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Head: Prof. Petya Hristova, PhD

Phone: (+359 2) 8167-271
E-mail: pkabad@biofac.uni-sofia.bg

The Department of General and Industrial Microbiology was established in 1963 under the name General and Industrial Microbiology and Virology according to order - III 435B15.04.1963.
The first Assistant Professors, who later became Associate Professors and Professors, are Tsoni Penev, Lyubomir Kominkov, Stoyan Vlahov and Maria Gincheva-Starcheva. Prominent Bulgarian professors like I. Emanuilov, K. Markov, S. Bardarov, N. Dimov, S. Raduchev, Grigorov, Y. Tyagutenko, А. Hadzhiolov, A. Toshkov, G. Mitov,V. Kostov, M. Stoychev, P. Andonov, A. Tomov, H. Chomakov, D. Dimitrov, J. Voynova and many others were involved in the Department’s tuition activity at that time.

The Department was an active partner in joint research activities with other national scientific institutions and industrial bodies since its establishment. Common projects for production of biologically active compounds from streptomycetes with BAS, NIHFI, SOPHARMA were developed.


Prof. Dr Georgi Gushterov - founder and first Head of the Department.(also first Dean of the Faculty 1963/64)

Cooperation with Institute of Microbiology-BAS, Plant Protection Institute, food industry companies were realized. A lot of patents were granted; the antibiotics sucomycin, bifamycin, and antiviral Pandavir (in three formulations); the plant protection preparation Bactericin, as well as technologies for bacterial leaching of metals had been industrially introduced. Testing of the antitumor antibiotic actinomycin D and the enzymes collagenase and elastase were performed. The first TEMPUS project for Biological Faculty was realized in the early 90’s, followed by another three.

Two NATO projects, an INCO Copernicus, 2 bilateral «Rila» projects, 5 Leonardo da Vinci projects, etc. were developed jointly with EU Universities. More than 40 national and international research projects were established during the last 10 years. The Department is an active ERASMUS partner with different EU Universities - Georg-August University and University of Saarland (DE), University of Strasbourg, of Nantes and ENITIAA (FR), Ghent University (BE), University of Bologna (IT), University of Granada (ES), Еge University, Izmir (TR), Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (EL), etc.
The Department is a leader in training competitive and successfully realized microbiologists.
The academic staff comprises 11 people – Prof. DSc. I. Ivanova, Prof. V. Groudeva, PhD, Prof. P. Moncheva, PhD, Assoc. Prof. A. Kuyumdzhieva, PhD, Assoc. Prof. B. Gocheva, PhD, Assoc. Prof. S. Antonova, PhD, Assoc. Prof. P. Hristova, PhD, Assoc. Prof. T. Nedeva, PhD, Assoc. Prof. I. Ivanova, PhD, Assist. V. Petrova, PhD and Assist. S. Tishkov PhD. It includes as well microbiologists - V. Chipeva, M. Tzenova, M. Iliev, PhD and technicians - V. Bachorova and B. Pavlova. At present the Department has 12 PhD students, two of them foreigners – S. Ivanov, Z. Uzunov, T. Mandadzhieva, Y. Kizheva, R. Ilieva, Z. Koleva, M. Malinova, T. Vancheva, M. Ananieva, M. Guzel, R. Angelova, M. Mitova.

The Department comprises 5 research laboratories:
Biochemistry and molecular analyzes of prokaryotes (Prof. Ivanova). Research area: metabolism and probiotic potential of LAB, bacteriocin synthesis; microflora/starter cultures of traditional/non-traditional foods, protein inhibitors from streptomycetes.
Applied microbiology (Assoc. Prof. Kujumdjieva). Research area: biology of yeasts and filamentous fungi, metabolic activities and obtaining of biologically active substances, impact of different types of stress on fermentation processes and products.
Biology of actinomycetes and phytopathogenic bacteria (Prof. Moncheva). Research area: biodiversity of actinomycetes-producers of biologically active substances; biology of phytopathogenic bacteria.
Geological microbiology (Prof. Groudeva). Research area: biology and application of acidophilic chemolithotrophs, sulfatereducing and neutrophilic iron bacteria; biodiversity in extreme habitats, heavy metals and arsenic resistance; biodeterioration of artworks.
Bionanotechnology (Assoc. Prof. Ivanova). Research area: toxicological analyses of soil, water, air and newly synthesized substances/nanomaterials.
Eight PhD students had successfully defended their theses for the last 5 years; currently there are 12 PhD students. Two major projects (infrastructural and international, financed by NSF) are realized during 2010-2012; at present a COST-project is operating.

Highly advanced equipment - DNA Sequenator and HPLC, was acquired owing to funding from national and international projects, lead by Prof. Ivanova PhD students from the Laboratory of Geological Microbiology during probing of microbiological samples in the cave Magourata

The most interesting moments from
the summer practice in Microbiology, represented on poster




Microbiology – Prof. Groudeva, Assoc Prof. Gocheva, Prof. Moncheva, Assoc. Prof. Antonova; Microbiology with virology – Prof. Ivanova; Microbiology with microbiological treatment methods – Prof. Moncheva; Fundamentals of industrial microbiology – Assoc Prof. Gocheva; Pathogenic microorganisms – Assoc Prof. Hristova; Physiology and biochemistry of microorganisms – Prof. Ivanova; Geological microbiology – Prof. Groudeva; Methods for obtaining of strains overproducers – Assoc. Prof. Nedeva and Assist. Prof. Petrova; Bioethics – Prof. Ivanova; Environmental microbiology – Prof. Moncheva and Prof. Groudeva; Prokaryotic tests for ecological monitoring – Assoc. Prof Ivanova.


“Microbiology and microbiological control”. Compulsory subjects: Taxonomy of microorganisms, Metabolism of prokaryotes, Molecular biology of proкаryotes and eukaryotes, Food microbiology, Applied microbiology, Environmental microbiology, Sanitary microbiology, Practicum: Fermentation and processing, Summer research seminar, Pre-diploma practicum. Elective subjects: Antibiotics and antibiotic resistance, Bioinformatics methods in microbiology, Biology of extreme microorganisms, Biology of chemolythotrophic bacteria, Biosynthesis and control of BAS, Ecotoxicological tests, Industrial Stress Resistence of Yeast Microorganisms, Fermentation technologies with recombinant microorganisms, Phytopathogenic bacteria, Hydrochemistry of Natural Waters – Main Biotopes of Microorganisms.

There are many PhD students in the Department and they are working along with master students of the Microbiology and Microbiological Control programme PhD students exchanging experience Participation of students of the “Microbiology and Microbiological Control” programme in the intensive program for food safety in the frames of project, funded by EU in Ghent, Belgium, 2004

Postgraduate studies in diverse research areas (bas from actinomycetes, control of water, food, pharmaceutical products; geological microbiology etc.