The Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia (NAS RA) was founded in 1966 to encourage the development of molecular biology in Armenia. At that time, the institute had 8 research units. Total number of scientists working in the institute was about 50, among them 21 PhDs. The research conducted in IMB in XX century had a significant input in the elucidation of structural and functional organization of nucleic acids, proteins, cells, and organelles. The first Director of the Institute was Dr. Stepan Tshmarityan. From the end of 2006 the Director of the Institute is Prof. Anna Boyajyan.
Today IMB has 18 research units (11 laboratories and 7 groups), and 3 educational units.
Three laboratories and 4 research groups are included in the Department of Applied Molecular Biology.
IMB also has the Institutional Scientific Council, Young Scientists Council,
and Ethics Committee. Among service units are the Library, Human DNA Samples Bank,
Cell Lines Collection, Animal House and the Institutional Local Area Network.
The total number of IMB employees is 130, among them 15 hold DrSc degree and 53 hold PhD degree. About 50% of IMB personnel
are young scientists up to 35 of age. IMB is hosting many PhD and undergraduate students from Armenia and foreign counties.
Dedicated researchers are delivering lectures and supervising under- and postgraduate students. In 2007-2013, 71 Bachelor
and Master students, and 25 PhD students studied/trained in IMB and supervised by IMB scientists received bachelor-, master-
and doctoral degrees.
Main Fields of Activities
Current research activities of IMB are focusing on investigation
of regulatory mechanisms of cell activity and its alterations in a number of pathologic conditions including autoimmune,
autoinflammatory, cerebrovascular, infectious, oncological, and psychiatric disorders. The research,
conducting in vivo, in vitvo, in situ and in silico, includes human,
animal, cell-cultures and computation modeling studies on genetic, protein, cellular, membrane, and sub-cellular levels.
A special attention is paid to mediators of the immune and signal transduction systems. An important area of the research
is Armenian genome study using pathogenomics, ecogenomics, immunogenomics, and population genomics
Funding Sources and Research Grants
Basic activities of IMB have been funded from the state
budget. In addition, IMB researchers have performed R&D projects
supported by national and
international grants provided on a competitive basis. Beginning from 2000 IMB researchers have
implemented 90 projects supported by research grants.
Fundamental and Practical Significance of the Research Results
The output of the studies performed at IMB is
elucidation of molecular and cellular etiopathomechanisms of many polygenic and multifactorial diseases and
identification of vital molecular biomarkers and therapeutic targets of diseases. Another important output is
identification of new physiologically active compounds of potential therapeutic significance. Application areas include
molecular diagnostics, prognostics, prophylaxis, and treatment of diseases, monitoring of disease progression and the
efficiency of applied therapy as well as new drugs design. IMB has a number of technological development in these
fields and holds related patents.
Scientific production and Technological Developments
Scientific production of IMB in the last years
(2007-2013) includes 24 books/chapters, 216 papers in the international
journals, 172 papers in Armenian journals, 162 publications in the proceedings of the overseas scientific
meetings, 196 publications in the proceedings of the scientific meetings organized in Armenia, and
12 patents. The IMB researchers developed novel test-systems for molecular
diagnostics of schizophrenia and over-fatigue syndrome; innovative approach for individual selection of chemotherapy
for treatment of different types of leukemia and solid tumors; new antiviral preparation for prevention and treatment
of foot-and-mouth and Newcastle diseases, and some other products.
International collaboration and related activities
IMB is integrated in the international research area
establishing close partnership with internationally acknowledged research centers and universities
worldwide. Partnership is realized through exchange visits, implementation of joint projects, organization of joint conferences,
seminars, workshops and trainings. In the last years (2017-2013) the IMB researchers were actively paticipating in the
international conferences and related events. Also, in the same years (2007-2013) 132 oral presentations and 86 poster
presentations were made at the international conferences as well as 18 IMB scientists were awarded for the best presentations.
In addition, IMB is the organizer of many international conferences and related events in Armenia. In the last years (2007-2013)
6 international conferences, 1 workshop and 2 schools were held.
Partner organizations in Armenia
Among partner institutions in
Armenia are the main universities, medical research centers, and some other organizationsh. Partnership is based
on S&T collaboration agreements and realized through implementation of joint projects, organization of joint educational
units (department), laboratories, conferences, and workshops and trainings. IMB is a founder and facilitator of the
Armenian Society of Biological Psychiatry,
Armenian Association of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Immunology, a joint
member of the Biotechnological Armenian Association, Electronic Library Consortium of Armenia, Technology
Transfer Association as well as a partner of GARA (Global African Swine Fever Research Alliance).