Institute of Chemical Biology
Institute of Chemical Biology is teaching and research institution, participating in the undergraduate programme of the School of Arts and Sciences, has a graduate programme in Molecular Sciences (Molecular Biosciences, Biopharmacy, and food science) and doctoral programmes in biochemistry and molecular biology.
The Institute is currently developing the following research programmes:
1. The biologically active compounds and cell regulation
The programme is addressing topical issue in the modern biomedical sciences and includes both fundamental and practical aspects. Targeted management of biological processes can be done by means of biologically active substances; therefore, these compounds are widely used in biotechnology, microbiology, pharmaceutical and food industry. Programme aims to excrete biologically active substances - with plant or animal origin, to identify their behavioral mechanisms, impact of the activity on cell regulatory systems and determining behavior of these compounds by developing a test-cell system. The programme will study significance of a variety of regulatory macromolecules in the initiation of endocrine and inflammatory diseasesand will study possibilities of correction of these disorders using plant origin polyphenolic compounds spread in Georgia. Cytotoxic and pharmacological potential of the biologically active substances can be determined using cell culture.
2. Study of cell and molecular fundamentals of memory
The programme addresses one manifestation of synaptic plasticity - memory and studies visual imprinting model in chickens. The work focuses on changes in the gene expression in the memory formation processes. It also examines epigenetic changes in the processes of memory recognition formation and storage,
micro-RNA range changes in the memory recognition formation processes, and protein spectrum changes on different stages of memory recognition formation process. The data obtained in this model will be used in the second stage of establishment of general mechanisms of memory storage and development of mental disease treatment strategies.
3. Study of cellular and molecular founation of epilepsy and epileptogenesis and identifying prevention methods of epileptogenesis
The programme studies abnormal functional activity of the central nervous system, such as epilepsy. Study focuses on Post-traumatic and kainite-caused epilepsy forms. Study of the Institute in molecular biology is focused on the following researches: changes of genetic expression in the process of epileptogenesis with the use of microarea technology and effects of chronic treatment with inositols in this process; also, changes in the process of epileptogenesis in micro-RNM spectrum and effects of chronic treatment by inositols;post-translation modifications of histons, that determine epigenetic changes as well as inositole effects; changes in methylation status of those genes, which are differently expressed based on the results of the micro area experiments and assessment of inositol influence on the processes; changes in albumen spectrum during the process of epileptogenesis and after inositol treatment; Work of the institute will be based on the the following study in the field of the cellular biology: changes in ultra-structure of neuron cells during different functional states and research on in vitro electro physiological methods in case of normal or pathological state models.
With the use of atomic force microscope, study will determine three dimensional structure, displacement, arrangement density and mechanical features (viscoelasticity) of dendritic rough surface of hypocampus live neurons during different functional states. Different methods will be used for triggering epileptic discharges and study of influence of pharmacological substances (for example inositols) on them. Study concentrates not only on foundation of cellular and molecular epileptogenesis, but also on the ways of its prevention.
Insitute has an integrative approach, which unites molecular biological, electro physiological and morphological methods and provides an opportunity to generate qualitatively important results.