We appeal to various national and international foundations and organizations and our colleagues both in Armenia and the Diaspora to support us for the successful implementation of the Network activities.

UNESCO Chair in Life Sciences at Life Sciences International Postgraduate Educational Center (LSIPEC) is organizing the Inaugural Workshop of “UNESCO/UNITWIN Interregional Network on PhD Education and Research in Biophysics, Biotechnology and Environmental Health”, which has been officially approved by UNESCO.

UNESCO Chair in Life Sciences will present the results of the research carried out in the Center in International Conferences



Core Courses for Biotechnology (15 credits)


1. Microorganisms as the main objects of biotechnology (2 credits)

Microbial worlds, its biodiversity, ecology and basic metabolism.

Characteristics of different groups of microorganisms. Advantages for the use of microorganisms in biotechnology. Substrates for microbiological productions. Main branches of microbiological industry. 


2. Microbial population: properties, variability and preservation (1 credit)

Microbial growth, variability and physiology of nutrition.

Microbial metabolism and biosynthetic patterns.

Maintenance, conservation and reproduction of microbial culture, lyophilization, drying and conservation in liquid nitrogen. Peculiarities of the maintenance and conservation of various groups of microorganisms. Culture collections and Databases. 


3. Recombinant DNA technology (2 credits)

Biotechnology tools and techniques: restriction enzymes, vectors, method for inserting foreign DNA into cells. Gene libraries. Selection of clone. Making a gene product. Applications of gene engineering in medical therapy, basic research and industry. Safety issues and the ethics of gene engineering. 


4. Cellular engineering (1 credit)

Isolated tissue and cell cultures of plants and animals. Peculiarities of callus cultures. Spheroplasts and protoplasts. Fusion of protoplasts and somatic hybridization. Hybridom technology, obtaining of monoclonal antibodies. 


5. Process-engineering in biotechnology (1 credit)

Physiology of nutrition as the background for cultivation of microorganisms. Extremophilic forms. Regulation of growth and biosynthetic processes. Scaling-up and optimisation of fermentations. Certification of products. 


6. Biotechnological productions (2 credits)

Microbial biomass, single-cell protein. Production of amino acids, vitamins, hormones, organic acids, antibiotics, enzymes, polysaccharides. Microbial pesticides and fertilizers. Production of fuels. Bacterial leaching of metals. 


7. Biocatalysis and biotransformation (1 credit)

Regulation of enzyme synthesis. Immobilized cells and enzymes, their properties and uses. Membrane technology and its application for immobilized systems.

Characteristics of industrially used microbial transformations for production of food, feed and biologically active substances.

The use of immobilized microbial cells and enzymes for production of amino acids, antibiotics, hormones, alcohols, etc. 


8. Biotechnology and environment protection (1 credit)

Microbiological waste treatment for pollution control.

Methane fermentation and biogas technology.

Microbial deterioration and degradation. Microbial corrosion.

Microbial degradation and utilization of chemical wastes and toxic substances.

Microbiological pest control. 


9. Physical factors in Biotechnology (1 credit)

Physical factors’ effects on higher plants (agricultural, decorative and medical plants).

Physical factors’ effects on microorganisms (yeast, bacteria).


10. Biological Information (1 credit)

Information theory and its application in biology are discussed. The topics of the lectures are: physico-chemical principles of information transfer at the molecular level, including DNA, RNA, proteins, peptides, storage and retrieval of information in the brain; molecular modification of information by radiation, chemical, and biological methods. 


11. Molecular Biophysics (1 credit)

Introduction to the major areas of molecular biophysics and their foundations in chemistry and physics are discussed. This will include: molecular interactions, structural analysis through diffraction techniques, macromolecular physical chemistry, the effects of physical forces on biological structures, and thermodynamics systems. 

Conformation of Biological Macromolecules. The course will discuss the following: structure of ferments, nucleic acids and other biological polymers; the role of hydrogen bonds, hydrophobic forces and ion bonds in stabilization of the different structures of biomacromolecules.


12. Processes In Biological Systems. Membrane Transport. (1 credit)

This course is concerned with the fundamental physical and physical-chemical treatment of various kinetic processes underlying the normal function of biological systems. Topics include: no equilibrium processes, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, osmotic and hydrostatic forces, membrane permeation and potentials, and the mechanisms of excitability. 

