History

Since its foundation, the Institute of Microbiology and Virology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine has been remarkably rich in outstanding personalities. First of all, the Institute was lucky to have Academician Danylo Zabolotny (1866 – 1929) as one of its founders and the first Director. He was a universally known scientist, a founder of epidemiological science and of a number of new domains in microbiology. In his private life Academician Zabolotny was an extremely modest person; being a universally recognized scientist, an academician and a member of the Government, he still considered himself a villager of his native settlement of Chobotarka (now – the village of Zabolotne, Kryzhopil District, Vinnytsia Region). A talented student of Ilya Mechnikov, the first Noble Prize laureate in Medicine known as the ‘cultivator of bacteriology’ in Russia, Danylo Zabolotny was a courageous scientific organizer who by 1928 had founded several scientific research institutes and departments. In May 1928 Danylo Zabolotny was elected the President of the All- Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. On May 31, 1928 by the Governmental Resolution the Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology (now – the Institute of Microbiology and Virology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine) was opened in Kyiv.

Academician Zabolotny was the Institute’s Director for less than two years, because on December 15, 1929, he died from pneumonia. But the impetus he gave to the development of the Institute, his principles of scientific research and his attitude to his colleagues have lasted till nowadays. D. Zabolotny’s precepts had been realized by other prominent scientists. During the 80 years of the Institute, the following scientists had worked as Directors: Mykhailo Shtutser (1930); Mykola Stadnichenko (1930 – 1933); Hnat Ruchko, Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (1933 – 1937); Petro Marusenko (1937 – 1941); Academician Viktor Drobotko (1944 – 1962); Semen Moskovets, Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (1962 – 1971); Dmytro Zatula (1971 – 1977); Academician Valeriy Smirnov (1977 – 2002) and Academician Valentyn Pidgorskyi (since 2003).

One can assert that the Institute’s stability is a proof of perfect selection of top managers within the system of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NASU) and of a high level of moral climate in the Institute at all times. All the principles of interpersonal relations laid by D. Zabolotny – tactfulness, humanism, high exactingness and mutual assistance have contributed to the very high level of research peculiar to the Institute, and its high authority among similar scientific institutions both in the former USSR and abroad.

Winning of such authority has become possible due to such worldwide known scientists as Academician M. Kholodny (worked at the Institute in 1936 – 1938); M. Pidoplichko, Corresponding Member of NASU (1931 – 1975); V. Bilai, Corresponding Member of NASU (1935 – 1994); Academician B. Isachenko (1944 – 1948); Academician M. Sirotinin (1944 – 1948); L. Rubenchik, Corresponding Member of NASU (1944 – 1975); Academician S. Gershenzon (1963 – 1968); N. Diachenko, Corresponding Member of NASU (1963 – 2003); Yu. Malashenko, Corresponding Member of NASU (1959 – 2006). Recently Corresponding Members of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine are K. Andreyuk, B. Matselyukh, I. Skrypal’, N. Kovalenko, and M. Spivak, G. Iutynska who organize researches in highly demanded directions of microbiology and virology.

In 1937 it was a target of national significance to reveal the etiology of the disease that had caused mass loss of horses in the western areas of Ukraine and Belarus. The task had been set to the scientists of our Institute: P. Marusenko (Director, Head of the team), V. Drobotko (Scientific Supervisor), and microbiologists P. Yatel, D. Kudlai, B. Eisenman, M. Kolesnyk, M. Pidoplichko and B. Kagan. The complex approach to solve this task gave positive results the following year: the causes of the disease were established, and the disease itself was liquidated. On February 12, 1939, all the above scientists were awarded with orders for their success. It was the first case of rewarding the Ukrainian scientists with high state decorations.

In the postwar years, upon returning from evacuation, the Institute started to research into a possibility of production of antibiotics from microorganisms, microscopic fungi and plants. Studies of new antimicrobial medicines were expanded due to the use of alive bacterial cultures. This new approach, when some microbes were being used against other microbes to cure infectious diseases, developed significantly at the Institute. Soon over a dozen of probiotic preparations were developed to cure human, animal and birds’ dysbacterioses and plant diseases.

