• Institute of Biology and Immunology of Reproduction
      "Acad. Kiril Bratanov"

      • Main research topics

        Head of Department: Prof. Dr. Maria Georgieva Ivanova, das

        Main research topics

        The Department of Reproductive Biotechnologies and Cryobiology of Gametes has a long history that is closely related to the development of the Institute since its creation. The scientific and practical subject of the department is the founder of the Institute’s theme and proudly takes place as a leader among the academic community in the field of biology and immunology of reproduction of animals and humans.

        In the first years of its development, the scientific theme of the department has been mainly associated with research on the biotechnology for artificial insemination in animals. These scientific developments have contributed to enrich and improve the gene pool in Bulgaria. The department has developed and implemented for the first time in practice different methods, media and technological approaches for long-term storage of gametes. As a result, the practical use of the reproductive potential of breeding animals has achieved high economic efficiency and the first cryo-banks for valuable and elite breeding stock have been created.

        Today’s scientific research in the department is focused in two main directions: "Breeding of farm animals, biology and biotechnology of reproduction" and "Physiology of animals and humans". At present a large part of the research is associated with the study of the problems of the reproductive cryobiology, in light of contemporary biological, structural and functional analysis of the gametes, in order to regulate and improve the fertility and fecundity of the animals.

        Currently, the scientific research of the department focuses on one of the priority programs of the Bulgarian science, related to improving the quality of life and living nature, namely: Biotechnology, food and health. The main objective is to contribute to the rapid genetic progress and efficiency of reproduction in farm animals. The main research approaches in the department are related to studies that have the potential to turn into practical applications, both at home and abroad.

        • Innovative studies for the development and integration of applied research with business interest in the field of reproductive biotechnology and cryobiology of stem cells, gametes and embryos.
        • Establishment of joint research teams of scientists from the Department and lecturers from universities and promoting new opportunities to work with the modern equipment, property of the Institute.
        • Involvement of young scientists (graduates and doctoral students) in training to increase the capacity of the research collectives.
        • Development and application for funding of national and European programmes, including the Framework Programmes for Research and the Structural Funds.

        The main scientific direction of the department is: "Environmental factors and cell markers responsible for the structural and functional status of gametes and cells during in vitro storage and cryopreservation in relation to the optimization of biotechnology." This direction is based on the scientific and applied interest to improve the existing biotechnologies, to increase the economic efficiency of raising and breeding of poultry and livestock, and to provide new scientific works for use in biology and regenerative medicine. The main research problems are consistent with the scientific interests of the staff of the Department, with the funded research projects currently in development, and with the perspective to contract new financing projects. In the last three years in the Department of Reproductive Biotechnologies and Cryobiology of Gametes" two PhD and one DsC dissertations had been defended.

        Basic research problems

        • Development of models and methods for improvement of the cryo-techniques and biotechnologies for storage of gametes, related to conservation and sustainable development of indigenous and endangered animal species;
        • Studies on environmental factors and cell markers responsible for the cryo-tolerance and cryo-resistance of the semen during in vitro storage;
        • Studies on cellular, sub-cellular and molecular level on the biological role of the media and biologically active substances in relation to the protection of the structure and function of gametes.
        • Isolation and characterization of seminal plasma proteins and identification of their role in the mechanism of protection of the gametes.
        • Cryo-biological research on embryonic stem cells.
        • Comparative studies on methods for isolation, cultivation, differentiation and cryopreservation of hematopoietic stem cells.
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