberian animals; investigation of factors affecting migration of birds in Western Siberia, Kazakhstan, and Middle Asia; and investigation of rare birds of Northern Asia.
SIBERIAN INSTITUTE OF PLANT PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOCHEMISTRY, SIPPB (IRKUTSK)
The ISTC has supported research at this institute aimed at development of transgenic tomatoes as candidates for orally administered vaccines against hepatitis B virus.
The institute is interested in organization of joint studies of Siberian plants and production of transgenic plants for biotechnology applications.
SUKACHEV INSTITUTE OF FORESTRY, IF (KRASNOYARSK)
Researchers of IF have investigated forest structure, health, and sustainability. They have developed methods for fire management in areas of high risk. Also they have investigated effects of fires on carbon cycling. These studies have been performed in collaboration with the University of Arizona with support by NSF and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Researchers have investigated pests of the Siberian forests and developed technologies for reforestation of northern territories, with support from the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
CENTRAL SIBERIAN BOTANICAL GARDEN, CSBG (NOVOSIBIRSK)
CSBG investigated Siberian plants in the context of the international program of collaboration of botanical gardens supported by the Institute of Sustainable Development and the USAID.
This institute is interested in collaboration on medicinal plants.
SOURCE: Information provided by Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, January 2012.
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