With L.Rubenchik’s arrival at the position of the Head of the Department of General and Soil Microbiology in 1944, research in ecology and geochemical activity of microorganisms started. Since then, the studies have been successfully going on. Soil microorganisms were studied at the population and coenotic levels to reveal their interactions with plants of different agrocenoses, many interesting data were obtained. Microbial polysaccharides were observed to be able to exert bioprotective effect upon humic acids, thereby positively affecting the soil’s humus balance. Mechanisms of interrelation between micro- and macrosymbionts at early recognition stages were revealed. A collection of streptomycetes and nitrogen-fixing bacteria as the basis for preparations for plant-growing was developed.

Since the 1960’s the Institute has been developing a new direction of study of litho- and heterotrophic bacteria and micromycetes as biocorrosion factors. The biogenic origin of corrosion of underground metal and concrete buildings was established; its main agents are thiobacteria and sulphate-reducing bacteria (K. Andreyuk). With machine-building, optic, radio-, telecommunications, etc. enterprises, and in depositories of cultural valuables, it is microscopic fungi that are the main destruction factor for the equipment, books, canvases, etc. The problem of ‘microbial corrosion of industrial materials and development of prevention methods’ proves inexhaustible and endless. That is why, certain tasks on this problem are still being dealt with nowadays. The departments of Technical Microbiology sector have studied many microorganisms of different taxonomic groups: yeasts, corynebacteria and lactobacteria, methane- and methanol-oxidizing bacteria, etc. Profound research on the problem of microbiological synthesis of proteins from mineral oil, natural gas and other non-food raw hydrocarbons has been conducted. Many biotechnologies to obtain different preparations and food products have been developed (Ye. Kvasnikov, V. Pidgorski, Yu. Malashenko, N. Kovalenko).

In 1954, by V. Drobotko’s initiative, research of plant viruses started at the Institute. In 1960 the Department of Virology headed by S. Moskovets was organized. The research in virology developed so fast that in 1963 the Sector of Virology headed by S. Gershenzon was founded, with the Institute renamed into that of Microbiology and Virology of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR. During functioning of the Sector of Virology (1963 – 1967), research of plant, animal and microorganisms’ viruses had been developing. That time the contemporary base for the virological research was formed; the pathogens of most important Ukrainian crops were revealed and studied, with their structure, physical-chemical and antigenic properties, strain composition and virus-cell interrelations researched. Viruses of cyanobacteria, fungi and insects were studied; methods and recommendations to fight viral diseases were developed. Recently scientists of the Institute study plant, microorganisms’ viruses and human and animal adenoviruses.

Under guidance of N. Diachenko, complex study of the components of adenoviruses and peculiarities of expression of their genomes was conducted. Lymphotropism of adenoviruses was established; first model of mixed infection of lymphocytes with adenoviruses, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Epstein-Barr virus of the herpes virus family was developed, and mutual viral interference observed. For the microorganisms’ viruses, the following were established: a possibility for stabilization of their lysogeny; prevention of phagolysis of industrially valuable microorganisms by them; module structure of moderate Erwinia phages, and the latter’s interrelation with other episome elements, bacteriocynes, critical plasmids, and relation with pathogenicity.

Original technologies of production of human and animal gamma-interferons were developed (M. Spivak). Significant results of the Institute in the past marked the base for its future development. The experience of the Institute’s scientists have caused the necessity for immediate solution of many theoretical issues related with the development of new and perfection of the existing technologies, environmental protection and rehabilitation, solution of microbiological and virological problems raised by agriculture, industry and health protection. Due to these, a notable attention should be paid to the research aimed at studying of the mechanisms of biological activity of microorganisms and viruses as the basis for development of new biotechnologies to make the required producers, substances and products so much needed by the humans. Taking into account the catastrophic environmental condition in Ukraine, contamination of the soils, rivers and other water basins with radionuclides, chemicals and other anthropogenic pollutants, it is necessary to immediately develop the research aimed at elaboration of microbiological means of treatment of the soils, industrial wastewaters and crops from contamination, with simultaneous release of valuable components and metals to be further used in different branches of national economy.

