Scientific-Research Activities

In the frames of 2019 Call of State Research Grants for Basic Research, which is administered by the LEPL Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation of Georgia, have been funded two joint projects with participation of the Petre Shotadze Tbilisi Medical Academy:
1.       Discovery and understanding role of epigenetic alterations in patients with hematological malignancies residing in Country of Georgia a region affected by Chernobyl explosion; Ilia State University.
2.       Participation of ovarian cyst mucins in formation of autoantibodies IgG cross-reacting with tumor growth factor human chorionic gonadotropin and its subunits; Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University.

Projects Funded in the Frames of 2019 Call of State Research Grants for Basic Research Results

Principal Investigator:  Gela Beselia
Coordinator: Maia Zarnadze
Project Starting Date: 01.02.2020
Project Duration: 8 Months

The project “Medicine and Art” of the Petre Shotadze Tbilisi Medical Academy has been funded in the frames of the 2019 year science population targeted call for applications of the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation of Georgia. Project “Medicine and Art” aims set up of the kids university and information of pupils about medical sciences and research activities in this scientific field. In the frames of the above-mentioned kids university the information will be provided to the pupils of the elementary schools graduation classes in an integrative, fun and conspicuous manner. Integration ensures project’s innovative approach. It means synthesis of medicine and art, which is essential for development of the interdisciplinary thinking and review of the existed possibilities; these skills are of utmost importance for the concrete event interpretation. The project is the possibility to arise scientific curiosity among pupils and development of STEM in Georgia.

Project Coordinator: Saif Tawfeeq 
Project starting date: 18.03.2019 
Project duration: 9 months

Students are involved in the project realization.
Many factors that determine health are known today. A healthy lifestyle and physical activity are among these factors. It is well known that most chronic illnesses are caused by lifestyle. For example, smoking, malnutrition, lack of physical activity, excess alcohol or drug use. Based on the fact that an unhealthy lifestyle quickly leads to stress, bad moods, self-esteem problems, and easy fatigue, a healthy lifestyle is of particular importance to the students, and it is necessary to educate the students population about the positive effects of a healthy lifestyle, which can have a significant positive effect on the health. The research design used cross-sectional research. The self-assessment questionnaire will survey about 600 students from 18 to 25 years of age from medical and non-medical faculties of Tbilisi -Georgian. Statistical analysis and comparison of the obtained data will be done after obtaining the survey's result. The threefold goals of the study are to identify the distribution of healthy lifestyles among the student population, to identify key problem related to the lifestyle among the student population, and provide recommendations for implementation of healthy lifestyles and practices focused on problem solving.

Principal Investigator:  Nino Museridze
Project starting date: 01.05.2019
Project duration: 10 months

Students are involved in the project realization
Stomach cancer is one of the most common malignant tumor worldwide. According to the Lauren’s classification two types - intestine and diffuse, are determined. Diffuse type adenocarcinoma is the most malignant version, which includes signet ring cell type. Alteration is due to CDH1 mutation and is manifested only in mucosal layer without macroscopical changes of superficial mucosal layer. Accordingly with the data of performed research, in case of the presence of CDH1 mutation in 100% cases of postoperative material following gastrectomy in situ tumor has been revealed. The tumor size variants were 0.1-10 mm.
The correlation between CDH1 mutation and expression levels of  HER2, oncoprotein P53 and proliferative marker Ki67 isn’t determined till now. The project aims study of the mentioned correlation and peculiarities of CDH1 mutation.

Principal Investigator: Mariam Tevzadze
Project starting date: 18.03.2019  
Project duration: 12 months  

Students are involved in the project realization.
The main aim of the project is to identify naturally occurring autoantibodies in the female patients with ovarian cysts during the reproductive ages. The first results of our experiments indicate that patients with ovarian cyst have significantly elevated levels of naturally occurring serum antibodies of IgG isotype against both hCG and hCGb, whilst patients with ovarian carcinoma expressed non appreciable levels of such antibodies. Based on this information we propose that naturally occurring autoantibodies have regulatory, protective role against the malignisation of ovarian cysts. We hope, that autoantibodies that have inhibitory or protecting effects could lead to the development of tumor prevention and treatment strategies. Evaluation of naturally occurring autoantibodies against hCG in patients with ovarian cysts.

Principal Investigator: Taras Gabisonia
Project starting date: 18.03.2019 
Project duration: 6 months

Students were involved in the project realization.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) data, every year approximately 2 billion people are affected by intestinal infections all over the world. Foodborne and waterborne pathogens continue to be one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality, and they also cause significant morbidity in developed nations and lead to about 1.8 million deaths globally every year. Due to these problems microbiological and molecular-biological investigation of bacterial pathogens, causing intestinal infections is very important. One of the major food and waterborne pathogens are different species of Salmonella, Shigella and pathogenic Escherichia coli.
As reported by the National Centre for Disease Control of Georgia about 60 000 cases of intestinal infections and 30 000 presumptive infectious diarrheal diseases are identified every year in Georgia.
Monitoring and control of foodborne and waterborne pathogens will reduce their occurrence in the environment and food line and therefore the risk of spreading diseases caused by these pathogens will also decrease.
Because of the unique resistance patterns of bacterial strains to antibiotics, the determination of sensitivity to antimicrobial preparations is very important for monitoring of pathogens and can be used as a necessary epidemiological marker for these pathogens.
The aim of the project is to identify bacterial pathogens causing intestinal infections in clinical specimens, as well as food products (meat, eggs) and water samples and to determine the sensitivity of isolates strains to antibiotics.
To achieve this goal, the following actions will be performed:

