Sub-department of Biotechnology, Bioengineering and Biochemistry History

Chair of Biotechnology, Bioengineering and Biochemistry was formed on 06. 21. 2014 by merging of two smaller Chairs of Biotechnology and Biochemistry (Order №01/281). It is headed by the dean of the department of Biotechnology and Biology Victor V. Revin, Doctor of Biological Sciences, professor and an honored science worker of Russian Federation.

Victor V. Revin- Doctor of Biological Sciences, professor, head of the Chair of Biotechnology, Bioengineering and Biochemistry

Academic staff of the Chair of Biotechnology, Bioengineering and Biochemistry

The Chair of Biotechnology, Bioengineering and Biochemistry has a long history. Originally, it was the Chair of Biology that was formed in 1965 and was a part of the department of Chemistry and Biology of Mordovian State University. It was founded and headed by Ekaterina V. Sapozhnikova-Doctor of Biological Sciences, professor and later an honored science worker of MASSR. Among the first members of academic staff were senior professor L. S. Dorofeeva (studied at St. Petersburg State Technical Institute and worked as a technologist at Romodanovo’s sulfitation factory) and G. S. Barnashova (after graduating from the Teachers Institute of Mordovia after A. I. Polezhaev in 1953 worked as teacher in school, and since 1957 as a laboratory assistant at the Chair of Chemistry). The newly-formed Chair was also joined by a junior research associate V. P. Tishenko, laboratory worker R. A. Kirlyanova, G. N. Savchenko and a group of post-graduate students-N. B. Alba, L. N. Matveeva, S. M. Zhivechkov and others. 

E. V. Sapozhnikova created a research team that quickly began to work on researching the pectic substances and pectolytic enzymes of fruit crops, leaf crops and wild plants. This work had a great impact on improving the national economy of MASSR that needed scientific recommendations to hasten the ripening of fruit and vegetables, to modify the technologies of storage and processing of end product.

The Chair has had scientific cooperation with A.N.Bach Institute of Biochemistry, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Lobachevsky University (Nizhny Novgorod), Academy of Sciences of Moldova, Baku’s Research Institute of orcharding, viticulture and subtropical cultures. The Chair has also created conditions for development of a completely new specialization.

L. S. Dorofeeva began giving lectures on Biotechnology, she was succeeded by A. A. Kotov who had previously worked at «Biohimic»; R. E. Kiseleva and L. S. Dorofeeva gave lectures on Biochemistry of meat and milk; N. V. Alba gave lectures on BAS and Technology of processing agriproduct; G. S. Barnashova gave lectures on Enzymology. That gradually led to a development of a completely new speciality-Biotechnology.

In 1987 two sub-divisions (Interdepartmental lab of Biophysics and a Lab of Industrial Microbiology) were merged to form the Chair of Biotechnology. The President of the University professor A. I. Suharev actively assisted the organization of the new Chair. Doctor of Science A. I. Kotov was the first Chairman of the Chair and had had a vast experience of managerial and practical work at enterprises of microbiological industry.

By that time the Chair had been conducting researches within 3 major fields of study: studying of biodeteriorations of materials and products caused by microorganisms (inquiry made by the Ministry of Defence, supervised by A. I. Kotov); searching for natural producers of beta-lactamase and testing of their stability and variability (inquiry made by the Factory of Pharmaceutical drugs of Saransk, supervised by T. N. Pritkova); lipidic’s fase impact on the functioning of ion-transportational systems of biological membranes (inquiry made by the State committee for science and technology, supervised by V. V. Revin).

After V.V. Revin was elected for the position of the Chairman of the sub-division of Biotechology in 1992 new researches were promptly launched as well as material and methodical bases were extended to support the newly opened speciality of Biotechnology. Despite the short span of time, the sub-division of Biotechology formed a major scientific and technical potential thanks to the professional academic staff. The Chair’s scientific and technical achievements are an excellent evidence of that.

New and modern methods of research have constantly been implemented, such as: cultivation of objects in fermenters with program guidance, microscopy with a system of digital visualization and a system of computer analysis, methods of analytical control by using of the modern chronographic and electrophoretic equipment with computer data processing.

The Chair has created a base for international scientific conferences that gather outstanding specialists from Russia, Belarus, Canada, Lithuania and Romania as well as regional scientific conferences for young scientists. 

Since the creation of the Chair more than 1000 of engineers-biotechnologists have graduated. Here are some of the activities they are involved in after the graduation: production and technology (engineer, technologist in food industry, pharmaceutical industry, microbiological industry), design and construction (engineer), research (junior research associate), organization and management.