Study of the primary structure of genomes, metagenomic (genomics of certain ecosystem’s associations) analysis of microorganisms and viruses must become the basis for improvement of taxonomy and development of new approaches to control their vital functions. Traditionally, microorganisms must be studied as promising producers of antibiotics, enzymes, vitamins, lectins, polysaccharides, etc. It is the National Collection of Microorganisms and Viruses founded by the Institute is the basis for that. Today, the Collection contains over 20,000 strains and species of microorganisms that may become the basis for elaboration of newest medicines or food preparations, molecular- biological and gene-engineering research.

The work on cytology and ultra-structure of microorganisms’ cells is expected to expand. A peculiar attention will be paid to the research of the structure of cell walls, their exterior membrane and glycocalix to learn the interrelation mechanisms between microorganisms’ cells and human, animal and plant tissues and different surfaces. As far as Ukraine is in an acute need of energy sources, the microbiologists of the Institute have to actively contribute to the solution of this problem by development of energy production technologies from renewable sources.

The team of the Institute of Microbiology and Virology of the NASU has a big potential to solve all these problems. Traditionally, fundamental studies of the Institute are closely connected with their practical implementation in health protection, agricultural production and almost all branches of national economy where these developments are widely used. For the last years, 7 licenses for different biotechnologies have been sold abroad. For the close connection of its fundamental studies with their practical implementation and training of high-quality personnel, in 1978 the Institute was awarded with the Order of the Red Banner of Labour. It was the only case of such rewarding among all academic microbiological institutions of the former USSR.

Danylo Zabolotny museum

In Kryzhopil District, Vinnytsya Region, there is a picturesque village of Zabolotne. It is there, in the former village of Chobotarka, that Danylo Zabolotny, a prominent microbiologist and epidemiologist, was born, lived and is buried. Now, in the village there is D. Zabolotny’s Memorial Museum consisting of the house in which the future scientist was born, the garden and the tombs of Danylo Zabolotny’s and of his wife.

The interior of his parents’ house has remained as it was during his life; so have his personal belongings. In the old-fashioned bookcase, there are books with his remarks and with bookmarks made of dried flowers. At the window on the table, there is a Zeiss microscope, Academician Zabolotny’s companion in his journeys throughout the Asian deserts and Manchzhuria.

On the peg, there is an old straw hat. In one room, there are wax figures of D. Zabolotny and a peasant that came to him asking for medical advice. In D. Zabolotny’s home, everything remembers their master. Coming back from faraway expeditions, the scientist always used to bring home exotic plants and trees.

Even now, alongside with Ukrainian poplars and cherries, there grow Karelian birch and Ussuri maple. In 1966, an exposition building was constructed nearby. Its pieces tell of this great devotee of science’s life, in detail introducing its visitors to D. Zabolotny’s life and work. His scientific essays, documents, photographs, geographical maps, his parents’ and family photos, original copies of his synopses as a student and first scientific works are exhibited there.

The visitors of the Museum may learn of the record of Danylo Zabolotny’s experiment, when he putting his life at stake proved the possibility of human anti-cholera immunization. This experiment became a historic landmark not only of the cholera research, but of the development of microbiology on the whole. Another important stage in Zabolotny’s life was his struggle against plague. In the showcases, original materials telling on the fight with this disease are presented, and a panorama Danylo Zabolotny in the anti-plague expedition.

D. Zabolotny had to fulfill a historic mission to become the founder of epidemiology as a national science. That is why, the Museum presents documents, monographs, reports, photographs that are evidence to this. In 1928, being the President of the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Danylo Zabolotny founded the Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology. Today it is that Institute of Microbiology and Virology that bears his name. D. Zabolotny’s death was a hard loss for the academic community and the public at large. Hundreds of obituary telegrams sent by scientific institutions and scientists from throughout the world proved extraordinary significance of this Titan of Science.

