- The Master Program in Nanobiotechnology strives to elevate achievement and enhance the education of Master students to be accepted into a global science, providing an intellectual and social environment that enhances the quality of graduate education, based on the values of excellence and mutual respect;
- In the belief that the most important learning derives from the personal encounter and joint work of teacher and students, program encourages postgraduates to participate in scientific research.
Through the master’s degree in the field of nanobiotechnology students:
- Gain an understanding of emerging biomedical technologies, including Raman spectroscopy, cryoelectron microscopy, tissue regeneration, and the use of nanomaterial for drug delivery.
- Build experience in experimental design, scientific data analysis, writing and communication, ethical practices, and effective collaboration.
- Develop knowledge in life science theory as it relates to nanobiotechnology.
1 YEAR of STUDY
- Foreign language;
- History and methodology of biology;
- Practical biology.
- Introduction to nanobiotechnology;
- Optical microscopy;
- Nanostructure biosynthesis;
- Membrane and nuclear medicine;
- Structural and functional proteomics;
- Molecular mechanisms of cell anti-oxidation;
- Molecular modeling and molecular dynamics.
- Up to 6 Months to be spent in the Lab, related to the student’s scientific work in Moscow Lomonosov University
2 YEAR of STUDY
- Foreign language;
- Current issues of biology;
- Bioinformatics and IT.
- Nanosystems and nanodevices;
- Biophysics of membrane processes;
- Molecular genomics and genetic engineering;
- Nanostructured materials;
- Mathematical methods in Raman spectroscopy;
- Raman spectroscopy in cell investigation;
- Creative writing
Working with a thesis supervisor, students conduct in-depth research on a topic relevant to their work experience or academic interests, producing high quality results. They’ll obtain a solid understanding of how scientific research is executed and communicated.
Scientific work is performed in the number of Labs equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. Three major scientific directions are currently available for scientific work of students:
- Cryo-electron microscopy of nanomolecular machines;
- Structure and functions of membrane proteins;
Upon successful completion of this program the graduates have acquired skills that enable them to strongly improve products and processes in the organizations in which they operate. Thus, the program contributes to the high demand for skilled workers in the field of nanobiotechnology.
After graduation students can apply for any PhD program in nanobiotechnology, biophysics or structural biology; some program alumni are already enrolled into the PhD programs in Hong Kong University, Moscow State University, University of British Columbia etc. Alumni can also work in Biotechnological companies (Thermo Fisher Scientific, Johnson & Johnson etc.)
Scientific work description
- Cryo-electron microscopy of nanomolecular machines
Molecular nanomachines are protein complexes that transform chemical or solar energy into mechanical force and movement to ensure the functioning of the cell. The chemical energy is usually supplied from ATP hydrolysis. Recently, nanomachines were successfully used to develop novel energy (Sluchanko et al, 2018; Sidorenko et al, 2018; Brazhe et al, 2015) and data storage (Moore, Suda, and Oiwa 2009),as well as drug delivery systems (Kageyama et al. 2009).In order to successfully develop new bioengineered nanomachines, the structure and functioning of their molecular “prototypes” – large protein molecules and their complexes – should be thoroughly studied.The clarification of the relationship between protein structures and their dynamic functions in molecularmachines is an actual bioengineering task. Possessing knowledgeof the structure of individual domains and parts of a molecular machine, one can employ bioengineering approaches to create analogues for further use in drag delivery (Kageyama et al. 2009), for energy storage (Sluchanko et al, 2018) andfor use in optoelectronics (Kim at al. 2017). In connection to drug delivery, basal plates and tail thorns of bacteriophages (Inaba and Ueno 2018), as well as the type VI bacterial secretion system (T6SS) (Shneider et al 2013), are very promising. We also plan to study other important molecular machines, for example, pigment-protein complexes and rhodopsin, their applications for nanoelectronics. The obtained results will be published in high-rank journals and will serve as the prerequisites for further design of nanomachines prototypes.
