Institute of Gene Biology (IGB) of the Russian Academy of Sciences is a federal state-funded research agency that carries out investigations in the following fields (in accord with Act no. 9 of January 18, 2005 of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences):
- regulation of gene function and chromatin structure, functional genomics, and bioinformatics;
- molecular medicine, gene therapy, stem cells, cell therapy, and tumor biotherapy;
- cell structure and function, intercellular interactions, and molecular basis of cell differentiation, immunity and carcinogenesis;
- gene and protein engineering, transgenesis.
The fields belong to "Life Sciences", which are among the priority avenues of developing science, technologies, and engineering in the Russian Federation. The fields are listed with the critical technologies of the Russian Federation ("Bioengineering Technologies", "Genomic, Proteomic, and Postgenomic Technologies", "Biocatalytic, Biosynthetic, and Biosensor Technologies", "Biomedical and Veterinary Technologies", "Cell Technologies", "Nano-, Bio-, Information, and Cognitive Technologies", and "Technologies to Reduce Losses Due to Socially Important Diseases").
Our studies follow the basic research programs "Molecular and Cell Biology", "Biological Diversity", "Basic Science to Medicine", and "Basic Research in Nanotechnologies and Nanomaterials" of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the federal programs "Studies and Developments in Priority Fields of Developing Science and Technology in Russia from 2007 to 2013", and "Researchers and Teachers for Innovative Russia from 2009 to 2013".
IGB holds a leading position in certain basic research fields both in Russia and worldwide. From 2010 to 2012, five study guides, seven monographs and monograph chapters, and 190 articles, including 111 articles in foreign journals, were published. There are three established scientific schools at IGB, of which two act for more than 25 years. Scientific school activities involve 67 researchers, and more than half of them (41) are under 35 years of age. Two educational research centers, "Compartmentalization of the Cell Nucleus and Transcription Regulation" and "Structural, Functional, Evolutionary, and Medical Genetics", were organized at IGB in 2009. The educational research center "Molecular, Cell, and Nanobiology" has worked since 2007.
There are full-time postgraduate courses in "Molecular Genetics" and "Molecular Biology" at IGB, and 17 postgraduates do their studies now. From 2010 to 2012, IGB researchers defended 4 doctor of science and 21 candidate of science dissertations.
A total of 96 researchers work in IGB, including 65 candidates and 20 doctors of science. Thirty researchers are 35 years or under. The IGB team includes seven leading Russian scientists with citation indexes higher than 1000: Academician P.G. Georgiev, Academician G.P. Georgiev, Academician Yu.V. Ilyin, Corresponding Member S.V. Razin, Corresponding Member A.P. Ryskov, Doct. Sci. (Biol.) K.V. Severinov, and Doct. Sci. (Biol.) V.M. Studitskii.
New basic principles of the gene expression regulation in higher eukaryotes were discovered in IGB; our studies have contributed substantially to understanding the mechanism of action of insulators, transcription complexes, and chromatin architecture in the nucleus.
Proceeding from basic research, goats were engineered to produce recombinant human lactoferrin, and a technique was developed to generate nanoantibodies, which may find broad application in disease diagnosis and therapy. An anticancer gene-modified cell vaccine was obtained, which has been put to clinical testing, and an original method was developed to deliver anticancer agents into tumor cell nuclei. IGB currently holds 15 patents.
All of the IGB laboratories have modern equipment to carry out molecular genetic studies. The collective access center "Living Cell Biology and Biomedical Drug Nanotransporters" has been organized at IGB.