  • Isolation and identification of bacterial pathogens causing intestinal infections from clinical samples using morphological, biochemical, and serological methods;
  • Isolation and identification of bacterial pathogens causing intestinal infections from food products and water samples using morphological, biochemical, and serological methods;
  • Investigation of antibiotic resistance profiles of isolated strains. Investigation of Foodborne and waterborne bacterial pathogens causing gastrointestinal tract infections.

Principal Investigator: Ekaterina Kldiashvili
Project starting date: 18.03.2019
Project duration: 6 months

Project has been realized by participation of students registered for the teaching course "Biochemistry 3".
Oncology diseases and their treatment are the priority tasks of healthcare. The cancer critical genes are already determined, but genes responsible for development of metastasis and cancer recurrence are not identified till present.
FOXP3 (Forkhead box protein P3) gene is one of the candidates. The expression of the mentioned gene in tumor cells has been determined experimentally (Ebert et al., 2008; Karanikas et al., 2008; Takenaka et al., 2013). FOXP3 gene is located in the short arm of X chromosome. It is coding transcription factor and is characterized by the complicated mechanism of gene expression. FOXP3 gene’s expression in tumor cells ensures the development of immunosuppression (Hinz et al., 2007; Cuncha et al., 2012; Waight et al., 2015) through the transformation of regulatory T cells to Tregs (Liyanage et al., 2006; Li et al., 2007; Yuan et al., 2011). It is known, that presence of Tregs in tumor tissue is associated with poor prognosis (Adeegbe et al., 2013; Ondondo et al., 2013; Sahin et al., 2013).
The intensive expression of SOX2 and OCT4 genes in tumor cells is also important from the point of molecular mechanisms of metastasis (Xu et al., 2017; Ayob et al., 2018). These genes belong to the group of genes specific to stem cells. They are coding transcription factors those activity is important for embryonal development and formation of different tissues. Therefore, expression of SOX2 and OCT4 genes in tumor tissue correlates with the concept of cancer stem cells. Accordingly with this concept neoplastic growth is similar to the renewal of normal tissue and is ensured by stimulation of cancer stem cells. Furthermore, the presence of cancer stem cells in tumor tissue has been determined experimentally (Batle, 2017).
Taking into account all above mentioned, we propose that intensive expression of FOXP3 gene is the molecular pre requisite of metastasis development and ensures activation of SOX2 and OCT4 genes.
The aim of the proposal is experimental provement of the above mentioned scientific hypothesis.


Principal Investigator: Irine Bilanishvili
Project starting date: 18.03.2019
Project duration: 6 months

Students were involved in the project realization.
Among the majority of patients with temporal epilepsy are observed interictal emotional and behavioural abnormalities. In frames of proposed project will be studied development and exposure of emotional abnormalities, as well as will be studied neural substrate on an animal-involved experimental model, known as “kindling”. (an animal involved experimental model, which is used in frames of temporal epilepsy research) We suggest, that emotional abnormalities may be actual instinctual behavioural acts, which trigger anti-epileptic neurophysiological mechanisms. Obtained results will be experimentally supported foundation for concluding, that interictal emotional behaviour is possible endogenous mechanism, which is characterised by anti-epileptic effect.

Principal Investigator: Gela Beselia
Project starting date: 18.03.2019
Project duration: 9 months

Students are involved in the project realization.
Presented project aims to investigate different forms of memorising and learning processes among 2 groups of animals. Experimental group of animals, which will include subjects with immunotoxin induced damages of cholinergic and GABA-ergic neurones, will be compared to the control group of pseudo-operating subjects. Aside of it, project aims to identify changes, induced by the memory deficiency associated structural changes and neurotransmitter markers (cholinergic α7 nAChRs and M1 and glutamatergic GluN2B subunit containing NMDA receptor expression ) within the selected locations of cortical areas.  
Such multidisciplinary research on systematic, structural and molecular levels creates a prerequisite for obtaining new information regarding modulating functions of basal forebrain within memorising processes and enables us to determine causal relationship between forebrain, and function of internal networks in selected locations within the processes of memorising and learning.
Recognition of basal forebrain modulating mechanism on memory, as well as determining aspects of memory, where this system has high importance, would facilitate understanding of fundamental neurobiological mechanisms of the memory and elaborating new strategies for improvement of memory among patients with neurodegenerative diseases. Study of Nucleus Basalis of Meynert (NBM) role within memorising and learning processes on the behavioural, structural and molecular levels.