On 2 October, the 4th International scientific conference “Post-genomic technologies in medicine: theory and practice” was held at Voronezh Sate University. The conference was organised by the Agency for Innovation and Development of Economic and Social Projects in association with Voronezh State University, Burdenko Voronezh State Medical University, G.F. Morozov's Voronezh State Forest Engineering University, and the Research Institute for Post-genomic technologies.
“For the fourth time, leading scientists, students, and practitioners have come together to discuss the most urgent and important issues in post-genomic technologies. We are glad that we can serve as a platform for effective collaboration between business partners, scientists, and students”, said the rector of VSU, Dmitry Endovitsky, in his welcoming speech. He also read out an address on behalf of the deputy minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, Grigory Trubnikov.
“We are trying to encourage the business community and public to take part in solving important problems. Organising a conference is one of the ways to do it. We also initiated a number of R&D projects that allowed us to consolidate our community and create a separate cluster for research of post-genomic technologies”, – said Sergey Ogvintsev, the chief analyst of OKU “Innovations and Development Agency”.
“The conference will discuss a large variety of problems concerning the introduction and use of the achievements of modern genomics and proteomics, as well as research diagnostics and the consequent correction of the work in the sphere of agricultural and medical biotechnologies. Our conference traditionally focused on the medical sphere, but this year we are going to widen the scope of the conference and discuss the use of post-genomic technologies both in medicine and in forestry. There are large agricultural companies in the Voronezh Region that are eager to invest in modern technologies. This means that our research projects are of greater interest and the results can be implemented quickly enough. Obviously, the medical sphere still remains the priority area. This year we’ll focus on oncology and ageing problems”, said the Vice Rector for Research and Innovations, Vasily Popov.
The audience was also welcomed by Andrey Budnevsky, Vice Rector at Burdenko Voronezh State Medical University, and Svetlana Morozova, Vice Rector for Research and Innovations of Voronezh State Forest Engineering University.
The conference was divided into following sections: “The theory and practice of the application of post-genomic technologies in oncology”, “The theory and practice of immunohistochemistry in biomedicine. Molecular morphology”, “Molecular mechanisms of ageing, and post-genomic ideas in gerontology”, “Legal and ethical aspects of using post-genomic technologies in medicine”, and “Post-genomic technologies in forestry”.
The keynote speakers of the conference traditionally were the leading Russian and foreign experts in biomedicine, molecular oncology, and post-genomic technologies in forestry, including Professor Jan Vijg from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (New York), who created transgenic mouse models in order to study the mutagenesis in vivo. The models are now used to study the possible relation between the ageing mechanisms and genome damage.
On 3 October, the work of the conference continued at Burdenko Voronezh State Medical University, G.F. Morozov's Voronezh State Forest Engineering University, and the family practice centre “Olymp zdoroviya”, which held a round table discussion of the “Post-genomic technologies in biomedicine and ageing problems”.
In 2015–2017, over 1,000 experts, researchers, and students participated in the conference, and over 70 world leading experts made their presentations as keynote speakers.
The event also included a press-conference, where the participants answered a number of questions.
“What benefits can post-genomic technologies give each of us personally?”
“The term itself, post-genomic technologies, became popular after a famous international research project called the “Genome Project”. In 2002, the sequencing of the genome of a single human was completed. It allowed scientists to conclude that the DNA somehow contains information about the future development of the individual. It also contains information about most diseases. So the most important question for today’s medical science is how to use this information effectively. For example, in the future it may be used to prevent certain diseases. Another proposed benefit is the opportunity to control various pathologies and reduce proneness to illness”, – said Vasily Popov.
“How can you define ageing today? Is it an illness or a development stage of a human body?”
“Basically, it is not an illness. It is a natural process and we shouldn’t qualify it as an illness. However, the older we get, the more susceptible we are to various age-related diseases. So what we are interested in is the relation between the ageing process and the consequent diseases. Why do we suffer from more health problems as we get older? It is vital to manufacture medicine that could reduce the chances of getting a serious age-related disease or cure all of them”, – said Professor Jan Vijg from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (New York).