Institute Cytology and Genetics

Institute of Cytology and Genetics

The Institute of Cytology and Genetics (IC&G) was among the first ten founded within the Siberian Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1957. The IC&G was originally organized by N.P.Dubinin, with studies addressing the basic issues of genetics. During the two years of his directorship (1957-1959), N.P. Dubinin worked out goals for research at the IC&G and assembled its early staff. Academician D.K.Belyaev served continuously as the Director of the IC&G from 1959-1985. He made significant contributions to the establishment of the IC&G and applied much efforts to the restoration and advancement of genetics in the USSR. In 1986, Academician V.K. Shumny was appointed Director of the IC&G.

Underlying the development of the IC&G was the idea to integrate molecular, cellular, developmental and population studies aiming at a better understanding of the genetic mechanisms of variability and evolution. Research emphasis was on the development of plant and animal models for investigating the genetic structure of complex, in functional terms, characters of behavior, stress reactivity, reproductive systems hereditary human and animal diseases, symbiotic nitrogen fixation in plants, among others.

Accordingly, the research of the IC&G is summmarized under three headings.

1. The structural and functional organization of genetic material at the levels of the genome, chromosome, and gene. Reconstruction of the genome, transgenesis in plants and animals.

2. The molecular-genetic and genetic-evolutionary bases of the functioning of physiological systems providing vital processes. Chromosome and gene diagnostics of inherited and multifactorial diseases.

3. The genetic-evolutionary aspects of population biology and biodiversity. development of new methods of animal and plant genetics and breeding for efficient use of gene pools.

The IC&G hosts interlaboratory seminars on molecular genetics, animal genetics and physiological genetics, plant genetics to ensure expertise evaluation of reports, papers prepared for publication, dissertations. Each laboratory is assigned to participate in a particular seminar.

The IC&G holds annual report sessions of the Scientific Council at which work performed at each laboratory is reported in detail and anaylyzed in-depth.

Along with basic studies, the IC&G devoted much of its efforts to applied resarch. The number of developments that had immediate practical implications, that were protected by patents and inventor's certificates increased to 48. The developments included producer strains, plant varieties and their hybrids, animal strains and lines, medicinal preparations, means for plant protection, biotechnology.

A primary objective of the IC&G is production and training of professional manpower. For this purpose, there are 4 chairs at the Novosibisk State University (NSU): Cytology and Genetics, Molecular Biology, Physiology General Biology, and Ecology. Many researchers of the IC&G held joint appointments as teachers at the NSU. The faculty of the IC&G taught postgraduate courses to train professional staff in 5 specialiities: genetics, cell biology, cytology and histology, physiology, molecular biology, biochemistry. During the last 5 years, 75 graduate students were enrolled for postgraduate courses that involved research carried out at the IC&G. Of these,18 post-graduates completed the courses and 10 defended these as part of their master's degree requirements,

The IC&C received substantial support through the Russian government and international foundations. During the last 5 years, it has been conducting research within the framework of competitive research grants. The number of awarded grants was as follows: 67 from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, 39 from the Russian State Program Frontiers in Genetics, 3 from the Newest Methods of Bioengineering, 5 from the Human Genome, and 3 from the Biological Diversity funds. The IC&G was also a recipient of 4 grants for leading scientific schools and 34 for leading investigators.

Many laboratories of the IC&G collaborated with colleagues abroad. Research was supported by international project grants provided by the European foundations INTAS, NATO and Britain's Wellcome Trust, colloboration was also expressed as working agreements between the IC&G and laboratories, universities, institutes in USA, England, Germany, Finland, Israel, Sweden, Switzerland, China and other countries. The IC&G maintained productive working relations with Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan by collaborating in research programs.

Each year the IC&G hosted foreign visiting investigators carrying out research or acquainting with work at the Institute. The IC&G annually held international conferences at which distinguished foreign scientists were invited to participate. Firms working in the areas of biochemistry and biotechnology made their presentations at the IC&G. At the currently working exhibition of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the IC&G displayed 22 items approved for use in medicine, agriculture and environment protection. Three of the exhibits were awarded with the golden medals of the Siberian Fair. The IC&G also contributed largely to exhibitions held in Russia and abroad. During the last 5 years, 35 developments were patented at the IC&G. Varieties developed in farm crops were protected by inventor's certificates; 3 patents were granted for achievements in breeding work, and 2 developments were protected by trademark certificates. During this period, results of research were communicated in various ways, which included 20 monographs and over 1,200 papers published in peer-reviewed international and Russian journals.

Academician V.K.Shumny,
director of the Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the SB RAS from 1986

Academician N.P.Dubinin, the first director of the Institute of Cytology and Genetics
of the Siberian Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1957-1959

Academician D.K.Belyaev (1917-1985),
Director of the Institute of Cytology and Genetics in 1959-1985