Neuroscience - Ukrainian Society for Neuroscience

Neuroscience

Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system.

Left to right: pyramidal neuron (Betz cell) - Ramon-y-Cajal drawing, the schema of protein's interactions in the synapse, human connectome

It is a multidisciplinary branch of biology, that deals with the anatomy, biochemistry, molecular biology, and physiology of neurons and neural circuits. It also draws upon other fields, with the most obvious being pharmacology, psychology, and medicine. The neuroscience studies nervous system at molecular, cellular and system levels. These knowledge are necessary to treat more than 1000  neurological and psychiatric diseases. 

There are more than 40000 scientists in this area all around the world. Two global projects are dedicated to neuroscience: Human Brain Project by EU (total fund 1.6 billion EUR) and Brain Initiative by USA (~1 billion USD).

Neuroscience in Ukraine: from history to modern times

The development of neuroscience in Ukraine has had several milestones.

The first world-renowned name is Volodymyr Betz (1834-1894) who discovered giant cortical pyramidal neurons, described cytoarchitectonic differences of the motor and sensory cortical areas and created the basis for histological identification of neocortical functional areas. He was a brilliant anatomist and histologist. His technique of making brain anatomy preparations was awarded by a medal at Vienna World Exposition in 1873.

The second name is Volodymyr Pravdich-Neminsky (1879-1952) who was the first who recorded brain electrical activity from the intact skull. Today we call this brain activity as the electroencephalogram.

Left to right: Volodymyr Betz, pyramidal neuron (Betz cell), Volodymyr Pravdich-Neminsky, fragment of EEG recording from his paper, academician Platon Kostyuk, molecular structure of proton-sensing ion channel (ASIC) discovered in Bogomoletz Institute of Physiology

Further development of neuroscience in Ukraine was related to Bogomoletz Institute of Physiology and neurophysiological research headed by Platon Kostyuk (1924-2010). The first ever intracellular dialysis was the main breakthrough of his research. He and his scholars investigated a role of calcium signaling in cell functioning. All of these discoveries created a basis for successful research in a field of molecular and cellular neuroscience.

Today Ukrainian Society for Neuroscience includes more than 150 scientists from different institutions of Ukraine. Bogomoletz Institute of Physiology is still a leading Ukrainian institution performing research in a field of neuroscience. Alumni of the Institute now work in numerous research institutions around the world. The Institute is one of the leaders in the publishing of high-impact scientific papers. The acting Institute director, academician Oleg Krishtal, is the President of USN and one of the most cited Ukrainian researchers.

 

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