Research

 

For more detail on quantitative scientific performance, see the section Science.

In 2021, Almazov Centre carried out research under 23 grants:

— 10 grants from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR)

— 8 grants from the Russian Science Foundation (RSF)

— 5 grants from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, including:

  • Grant to carry out major research projects on the topic “Development of new neuromodulation-based technologies for heart failure prevention and treatment”
  • Grant for the state support to establish and develop world-class research centres (WCRC) carrying out R&D on the priority areas of science and technology under the federal project «Development of research, development and production cooperation» of the national project «Science and Universities»

A total of 78 publications were published based on the results of research under grant projects, with a total impact factor of 239.3.

The most significant grant project in 2021 was the project to establish and develop a World-Class Research Centre for Personalized Medicine (completion period: 2020—2024).

The project “Development of new neuromodulation-based technologies for heart failure prevention and treatment” was carried out by the Centre’s team under agreement No. 075-15-2020 -800 dated 09/24/2020 with the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation

The main goal of the project was to study the fundamental mechanisms of the autonomic nervous system involved in the pathogenesis of circulatory diseases and to develop new technologies for the prevention and treatment of heart failure based on neuromodulation. In 2021, the project team obtained priority research data presented in 13 publications in leading international journals (Journal of Clinical Investigation, Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research, Scientific Reports, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, BMC Pulmonary Medicine, etc.) and four successfully defended PhD theses.

A 3D mathematical model of ischemia-reperfusion injury in the rat and human heart was developed, making it possible to predict and heed the effect of adipose tissue hormones and vagal stimulation on the process of myocardial damage and the formation of rhythm disturbances.

In 2021, the WCRC for Personalized Medicine headed by Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Evgeny Shlyakhto continued research in concert with the Institute of Experimental Medicine in the priority area of “Personalized medicine, high-tech healthcare and health-preserving technologies.”

The goal of the project is to reduce morbidity and mortality from diseases through the innovative development of healthcare based on the development and implementation of modern technologies of personalized medicine.

Major research areas of WCRC:

  • Population genetics and polygenic non-communicable diseases
  • Unknown, rare and genetically determined diseases
  • Oncology
  • Infectious diseases, microbial and antimicrobial therapy

WCRC comprises four research units:

  • Research Department of Genetic Risks and Personalized Prevention
  • Research Centre of Unknown, Rare and Genetically Determined Diseases
  • Research Centre of Personalized Oncology
  • Research and Educational Centre for Molecular Basis of Interaction Between Microorganisms and Humans

Almazov Centre has been actively cooperating with colleagues from world universities and research institutions in various areas. New cooperation agreements were signed with foreign scientific and educational organizations.

The World-Class Research Centre for Personalized Medicine is engaged in a number of international collaborative projects involving worldwide acclaimed scientists with outstanding discoveries.

In 2021, the Centre engaged the following world renowned scientists:

  • Alberico L. Catapano (Italy), Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Milan, Past President of the European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS), Director of the Centre for the Study of Atherosclerosis at the Bassini Hospital, Chairman of the EAS/European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guidelines for the treatment of dyslipoproteinaemias and Director of the Italian Society for the Study of Atherosclerosis.
  • Andrea Baragetti (Italy), Post-Doctoral Researcher, Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Milan.
  • Paolo Magni (Italy), Full professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Università degli Studi di Pavia; Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Milan.
  • Jeroen Bax (Netherlands), Director of Non-invasive Imaging at the Leiden University Medical Center.
  • Roberto Ferrari (Italy), Emeritus Professor, University of Ferrara.
  • Luisa Marracinо (Italy), Researcher, University of Ferrara.
  • Anna Orlova (Sweden): Professor at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Associate Professor at the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University.
  • Vladimir Tolmachev (Sweden): Professor at the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Head of Research, Department of Radiation Medicine, Uppsala University.
  • Fausto Pinto (Portugal): Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon, President, Executive Board of the Lisbon Academic Medical Centre (CAML, 2019—2021), President of the World Heart Federation (WHF, 2021—2022).

Collaboration with the world renowned scientists is a way to exchange experiences, achieve new goals and improve the diagnosis and treatment of many complex and understudied diseases.

In 2018, Almazov Centre was officially declared a WHO Collaborating Centre for CVDs, eHealth and value-based medicine.

Priority areas as part of collaboration with WHO include:

  • expert activity in the development and implementation of measures for the prevention and control of cardiovascular diseases with a special focus on epidemiology, emergency care, primary and secondary prevention and rehabilitation,
  • promoting the understanding of value-based care and personalized medicine and their use in the field of NCDs,
  • increasing awareness to assist WHO in the implementation of evidence-based approaches for NCDs,
  • exploring the possibilities of using e-health and telemedicine technologies for NCD prevention and treatment.

Collaboration with WHO includes visits of experts from Almazov Centre to the Central Asian countries (Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan). Based on the results of 3 missions, strategic documents were published on the establishment and development of medical care systems for heart attack and stroke. WHO seminars and sessions were held at Almazov Centre.

Currently, Almazov Centre continues to be involved in WHO activities in various areas, including in the fight against non-communicable diseases in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2021, with the support of the Russian Society of Cardiology, Almazov Centre held screening campaigns both during conferences (International Almazov Youth Forum) and regionally (more than 20 Russian regions).

Almazov Centre is the founder of seven scientific journals and the internal newsletter of Almazov Centre, one of which won the Russian Scientific Journal Award of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science.

In 2021, the Almazov Centre team published 12 monographs as well as textbooks and teaching guides.

The researchers and clinicians of the Centre won various awards, became honorary members of scientific societies, received grants for young scientists from various societies and conferences.

In September 2021, Almazov Centre achieved high scores in U-Multirank world university ranking. U-Multirank is developed and implemented on the initiative of the European Commission by the Consortium for Higher Education and Research Performance Assessment. U-Multirank is a unique, multidimensional international ranking of higher education institutions. It compares university performance across teaching and learning, research, knowledge transfer, international orientation and regional engagement.

In 2021, the Preclinical Translational Research Centre with the SPF laboratory animal facility provided the opportunity to conduct unique experimental studies in compliance with all international regulations. Experimental studies of any complexity are possible here, including the development and testing of new drugs and biotechnological products, the creation of new experimental models.

The Translational Medicine Cluster continued its work.

Cluster projects in 2021:

  • Development of the Life Sciences section for the Science and Technology Concept of St. Petersburg.
  • Organization and holding of the plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Innovation Forum with the participation of St. Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov, Head of RUSNANO Anatoly Chubais and other top-level executives.
  • The first stage of the Ecosystem S3 project as part of the Interreg BSR EU program “Development of methodology and audit / mapping of the existing interaction practice in the provision of medical care in St. Petersburg healthcare facilities”
  • Cooperation with the Committee for Industrial Policy, Innovation and Trade of St. Petersburg, the Centre for Cluster Development of St. Petersburg.

Currently, Almazov Centre has 2 core facilities in place:

  • Biobank Core Facility
  • Preclinical Translational Research Centre