Sechenov Institute of Evolutionary Physiology and Biochemistry
Russian Academy of Sciences

About InstituteINSTITUTE HISTORY

INSTITUTE HISTORY

Sechenov Institute of Evolutionary Physiology and Biochemistry of Russian Academy of Sciences has been known since early 1950s. The organization and development of the Institute are connected with the name of the founder of evolutionary physiology as an independent science, outstanding Soviet physiologist – academician L.A. Orbeli.

орбели

Orbeli L.A.
1882-1958

At the heart of the Institute was a small group of scientists especially established for the individual work of academician L. A. Orbeli according to the resolution of the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences in Оctober 1950. Initially the group consisted of 8 people, their research was focused on the investigation of formation of the highest nervous activity of the child. In September 1954 this group was reorganized into the Laboratory of Evolutionary Physiology of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. The task of the laboratory was to study the functions of the nervous system of animals and humans during ontogenesis, as well as to explore the effects of ionizing radiation on animal organisms. By early 1955, the laboratory already consisted of 37 people.At the heart of the Institute was a small group of scientists especially established for the individual work of academician L. A. Orbeli according to the resolution of the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences in Оctober 1950. Initially the group consisted of 8 people, their research was focused on the investigation of formation of the highest nervous activity of the child. In September 1954 this group was reorganized into the Laboratory of Evolutionary Physiology of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. The task of the laboratory was to study the functions of the nervous system of animals and humans during ontogenesis, as well as to explore the effects of ionizing radiation on animal organisms. By early 1955, the laboratory already consisted of 37 people.

 

In January 1956 on the base of that laboratory the Sechenov Institute of Evolutionary Physiology of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR was founded. L.A. Orbeli was appointed the Director of the Institute. In April 1956, the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR on the proposal of L. A. Orbeli adopted a resolution of the Institute structure and a plan for the development of researches for the coming years. And soon the 1st Institute ‘s laboratory  bulding on Staropargolovsky Avenue (now Ave. Maurice Thorez) was finished.

The main research topics of the Institute at the time of its organization were formulated as follows: studying of the development of functions in onto- and phylogeny; clarification of the main patterns of this development and mechanisms of biological functions transformation under the influence of natural environmental factors; investigation of specific patterns and physiological mechanisms of higher nervous activity improvement of the child caused by biological patterns and history of human society development.

By the end of 1957, the Institute included 9 laboratories, 8 of which were formed on the basis of the Institute itself, and one was transferred from the former P.F. Lesgaft Natural Science Institute. In addition to physiological laboratories, units that studied biochemistry, morphology and pathology of human higher nervous activity were included in the structure of the Institute

However, L.A. Orbeli did not have time to complete the organization of the Institute: he had gone on December 9, 1958. But he managed to make the main thing – evolutionary physiology acquired a solid basis, a wide perspective and a foundation of organization.

After L.A. Orbeli ‘s death, the Institute was headed by his closest assistant and co-worker, a well-known Soviet physiologist, a member of the AMN of the USSR A.G. Ginecinsky. Under his leadership, the Institute continued to grow and was improved.

Гинецинский

 Ginecinsky A.G.
1895-1962

крепс

Creps E.M.
1899-1985

From June 1960 to March 1975, the institute was headed by acad. E.M. Creps, an author of the fundamental researches in comparative physiology and biochemistry of the nervous system. He was a scientist from I.P. Pavlov group and he had worked with L.A. Orbeli During this period, the Institute was enlarged with new laboratories and replenished with modern experimental equipment. It was a time of successful development of evolutionary and biochemistry researches under the leadership of E.M. Creps. These steps led to the renaming of the Institute as the Institute of Evolutionary Physiology and Biochemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR named after I.M. Sechenov.

In 1967 the second Institute laboratory building was finished which made it possible to expand investigations in the main directions of evolutionary physiology, biochemistry and morphology. By the end of 1967 the Institute already has 23 laboratories and two research groups.

In November 1969 a monument to the founder of the Institute, acad. L.A. Orbeli was erected in front of the first laboratory building on M. Toreza Avenue.

 

From 1975 to 1980, the director of the Institute was acad. V.A. Gowyrin, who joined the staff of L.A. Orbeli in the year of Institute foundation. The name of V.A. Gowyrin is connected with the discovery of fundamental facts in the field of physiology of the vegetative nervous system. In these years the structure of the Institute has been further improved (22 laboratories and 6 groups have been transformed into 5 departments based on research topics) and general units have been established (a group of instrumental methods of analysis and a department of scientific and technical information).

Говырин2

Gowyrin V.A.
1924-1994

Свидерский

V.L. Svidersky
1931 – 2013

From 1981 to 2004 the Institute was headed by acad. of RAS V.L. Svidersky – a famous scientist in the field of comparative and evolutionary physiology of the nervous system, head of the one of the oldest laboratories of the Institute – Laboratory of Neurophysiology of Invertebrates.

From 2004 to 2015 the Institute was headed by acad. of RAS Veselkin Nikolai Petrovich, an outstanding neurophysiologist, Head of the Laboratory of Evolution of Inter-neuronal Interactions.

From July 17, 2005 to the present the Institute is headed by Sechenov Institute of Evolutionary Physiology and Biochemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences is headed by Mikhail Leonidovich Firsov, doctor of biological sciences Head of the Laboratory of the Evolution of Senses.

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