Fundamental theory and principles of transport processes and membrane phenomena in biological systems will be discussed. This serves as a basis for discussion of representative biological examples, including: transport involving water, non-electrolytes, and electrolytes. There will be lectures on the theories and principles developed to the state of current research knowledge. 


13. Membranes (1 credit)

Biophysical aspects of model and biological membranes will be discussed. The topics of the lecture include: chemical composition and physical properties of membranes, structure-functional relationships, model systems, lipid-protein interactions and other selected topics of biological interest. 



Supporting Courses for Biotechnology (12 credits)


1. Biotechnology of food and feed production (2 credits)

Single cell protein from hydrocarbons. Microbiological treatment and protein enrichment of cellulosic and starchy materials. Microalgae and their use for production of SCP.

Characteristics of main groups of microorganisms perspective for production of SCP.

Bacteriological production of saccharides from cellulose and starch: glucose-fructose syrup and fructose production.

Topinambur and inulin-containing plants as a source for production of fructose, fructose-glucose syrup, feed protein and ethanol process-engineering and production characteristics. LEC, LAB.

Dairy biotechnology. Biotechnology of feed processing from wastes of fermentation processes.


2. Bacterial insecticides (1 credit)

Characteristics of main groups of bacteria for production of insecticides. Mechanisms of insecticide action.

Process-engineering of production and product specification. Use of preparations.

Preparative forms and combined use with chemical insecticides. Preparations from viruses, fungi and nematodes. LEC, LAB.


3. Biotechnology of amino acid production (2 credits)

Chemistry and biochemistry of amino acids. Amino acid producing strains. Raw materials. Quality of amino acids. Comparison and choice of method for amino acid production. Economics of amino acid production. Utilization of secondary products of amino acid manufacturing. LEC, LAB.


4. Biotechnology and environment (1 credit)

Microbial deterioration of synthetic polymers. Characteristic of microbial biodegradants and creation of Databases. Criteria for biostable materials.

Biotechnology of waste treatment: industrial and agricultural wastes. Anaerobic fermentation and biogas production.

Biotechnology and energy production: biomass to energy, production of solid, liquid and gaseous fuels.

Ecology and biotechnology. LEC.


5. Clonal micropropagation of plants (1 credit)

Methods and stages of clonal micropropagation. Influence of various factors on the process of clonal micropropagation. Somaclonal variability and the problem of genetic stability. Obtaining of health planting material. Peculiarities of clonal micropropagation of ornamental, medicinal, vegetable and arboreous cultures. LEC, LAB.


6. Obtaining of transgene plants (1 credit)

Methodology and problems of plant genetic engineering. Plant cell transformation by the Ti-plasmide of Agrobacterium . Direct transfer of genes into the plants. Markers of genetic engineering of plants. Gene expression. Advances of plant genetic engineering. LEC.


7. Microbial, plant and animal cells and tissues cultures (1 credit)

Culture collections as microbial resource centres and the background of biotechnological potentials: principles of organization and international community. Biodiversity and basic approaches for microbial systematics and classification.

Numerical taxonomy, cluster analysis and use of computer technology for identification and differentiation of microbial species. LEC, LAB.


8. Immobilized enzymes and cells of microoraganisms (1 credit)

Principles and methods of immobilization. Bioreactors for immobilized systems and use of membrane technology.

Activation, stabilization of immobilized systems and regeneration of enzyme co-factors. Biosensors and use of immobilized system for their creation.

Immobilized systems as the background of biocatalysis and biotransformation.

Obtaining of amino and organic acids by immobilized microbial cells and enzymes (methodology and practical realization). LEC, LAB.


9. Biogeotechnology (1 credit)

Chemolithotropic microorganisms, their ecology, physiology and role in nature.

Bacterial leaching of copper and other metals. LAB.


10. Computers and Bioinformatics (1 credit)

General approaches to the use of computer technology in biotechnology.

Bioinformatics and Databases of Culture collections.

Programming and optimisation of R&D in fermentation process-engineering. LAB.