Site is under construction [Old site version]
The most cited biological Institute in Russia *

The A.N.Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology was founded in 1965 by Professor Andrey N. Belozersky, Vice-President of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Head of the Department of Plant Biochemistry of the Biology faculty (MSU). Academician A.N.Belozersky, the first Director of the Institute, died on December 30, 1972. Since that time the position was occupied by Academician Vladimir P. Skulachev. The scientific work of the Institute is directed by its Academic Council elected by researchers. Besides 17 research departments covering all major branches of modern physico-chemical biology, the Institute includes 6 service departments, where the most expensive equipment is localized. The total number of scientists and technicians is now about 230 and 100, respectively.

Among the most important findings published by researchers of the Institute, one can mention:

  • direct measurement of generation of electric potential differences across intracellular membranes;
  • discovery of H+- and Na+-motors, molecular mechanisms carrying out rotation of bacterial flagella;
  • description of the Na+-cycle, a mechanism of membrane-linked energy transduction, alternative to the Mitchellian H+-cycle;
  • discovery and elucidation of the function of a retina cell protein, recoverin;
  • discovery of principles of photosynthetic apparatus organization, ensuring high efficiency for light energy conversion;
  • topography and fine structure of the decoding center of the ribosome was established by means of originally developed chemical methods;
  • creation of a new concept of intracellular transport of the plant virus genetic material;
  • discovery of the structure and expression of several RNA virus genomes (hordei-potex- and closteroviruses);
  • description of the tissue and age specificity of DNA methylation in animals and plants.

60 scientists of the Institute are recipients of various State and International Awards for their research achievements.

From the first day of its foundation, the Institute has become an important educational MSU centre. It has close relations with the Faculty of Bioengineering and Bioinformatics witch was founded by director of the Institute Vladimir P. Skulachev. PCB Institute also collaborates with 4 departments of the Biology Faculty, with 2 departments of the Chemistry faculty and with 2 departments of the Physics Faculty. Members of the Institute staff deliver lectures and carry out practical training for students of these faculties. Every year about 200 postgraduates and undergraduate students work on their graduation theses study in the Institute.

The Institute maintains widespread international relations. The scientists cooperate with their colleagues from Europe, USA, Canada and Japan. In 1989 the Institute was included into the Network of UNESCO Basic Institutes working in the field of physico-chemical biology.