Research Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology

Link to the Centre's Web Site.

Link to the Centre's Contributions.

 

The Research Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGIB) was founded in 1986 as a scientific unit of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Founder and longtime director and chief instigator of the ICGIB activities was Academician Georgi D. Efremov, and after his death in May 2011, the Center was renamed into the Research Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology “Georgi D. Efremov”.

The main goal of ICGIB is advancing scientific knowledge in the field of protein chemistry, molecular biology, genetic engineering and biotechnology, through scientific research, educational and practical courses for young scientific staff and postgraduate studies.

ICGIB acts as a national reference center for research, education and application of new technologies in the biomedical sciences and biomolecular sciences. ICGIB is the largest and most important institution in our country in the field of molecular genetics that has gained wide international recognition.

Since its establishing, the Center has been equipped with modern and sophisticated research equipment. In the last three years within the project “National reference center for genomics and proteomics”, funded by the European Commission and the initiative of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia for the modernization of research laboratories, the most advanced equipment for research in genomics and proteomics have been procured.

ICGIB staff consists of scientific and administrative-technical workers. The scientific research staff includes 4 Scientific Workers, 6 Researches employed within the infrastructure project of the European Commission, two Young Associates involved in the application activity of the center and three Administrative-Technical workers.

Researchers are constantly staying in the ICGIB within the specialization in Medical Genetics, postgraduates and doctoral candidates who prepare parts of their theses in ICGIB, graduate students volunteers and undergraduates from the Institute of Biology who perform practice during the summer months.

Over the past 25 years more than 30 research projects have been realized in the ICGIB, most of them in the field of molecular medicine, such as molecular characterization of the most common monogenic hereditary diseases in Macedonia and the neighboring countries, molecular epidemiology of infectious diseases, molecular bases of the most common malignant disease and DNA markers in human identification. Projects from other areas have been conducted in ICGIB, such as genetic testing of the Ohrid trout, isolation and production of Taq polymerase, molecular identification of tobacco sort, identification of bacterial sorts in the cave Vrelo etc. 

The following projects and programs are in progress:

The study of molecular defects of numerous monogenic diseases (haemoglobinopathies, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, hemophilia A, spinal muscular atrophy, Huntington’s disease, fragile X syndrome, hereditary deafness, Friedrich’s ataxia, haemochromatosis, cystinuria, phenylketonuria, galactosaemia, Rett syndrome, Darier’s syndrome, Achondroplasia, etc.);

Genetics of Infertility;

Molecular basis of malignant disease (cancer of the breast, prostate, testes, uterus, lungs, tc.);

Quick and noninvasive methods for prenatal diagnosis;

The study of DNA markers in the population of the Republic of Macedonia and application in forensic medicine and criminology;

The study of infectious diseases (Human Papilloma Virus in women with cervical changes, hepatitis B and C virus infection and its role in the etiology of chronic hepatic disease and hepatocellular carcinoma).

In the past 25 years, as a result of the research work in the Center, more than 150 scientific papers have been published, mostly in international journals. The results of the scientific work of ICGIB have been presented with more than 200 posters or oral presentations at international and national scientific meetings.

Since 2001 ICGIB – Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts have been preparing and have been publishing the international scientific Balkan Journal of Medical Genetics.

ICGIB is the first institution in the Republic of Macedonia, which has begun to use the techniques of recombinant DNA technology in the diagnosis and prevention of inherited, malignant and infectious diseases and in forensic medicine.

Besides research and applied activities, one of the primary goals of ICGIB is education of young scientists through research. In the past 25 years numerous young scientific personnel have been educated in ICGIB in the field of molecular biology and the techniques of genetic engineering and biotechnology.

ICGIB cooperates with numerous institutions of the Republic of Macedonia, medical institutions from the neighboring countries, and with many scientific institutions from various European and world countries. The cooperation with these institutions includes collaboration on joint scientific research projects, specialization and training of scientific personnel, invited lecturers and exchange of literature.