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Nov 27, 2017 - Science and innovations
FEFU creates center for molecular technologies to combat pandemic threats in Asia-Pacific region

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The International Education and Research Department of Molecular Technologies will be opened at the School of Biomedicine of Far Eastern Federal University with the support of the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Rospotrebnadzor (Russian consumer protection agency) in 2018. The new center will train employees of diagnostic laboratories in East Asian countries and certify professionals for working with domestic test systems for the detection of infectious disease agents.

According to Mikhail Shchelkanov, Doctor of Biology, Head of the Research Laboratory of Microbial Ecology, FEFU School of Biomedicine, high population density in the Asia-Pacific region, urbanization, and increased cross-border movements of people, create favorable conditions for the rapid spread of newly emerging dangerous infections (SARS, highly pathogenic influenza, coronavirus, HIV, and others).

According to the expert, in order to combat pandemic threats, experts in Asian countries need to share experience, bring together evaluation methods, conduct joint research, improve their qualifications, and implement international health and sanitary regulations. Russian contribution to the common cause is to be made by the new department of the FEFU School of Biomedicine. The Central Research Institute of Epidemiology will equip it with modern equipment for PCR-based diagnostics (identification of causative agents of infectious diseases) with workplaces for conducting a full cycle of molecular biological studies.

“The use of common methodological approaches and test systems of the Russian production, which have proven themselves in various parts of the world—sometimes, in very difficult conditions—will further consolidate the efforts of the international community in combating dangerous epidemic situations,” said Professor Mikhail Shchelkanov.

“A pilot course for the faculty members of FEFU and Central Research Institute of Epidemiology will be held in Moscow in the Training Center of the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Rospotrebnadzor in March 2018. The laboratory diagnostics specialists from Vietnam have already applied for training,” said Nadezhda Nikolaeva, the Head of the Training Center of the Central Research Institute of Rospotrebnadzor. “The first lesson will allow to create the most effective format of the course and to improve its program taking into account the wishes and opportunities of colleagues from FEFU and students.”

The creation of the center will continue cooperation in the field of medical technologies, which FEFU and Rospotrebnadzor announced at the third Eastern Economic Forum. Joint research and academic programs are planned for the development of international cooperation to ensure the sanitary and epidemiological welfare of the population in the Asia-Pacific region.