Attraction of the leading scientists to Russian institutions of higher learning, research organizations of the governmental academies of sciences, and governmental research centers of the Russian Federation

Atherothrombosis Laboratory

About the laboratory

This laboratory was established as part of a scientific research project supported with a monetary grant awarded by the Government of the Russian Federation under a grant competition designed to provide governmental support to scientific research projects implemented under the supervision of the world's leading scientists at Russian institutions of higher learning (Resolution of the RF Government No.220 of April 9, 2010).

Link to the official website

Grant Agreement No.:

Name of the institution of higher learning:
Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry named after A.I. Evdokimov

Fields of scientific research:
Basic medicine


Leading scientist


Leading scientist's full name: Margolis, Leonid Borisovich

Link to leading scientist's profile

Academic degree and title:
Doctor of biological sciences, professor

Job title:
Head of the Department of intercellular interactions of the National Institute of Children's Health and Development
Eunice Kennedy Shriver Person of the National Institutes of Health (NICHD NIH), Deputy Director of the Center for 3D Cultivation of Tissues of the US National Institutes of Health (NASA/NIH)

Field of scientific interests:
Virology, immunology, tissue, cellular, and molecular biology, pathogenesis of atherosclerosis

Scientific recognition:
The Department of Intercellular Interactions spearheaded by L. B. Margolis has made a significant contribution to the development of tissue biology and virology and become one of the world's recognized leaders in the field thanks to the development of innovative technologies and fundamentally new creative approaches to resolving some of the most pressing problems in this field. In particular, in collaboration with his colleagues, Professor L. B. Margolis has made a significant contribution to improved understanding of pathogenesis of various infections in human tissues, including HIV and herpes viruses in lymphoid tissue, uterine cervix and vaginal tissues. The experimental systems developed at his laboratory have been recognized and accepted throughout the world as the models of researching the pathogenesis of development and transmission of HIV-1, as well as pre-clinical testing of antiviral drugs and microbicides.

Over the past several years, Professor Margolis has been developing an integrated approach to researching interactions among pathogens in tissues. These interactions constantly occur in vivo, but they have not been sufficiently studied due to the lack of experimental models. Professor Margolis and his team members have developed them. This approach has enabled his department to become an important scientific research center. The laboratory staff members have made several very important discoveries in the field of pathogenesis of infected tissues whose outcomes have been published in some of the world's leading journals, as well as patented. These discoveries have generated a great deal of interest within the scientific community and drawn mass media's attention. The laboratory spearheaded by Professor Margolis has become an informal center of "collaboration among the world's leading experts" in an attempt to develop much needed medications. The collaboration involves Emory University in Atlanta, Rega Institute in Belgium, University of Cardiff and University of London in Great Britain, as well as the University of Montreal in Canada.

The research project under consideration will be implemented by Professor Margolis' laboratory to continue studying the fundamental mechanisms of tissue pathogenesis. The laboratory is developing new concepts of microbiological interaction within infected tissues which is the determining factor of normal and pathological tissue functioning. In particular, the project team plans to do some research to determine the role of regular low-pathogenic viruses found in most of the healthy humans that are capable of determining the progress of certain health conditions. The new concept that is being experimentally tested at Professor Margolis' laboratory is attracting researchers' attention and has been discussed in a special article published in "Nature" magazine.

Most recent achievements:
Development of a protocol for analysis of the cellular composition of atheromas and identification of the phenotypical composition of atheromic lymphocytes (ATVB, 2011).
Analysis of the antigens of individual viral particles (J Clin Invest 2013).
Development of an ex vivo system of HIV transmission via sexual contact based on uterine cervix explants, and determination of the role of interleucine 7 in this process (PLoS Pathogen, 2013).
Development of an experimentally substantiated explanation of why HIV-1 transmission depends on specific menstrual cycle phase (Mucosal Immunology, 2013).
Development of new tissue models required to research microbial pathogenesis and assess the effectiveness of antimicrobial medications ex vivo (Nature Protocols 2008).
Discovery of the acyclovir's ability to suppress HIV reverse transcriptase in tissues infected with herpes virus (Cell Host & Microbes 2008, Lancet Infect Dis. 2009, Curr. Opin. Infect. Dis. 2010).
Launch of a new multi-centered clinical research of acyclovir's effects on HIV-positive patients (Bench-to-Bed award).
Development and ex vivo testing of acyclovir-based pro-medications that suppress HIV infection regardless of herpes viruses (J. Med. Chem. 2009, J. Infect. Diseases 2010).
Development of a new concept of multiple gatekeepers in the process of HIV transmission (Nature Microbiology Rev 2006, Journal of Translational Medicine 2010).
Development of a new concept of co-infection with two or more pathogens that determine the progress of an illness (Cell Host &Microbe, 2009).
Development of methods of researching lymphocytes found within the mucous membranes of vagina and uterine cervix, as well as the gatekeeping mechanism of HIV-1 transmission (Mucosal Immunology 2010).
Search for new factors within the host organism that participate in the process of transmission of viral infection (J. Virol 2006; Cell 2007).
The process of cellular activation as the driving force of HIV infection in tissues (Blood, 2007, 2008, Semin. Immunology 2008).
Discovery of new mechanisms of interaction between microbes in patients with co-infections (J. Virol., AIDS, JID 2004-2008).
Four applications for NIH patents in the assessment of development and suppression of HIV infection (2004-2008).

Awards and distinctions:
1991-1994, Outstanding researcher prize in medicine and biology from the RF Ministry of tertiary education.
1993, Fogarty International Research Collaboration Award, NIH.
1992-1994, Welcome Trust Award (Great Britain).
1991-1992, Yamagava-Yoshida Memorial International Cancer Research Grant, International Union Against Cancer.
1999, 2001-2005, NIH Intramural Targeted Antiviral Program Award.
2002, 2003, 2009, National Institute of Children's Health and Development prizes.
2006, 2011, NIH Director's prize.
2007-2008, International Professor, American Association for Microbiology.
2010, Annual Prize of the 17th International Conference "HIV, cancer, and public health".
2010-2011 NIH-India prize.
2010, St. Petersburg University Prize.
2011, NIH AIDS Research Department prize.
2011, Nomination of NICHD directors for the right to compete for the newly introduced title "Outstanding Researcher".
2012, Adjunct Professor at the University of Ilia, Georgia.

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