The paths leading to D. Zabolotny’s Museum have never been overgrown with grass. His grateful offsprings keep on learning from him to serve unselfishly to their nation, to love their homeland, and to labour to all people’s benefit.

Prizes and awards

USSR STATE PRIZE IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Pidoplichko M.M., Bilay V.I. – “Development and implementation of new medicines” (1952)<
Kvasnikov E.I. – “Development the biotechnology of producing feed protein from petroleum by microorganisms” (1971)
Bilay V.Y., Nikolskaya A.A. – “Development the microbial biotechnology for the enzymes catalase and glucose oxidase production” (1978)

AWARD OF USSR COUNCIL OF MINISTERS

Smirnov V.V., Rubenchyk L.J., Andreyuk K.I., Bilay V.Y., Kozlova I.P., Koval Z. – for a series of papers "Microbial corrosion of industrial materials and measures for its prevention " (1983)

STATE PRIZE OF UKRAINE IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Smirnov V.V., Reznik S.R. – “Scientific basis for using bacteria, as medications and development preparation "Bacterin-SL on this basis” (1987)
Kvasnikov E.I., Kovalenko N.K .- “Development bacterial ferment “Herolakt” and yeast “Streptosan”. Industrial production and application” (1989)
Matselyukh B.P., Stryzhkova G.M., Stenko A.S. – for a series of papers "Genetics, selection and introduction of industrial microorganisms - producers of antibiotics and carotene” (1991)
Smirnov V.V., Reznik S.R., Slabospitska A.T., Sorokulova I.B., V.A. V'yunytska – for a series of papers "Theoretical study, development of industrial production and introduction into clinical practice of new medication BIOSPORINE probiotic" (1995)
Kvasnikov E.I., Pidgorskyi V.S., Kovalenko N.K., Nesterenko O.A., Golovach T.N., Matsuk V.M. – for a series of papers "Biology of lactic acid bacteria, the development of scientific approach for medications and products targeted to action on human and animal and their implementation the national economy" (1997)
Skrypal І.G., Panchenko L.P., Malinovskaya L.P., Egorov O.V. – for a series of papers "Theory and practice of antisignature oligodeoxyribonucleotides as universal antimicrobial agents"(2001)
Gvozdyak P.І., Matyshevska M.S., Votselko S.K., Lytvynchuk O.O. – "Theory and Practice for polysaccharides ENPOSAN and KSAMPAN production, the development of scientific approach and technologies used in the textile, chemical, food and agriculture" (2001)
Spіvak M.J., Lazarenko L.M., Smirnov V.V. – for a series of papers "Ecosystem monitoring of viral infections: diagnostic and prevention" (2005)
Varbanets L.D., Zdorovenko G.M., Zacharova I.Ya., Pirog T.P., Yakovleva L.M., Grinberg T.O. – “Bacterial glycopolymers: patterns of macromolecular structural organization, functional biological activity, aspects of application” (2009)

PRESIDENT AWARDS: NATIONAL ACADEMIES OF SCIENCE OF UKRAINE, BELARUS AND MOLDOVA

Smirnov V.V. – “Preparation and publication of catalogues of Ukrainian and Belarus culture collections of microorganisms” (2000)
Iutynska G.A., Valahurova O.V., Kozyrytska V.E. – for book “Streptomycetes: ecology, taxonomy, synthesis of biologically active substances and methods of their application "(2004)

PRESIDENT AWARD FOR YOUNG SCIENTISTS

Zagorodnja S.D. (as co-author) – for a series of works "The fundamental laws of the virus-cell interaction for diagnosis and treatment of herpes and human papillomavirus infection" (2008)
Levchuk J., Yuzvenko L.V., Sabirova T.Yu. – for the series of works "Molecular biological characterization of structural components fitorabdoviruses" (2009)

AWARD OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF UKRAINE FOR YOUNG SCIENTISTS

Poltavs’ka O.A., Garmasheva I.V. – for a series of works "Taxonomic position and biological activity of lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria” (2010).

