The Institute of Biology and Immunology of Reproduction “Acad. K. Bratanov” is founded in 1938. Till now the Institute is recognized at national and international ground as a leader with its scientific investigations in the field of reproductive biology and immunology in animals and humans. The scientific scope comprises investigations on cellular and molecular mechanisms of biological recognition in reproduction; factors and mechanisms that participate in the gametogenesis, fertilization, implantation and pregnancy; elucidation of processes of auto-reactivity and autoimmune response in reproduction; revealing the role of bio-molecules and metabolic processes for cryopreservation and storage of reproductive tissues and cells (stem cells and semen); development of biotechnology approaches for artificial fertilization, micromanipulation and embryotransfer in farm animals.
The investigations are performed in five departments: Immunobiology of Reproduction, Reproductive Biotechnologies and Cryobiology of Gametes, Embryobiotechnologies in animals, Molecular Immunology and Immunoneuroendocrinology.
Department of Immunobiology of Reproduction
Fundamental problems concerning factors and mechanisms regulating cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis in female and male reproductive system; identification, characterization and functional activity of receptors and ligand molecules participating into gametes interactions; immune-endocrine regulation of ovarian function and regulatory factors and cellular mechanisms of embryo implantation and pregnancy are investigated in the department.
Department of Reproductive Biotechnologies and Cryobiology of Gametes
The scientific activity of the department targets one of the priority programs of Bulgarian science related to improving of quality of life, farm animals species and environmental conditions, namely biotechnology, food and health. The main goal is to promote a rapid genetic progress and increase of reproductive efficiency of farm animals. The scientific investigations are directed towards development and integration of applied scientific innovations in reproductive biotechnologies and cryobiology of stem cells, gametes and embryos.
Department of Embryobiotechnologies in animals
The scientific and applied activities of the department are focused on the investigation of reproductive complications in farm animals. The aim is to develop methods and approaches for better utilization of animals’ natural reproductive abilities. Investigations on superovulation, estrous synchronization between donors and recipients (cows, sheep, goats, bulls) by hormonal medication and hormonal schemes in estrous and early and late anestrous season for improvement of embryobiotechnologies are performed for different species as well as methods for in vitro cultivation of embryos for their long-term preservation and further practical application in the.
Department of Molecular Immunology
The scientific interests of this department are focused on: investigations of autoimmune mechanisms in diseases of reproductive system like endometriosis; investigations on tumor specific antigens and neo-angiogenesis in prostate cancer; regenerative medicine with theoretical and practical significance; obtaining and characterization of mesenchymal stem cells from tissues and organs of patients and investigation of the perspectives for their clinical applications.
Department of Immunoneuroendocrinology
The major scientific orientation of the department is directed towards fundamental and applicable medico-biological investigations in animal and human physiology with main emphasis on reproductive health and quality of life. The experimental work aims at investigation of new scientific approaches for treatment of important endocrine and immune system mediated dysfunctions in female and male reproductive systems. Mainly the influence of environmental and urbanization related factors, like stress and disturbed circadian rhythms, are explored. The specific subject under investigation in vivo and in vitro is the interaction between the adrenal steroid hormones and melatonin concerning the physiological and pathophysiological forms of functional plasticity and its influence on the immune homeostasis.