This year, the Day of Russian Science is celebrated in the year of science and technology. We talked about the scientific life of the university with the Vice-Rector for Research and Innovative Development, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Head of the Department of Pediatric Surgery and Pediatrics of PF Vasily Petrovich Gavrilyuk.

– What research directions in medicine do you consider the most promising? Does the university work on them?

– Scientific research is a long, painstaking work. Science is multifaceted, it has no beginning or end. At any moment, a seemingly more or less significant result obtained within the framework of a student scientific circle or laboratory of research and development centre may become necessary for a region, state or even the world.

On December 31, 2020, the Government of the Russian Federation approved the program of fundamental scientific research until 2030. It contains a large list of key directions. We are already working on many of them. We are talking about physiological, biomedical sciences, clinical and preventive medicine. In 2020 we embarked on a new direction for us, which is also included in the Government program – medical cell and genetic engineering technologies, regenerative medicine.

At the moment, KSMU has four research institutes: Research Institute of Experimental Medicine with fairly wide range of laboratories in all directions, Research Institute of General Pathology, Research Institute of Physiology, and Research Institute of Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology. These are our top units with great human resources and capabilities, prospects, laboratory and technical facilities. They cover the above-mentioned directions of the federal program for basic scientific research. Each research institute has its own subdivisions, subgroups, heads who move forward in small but systematic steps – each in his own area.

In 2021 we plan to open a new laboratory at Research Institute of Experimental Medicine dedicated to cellular technologies. Using cell technologies, we will be able to help oncologists in choosing the most effective and safe pharmacological drugs for chemotherapy. It will help to find more effective methods of wound healing for surgery area.

– How do you rate the research activity of KSMU?

– Qualitative and quantitative indicators are growing from year to year. First of all, this is publication activity, defense of dissertations. In 2020 every third graduate student of the university completed his postgraduate studies with the defense of a dissertation research. This is a good indicator, which is 13% higher than the average statistical values in Russia. If in 2019 there were almost 16 publications per 100 scientific and pedagogical employees of the university in the authoritative editions of the international citation bases “Web and Science” and “Scopus”, then according to the results of 2020 we doubled this indicator to 28. It is important that the publications of our authors are cited by other teams, universities, which shows the importance of the knowledge that our colleagues received. Again, if in 2019 there were 204 citations of publications in “Web and Science” and “Scopus” per 100 scientific and pedagogical workers, then in 2020 this figure reached 287. The increase is one and a half times.

– How do you assess the involvement of students in the research activity?

– All conditions were created at the university so that  students could be involved in the research activity from the first year of study. Each department has student scientific circles. There are 79 of them in total. Despite the pandemic, the circles worked throughout 2020 and contributed to the scientific potential and efficiency of the university. In addition, the Student Scientific Society operates in KSMU, and a student scientific laboratory is based on the Research Institute of Experimental Medicine. If a student feels “cramped” within the circle, he continues his activity in the scientific laboratory of the Research Institute under the leadership of Irina Leonidovna Privalova. Closer to senior years, many students conduct scientific research on the basis of one or another research institute. We see talented guys, they pursue postgraduate study, go to residency, where they continue working on the research, which they begun in the first year. The result is a dissertation defense. I took all these steps from the first year, used all the opportunities that students still have. I became the head of the Student Scientific Society in my 4th year. While studying in residency, I defended Candidate’s dissertation. I combined the work of an assistant and a doctor, and I still continue doing this, being in the position of vice-rector.

– Tell us about the key scientific achievements of the university.

– A classic example of joint work on research, inseparability of a student, postgraduate student, teacher, professor is the annual competition of innovative projects “Innovation and Invention”. At the end of 2020, in the “Innovative Idea” nomination, projects of teams of staff members and students of KSMU received diplomas for the 2nd and 3rd places: “A Comprehensive Program for Neurocognitive Restoration of Memory Function for the Elderly People.” The team of authors – Irina Aleksandrovna Sevryukova, Irina Vladimirovna Zapesotskaya and Irina Grigorievna Khmelevskaya. Another project is “The Idea of Developing an Expert Module for Predictive Analysis of the Prospects for Individual Achievements in Team Sports Based on the Analysis of Muscle Activity”. It was developed by: Irina Leonidovna Privalova, Evgeny Anatolyevich Bobrovsky, Mikhail Vladimirovich Artemenko, Alexander Andreevich Kal’chinsky, Victoria Vadimovna Pushkina. The teams include a vice-rector, heads of departments, students. The Governor of the Kursk region awarded the winners.

– What large scientific grants has KSMU received recently?

– There are many grants: individual and shared. The most significant, in my opinion, are two of them. Grant for 2018-2022 of the Fund for Genetic Research TRC GEN + of the “Trans Russian” company – “Complex Molecular Genetic Study of the Involvement of Gene Polymorphism of Biotransformation Enzymes of Xenobiotics and Antioxidant System in Stomach and Colon Cancer Development”. It is at the intersection of genetics and oncology. Both directions are very interrelated, promising and relevant for practical healthcare. Genetic research can help in the early diagnosis of oncology, prediction of this disease. Thus, it is possible to keep your finger on the pulse, undergo regular medical examinations and receive timely treatment if necessary. The disease outcome will be completely different and the quality of life will not be affected.

We received the second important grant in 2020 from the Russian Science Foundation for fundamental scientific research and exploratory research: “The Concept of Systemic Involvement of Genes of Redox Homeostasis Enzymes in the Molecular Mechanisms of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Development and Its Complications”. The team headed by professor Alexey Valerievich Polonikov became the winners of the grant. Based on the research results, we hope to get some new methods of prevention and control of type 2 diabetes.

– What would you like to wish young scientists and experienced researchers?

– Before taking up science, a student must understand: once immersed in it, a person will be engaged in science in a small or large volume through the whole life. Even if a student does not plan to devote the life to science, but wants to go into practical health care completely, it should be born in mind that a doctor, who does not discover something new for him/herself and does not apply it in practice, is not looking for answers to his/her questions and patient questions, will not take place in the profession. Any student needs science. The university provides all the opportunities for self-realization in this area at all stages of education. Good luck!

In the year of science and technology, I would like to wish my colleagues the implementation of all the conceived plans. Let all the answers to your questions be found.