The structure of molecular machines will be explored using modern structural and functional approaches, including Raman spectroscopy, cryo-electron microscopy, dynamic light scattering and molecular modeling.We have recently obtained nearly-atomic resolution structures of plant and bacteria viruses and their proteins by cryo-EM and image processing (Clare et al. 2015; Sokolova et al. 2014; Donchenko et al. 2017; Stanishneva-Konovalova et al, 2019). The atomic models of proteins with unknown crystal structures were simulated by homology, and their dynamics has been estimated using supercomputer resources for trajectories over 1 micro sec (Moldogazieva et al, 2018).
- Structure and functions of membrane proteins
2.1 The laboratory of physical chemistry of biological membranes.
During the last 5 years our scientific team has studied several hybrid systems, the common property of which is the transfer of energy of electronic excitation. This principle makes it possible to use the energy donor as an additional light collecting antenna for the acceptor molecule, thus expanding the spectrum of action of the acceptor. This phenomenon is certainly the basis for the functioning of photosynthetic membranes, but the principle is universal and can be adapted to artificial systems, including those based on nanoparticles.
We have investigated the interaction of quantum dots (QD), various pigment-protein complexes and photosensitizers. It was found that hybrid systems in solutions can be formed due to electrostatic interactions. However, due to covalent cross-linking of CT and energy acceptor, the fluorescence intensity of the latter can be increased many times. It has been shown that the complex of CT and polycathionicaluminiumphthalocyanins (PC) remains stable under physiological conditions and can be modified by protein sequences, recognizable receptors and providing internalization of the photosensitizer complex. A significant increase in the fluorescence intensity of FC and the yield of active oxygen forms is observed in cells. The detected effects are of interest in terms of selection of components for hybrid photosensitizers.
Another area of work in 2016-2020 was research in the field of molecular mechanisms for regulation of photosynthetic and photoprotective reactions of cyanobacteria. These mechanisms are the basis for successful adaptation of cyanobacteria to different environmental conditions and, accordingly, determine the production of biomass. As some types of cyanobacteria are currently regarded as promising biotechnology platforms for the production of biodiesel, molecular hydrogen and other high value-added substances, understanding the mechanisms for the adaptation of cyanobacteria to stress conditions is an urgent task. An interesting and important event was our discovery of purple forms of carotenoid proteins, which, as it turned out, can regulate the transport of hydrophobic carotenoid molecules between the membranes and water-soluble proteins. This discovery has prospects for a number of biotechnological and biomedical applications, as it reveals the mechanisms of controlled antioxidant delivery. We are currently working on the development of new optogenetic control tools.
2.2 Laboratory of space biology.
The research interest of our group is focused on the study of the effect of various extreme factors and pathological processes on the redox status of cells and tissues of animals and humans, changes in the conformation of heme-containing proteins, the state of the plasma membrane of cells, as well as studying the effect of substances of natural origin on the resistance of cells and the body to extreme factors.
Oxidative stress can lead to various pathological conditions, therefore, the assessment of the redox state of the cell and the conformation of heme-containing proteins involved in oxygen transfer and cellular respiration are so important.
In our studies, to evaluate the redox state of the cell, we use modern spectrophotometric and fluorometric methods that allow us to assess both the state of the antioxidant system and the extent of oxidative damage.
To study the conformation of heme-containing proteins, the method of Raman spectroscopy is used.To carry out a comprehensive assessment of the protective properties, we evaluate their total antioxidant activity, the total amount of polyphenols, and the ability to inhibit chemiluminescence induced by the Fenton reaction.The results of our research are important for studying the mechanisms of oxidative stress and possible ways to prevent its development.
The main focus of our group has always been on developing novel fibroin-based biomaterials for medicine application. Research and development novel biologically active materials for biomedical application is high impact objective for modern science. The vast range of applications biomaterials include implants (dental, bone and soft tissue implants), burn and wound dressings and artificial skin, tissue adhesives and sealants, drug delivery systems, matrices for cell encapsulation and tissue engineering, sutures etc.
Current research interests span fibroin-based bioresorbable biomaterials for wound dressing, prevention and treatment fibrosis, hollow organ regeneration, neuroregeneration. The peculiarity of this research group is interdisciplinarity. The work in the group covers the following areas of modern science: processing of biomaterials, characterization of materials, study of the interaction of material with cells in vitro and in vivo, in vivo monitoring and evaluation of biomaterials and their characteristics.