Federal state budget institution of science
INSTITUTE OF THEORETICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL BIOPHISICS
Russian Academy of Sciences

ИТЭБ (en) ru

The History of the Institute has started since 1919, when in the structure of the people’s commissariat for public health the state biophysical institute, the first research institution in Russia on Physics and Biophysics, was organized by P.P. Lasarev. At the beginning the Institute appeared as a small laboratory in the X-ray, electro-medical and photobiological section of the people’s commissariat for public health. In 1929 the Institute of biophysics was renamed into the Institute of Biophysics was renamed into the Institute of Physics and Biophysics. In 1931 P.P. Lazarev was arrested, and his Institute some years later was renamed into PHIAS (Physical Institute of Academy of Sciences).

But the official date of the Institute foundation is 8 August 1952, when the decision of the USSR Council of Ministers about the establishing of the Institute of biological physics in the frame of the USSR Academy of Sciences was taken. The Institute was founded on the base of the laboratory of isotopes and irradiations in the biological division of the USSR Academy of Sciences. The biophysicist and radiobiologist Alexander Mikhailovich Kuzin was appointed the director of this new institute. The aim of the institute foundation was propaganda of the “peaceful atom”. The director of the Institute had to represent soviet scientists in the international organizations and to conduct the policy for the banning of atomic weapons. But inside the institute radiobiological investigations were carried out and training of the biologists from the scientific institutions of the USSR to work with isotopes and irradiation took place. So during the practical course under the guidance of Professor I.N. Verkhovsky about 500 researchers were trained. However, very soon it became clear, that the further development of radiobiology was impossible without genetics, and the main process determining the activity of biosystems, their radiation damages included, occur on the molecular level.

Moreover, it turned out understandable that biophysics as a science, by no means is limited only by the influence of physical factors on biosystems, that is radiobiology, but has a wider competence. Taking into account this fact in 1956 the commission of the Presidium of the USSR Academy of sciences took a decision to reorganize the institute.

The reorganization of the institute supposed to enlarge the thematics, to include new scientific groups in its structure and to replace the director. The outstanding soviet biophysicist Gleb Mikhailovich Frank was appointed the director of the institute.

After the reformation the institute radiation thematics engaged about one third. The department of radiobiology was headed by A.M. Kuzin and the department of living structures was headed by G.M. Frank. Besides that the department of genetics was established in the institute, headed by N.P. Dubinin. Later the department of mathematical biophysics of complex systems was created (the head I.M. Gelfand). In the frame of these departments over 10 new laboratories appeared.

In 1963 the institute of biological physics was transferred into town Pushchino, Moscow region, and on its base the Pushchino scientific center of biological research was being formed. Some of the departments and laboratories of the institute became later separate academic institutes. So, for example, in 1965 the institute of general genetics of the USSR Academy of sciences was founded (N.P. Dubinin), the former department of the institute. In the same year on the base of the automation department of the Institute of biological physics (V.V. Tikhomirov) the special constructor bureau (SCB) of biological instrument engineering was established (now the Institute of biological instrument engineering).

In 1972 the mathematical laboratory of our institute directed by A.M. Molchanov was transformed into the scientific research computing center, (at present – Institute of mathematical problems in biology). All the remaining biological institutes of the Pushchino scientific center began their life on the third floor of the institute of biological physics, waiting for the own premises.

After 20-year institute directorship by G.M. Frank the institute was headed by corresponding member G.R. Ivanitsky (from 1976 till 1987) and by corresponding member E.E. Fesenko (from 1987 till 1990).

In 1990 the institute of biological physics of the USSR Academy of Sciences was divided into the institute of general biophysics of the USSR Academy of Sciences and the institute of cell biophysics of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Soon the institute of general biophysics was renamed into the institute of theoretical and experimental biophysics, that does not differ from the initial meaning of the name – the institute of biological physics. In the period of 1990-2001 the director of ITEB RAS was corresponding member L.M. Chajlahyan, during 2001-2015 – G.R. Ivanitsky. In 2015 prof., d.b.s. I.P. Beletsky was elected the director of the institute, and G.R. Ivanitsky became scientific supervisor of the institute.

During 65 years of its existence a great number of essential biophysical projects, having not only fundamental scientific significance but the applied one as well, were carried out in the institute of biological physics of the USSR Academy of Sciences (now the institute of theoretical and experimental biophysics of Russian Academy of Sciences, RAS).

The most known work of the ITEB RAS investigators is the “blue blood” (perfluorocarbon gas transporting blood substitute), the regeneration system “Biocol”, capable to regenerate skin and tissues even in the most serious cases of burns or frostbites, development of contactless nanofilters for the diagnostics of lung diseases and many others. Lots of high technologies developed by the scientific staff of the institute were awarded with Lenin, State, President and many other prizes.

         The main wealth of the institute is its staff. With pride we remember the Pleiad of pioneers who has created our institute. These are the world famous scientists prof. B.N.Veprintsev, prof. O.S. Vinogradova, prof. V.V. Lednev, Dr. G.N. Sarkisov, PhD V.I. Baranov, prof. B.I. Sukhorukov, corresponding member RAS L.M. Chailakhian, prof. V.I. Krinsky, prof. E.E. Selkov, prof. L.Kh. Eidus, prof. E.A. Burstein and many other outstanding, remarkable scientists.

         The investigations of the institute researchers occupy a wide spectrum of scientific problems. As the scientific supervisor of the institute corresponding member of RAS Genrikh Romanovich Ivanitsky says, due to such a wide circle of scientific interests of the institute coworkers, ITEB RAS is in the vanguard of the science Biophysics. The research activity of the institute scientists is financed by the grants of RFFI, RSF and by the government of the Russian Federation. In 2018 the institute coworker V.E. Tseeb received the European Union grant on the Human Frontier Science Program.