ZABOLOTNY PRIZE OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCE OF UKRAINE

Awarded since 1968
Drobot’ko V.G. – for a series of publications "Volatile production - antibiotic substances of plants" (1968)
Bershova O.I. – for the monograph "Trace element and soil microorganisms" (1969)
Pidoplichko M.M., Bilay V.I. – for the monograph "Toxin-producing microscopic fungi - causative agents of human and animals diseases" (1970)
Rubenchyk L.J. – for the monograph "Organisms as biological indicators" (1972)
Andreyuk K.I. – For the monograph "Soil actinomycetes and higher plants" (1974)
Beltyukova K.G., Korolev I.B., Muras V.O. – for the monograph on "Bacterial diseases of legumes" (1976)
Kvasnikov E.I., Nesterenko O.A. – for the monograph "Lactic bacteria ways to use" (1979)
Malashenko U.R., Romanovska V.A. – for a series of publications "Properties of methane-oxidizing microorganisms and their cultivation problems" (1982)
Smirnov V.V., Reznik S.R. – for the monograph "Sporeforming aerobic bacteria - producers of biologically active substances" (1984)
Zatula D.G. – for a series of publications "Antigenic similarity of microorganisms and malignancy" (1986)
Zakharova I.Y., Kosenko L.V., Varbanets L.D. – for a series of publications "Bacterial polysaccharides and methods for their study" (1988)
Matselyukh B.P. – for the monograph "The genetic maps of microorganisms" (1990)
Zhdanova N.N., Vasilevskaya A.I . – for a series of publications "Melanin-containing fungi in extreme conditions" (1992)
Ivanov V.N. – for a series of publications "Growth kinetics and stehiometry of microbial populations” (1993)
Gvozdyak P.І., Matyshevska M.S. – for the monograph "Microbial polysaccharide KSANTAN" (1994)
Pidgorskyi V.S., Kovalenko E.O., Simonenko I.A. – for the monograph "Bacterial lectins " (1995)
Skrypal І.G., Babichyev V.V., Malinovskaya L.P. – for a series of publications "Fundamentals of pathogenic potencies of molicutes - causative agents of plant jaundice "(1996)
Mendzhul M.I., Nesterova N.V., Lysenko T.G. – for the monograph "Features of the structure and functioning of genomes cyanophage strategy" (1997)
Dyachenko N.S., Nosach L.M. – For a series of publications "Molecular properties of human lymphotropic viruses, including HIV, and their relationship to cells in mono-mixed infection as a basis for the development of etiotropic treatment and specific diagnostic methods" (1999)
Spіvak M.J., Lazarenko L.M. – for a series of publications “The role of interferon in the immunopathogenesis of bacterial and viral infections” (2001)
Iutynska G.O., Antypchuk A.F., Valahurova A.V. – for the monograph “The functioning of soil microbial communities under anthropogenic pressure” (2003)
Kurdish I.K., Patyka V.P. – for a series of publications "Scientific basis for the creation of the new generation of microbial preparations for plants" (2005)
Zaichenko O.M., Andrienko O.V., Tsyganenko K.S. – for the monograph “ Macrocyclic trichothecene mycotoxins” (2009).

MECHNIKOV PRIZE OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCE OF UKRAINE

Spіvak M.J., Lazarenko L.M – for a series of publications “Interferon and mononuclear phagocyte system” (2004)
Pidgorskyi V.S., Kovalenko E.O., Golovach T.N. – for a series of publications "Systematics, biological activity and the nature of the relationship of lactic acid bacteria with microorganisms” (2005).

PALLADIN PRIZE OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCE OF UKRAINE

Smirnov V.V. – for monograph “Fatty acid profiles of bacteria pathogenic to human and animals "(1995)
Spіvak M.J., Lazarenko L.M., Zholobak N.M. – for a series of works "Molecular biological characteristics interferon production and development scientific based approaches to the use of interferon products and its inducers at pathology" (2011).