The graduates if the Chair work at cheese factory «Ichalkovsky», cheese factory «Sarmich», «Mordovspirt», «Hlebozavod», Saransk Brewing company, «Biohimik», milk factory «Saransky», «Biosintez», «Mordovia-Holod», «Talina» and many other processing companies of Mordovia and Russia as well as at leading scientific centres of Russia, Europe and the USA. 

In 2006 the Chair created a base for opening of a Biotechnological centre which consists of 2 scientific and academic facilities-«Nanobiotechology» and «DNA-diagnostics and genome research».

The Chair has established several different labs-the Lab of Fundamental Biotechnology, the Lab of Microbal Glycans, the Lab of Biocomposite Materials, the Lab of Fermentative Biotechnologies, the Lab of Biopreparations and the Lab of Biophysics.

Also, the Chair created a Society of a regional office of Russian society of biotechologists and a regional office of MOIP. The year of 2005 marked the opening of the leading scientific school-«Biotechnology and Bioenergetics».

Today the academic staff of the Chair of Biotechnology, Bioengineering and Biochemistry consists of 19 specialists, among them are 3 Doctors of Science and 12 scientific assistants.

The Chair carries out researches of «Energy efficiency and New materials» that are the part of the priority branch №1 of the University’s development. The central area of scientific focus of the Chair includes biotechnology of composite materials; biotechnology of biological products for agricultular industry; biotechnology of bioethanol obtained from nanostructured materials; biodestruction of xenobiotics in the environment; technology of provision of general health; biotechnology of microbic glycans; obtaining of feed and probiotic preparations; physical, chemical and molecular means of apoptosis; studying of molecular and cellular excitation mechanisms, degeneration and regeneration of excitable formations; studying of the mechanisms of oxygen-transporting function of erythrocytes.

The technologies of obtaining of ecologically-safe composite materials from the waste products of plant raw material have been successfully developed. The sample of the created products were presented at Russian and Republican scientific exhibitions and were included in the register of the best inventions. Some of the Chair’s products were introduced into production, for example a sour-milk beverage «Zdorovie», soft-ripened cheese «Aibolit» and «Oktyabrsky», sour cream sauce and processed cheese with addition of modifilan. Besides, the Chair focuses its attention on ecology and waste-free technologies and studies biodegradation and neutralization of xenobiotics, sewage and soil treatment, recycling of DDGS.

Members of the Chair have published a vast variety of academic literature: a textbook and a study guide classified by AMA- «Biophysics», «Laboratory practicum in biotechnology», «Introductive course in biotechnology: from test-tubes to bioreactors», «Biotechnology of ethanol», «Biotechnology of bacterial exopolysaccharides, «Laboratory practicum in biophysics, human and animal physiology», «Practicum in human and animal physiology», a monograph «Role of lipids in functioning of excitable biological membranes», «Fundamental and applicative basics of biotechnology of environmental friendly composite materials», «Role of biogenic amines in the processes of disruption of adaptation in cases of lungs pathology» and other study guides and work programs for special courses.

Every year the Chair hosts the Republic conference of the young scientists, Ogarev’s readings in which the students and post-graduate students of the Chair take part, sectional sessions of scientific conference «Science and innovations in Mordovia». The Chair researches have a great area of focus and are aimed on improving the quality of life not only in Mordovia but in the country in whole.

In September, 2015 the-sub department held a nationwide conference «Perspectives of development of chemical and biological technologies in the XXI century», in which specialists from abroad also took part.

The Chair’s publishing activity has been increasing consistently. The Chair’s scientific achievements have been acclaimed nationally and world-wide. This is proved by the number of grants won in recent years: RFBR grants, the Ministry of Education and «Universities of Russia» program grants. The Chair won a contest named «Carrying out of fundamental scientific researches and trial experiments by young scientists» in 2015, and a project on «Studying of the mechanisms of regulations of oxygen-transporting function of erythrocytes’ hemoglobin». At the present time the Chair is carrying our researches for several grants, annual overall worth of which is over 20 million roubles.

To increase the efficiency of staff training and to simplify the cooperative development of new technologies, the Chair signed long-term contracts with leading enterprises of Mordovia- «Mordovspirt», milk factory «Saransky», cheese-making factory «Ichalkovsky», etc. These enterprises have the Chair’s branches functioning which are used to hold special courses and practices for students.