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Head: Assoc. Prof. Stoyan Shishkov, PhD

Phone: (+359 2) 8167 294
E-mail: sashishkov@yahoo.com; sshishkov@biofac.uni-sofia.bg

Early laboratory Virology was set in 1963, with the creation of the Department General and Industrial Microbiology and Virology As an independent unit of the Faculty of Biology the laboratory has been operating since 6th of March 1989.

Head of Laboratory were Assoc. Prof. Tatiana Lukanova Varadinova, PhD (1989 - 2006) and Assoc. Prof. Boris Bakalov, PhD (2006 - 2010). Currently Head is Assoc. Prof. Stoyan Angelov Shishkov, PhD. The full-time staff consists of: Assoc. Prof. S. Shishkov, PhD, Assist. Prof. Kalina August Shishkova, PhD, Assist. Prof. Anton Veselinov Hinkov, PhD and biologist Paulina Atanasova Petrova-Stamboliyska.

Teaching in the Laboratory was initiated with two main disciplines - virology and immunology. Assoc. Prof. T. Varadinova, Assoc. Prof. Maria Gincheva-Starcheva and part-time Professors Petar Andonov, Stefan Dundarov and Assen Toshkov were the founders of those disciplines.

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Assoc. Prof. Tatiana Varadinova, Head of the lab from 1989 to 2006

Currently, full-time academic staff participates in a three-level training for students-graduates from different disciplines, Masters and doctoral students, as well as individual postgraduate training in Virology.

The Laboratory is a unique educational and scientific center in Bulgaria, which organizes Master’s programme in virology.

Subjects are taught together with prominent virologists from Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, National Center of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Military Medical Academy and AgroBioInstitute – Acad. Prof. Dr A. Galabov, MD, Prof. Dr R. Argirova, MD, Prof. Dr Z. Kalvachev, MD, Assoc. Prof. D. Hristova, PhD, Assoc. Prof. V. Kamenova, PhD and others. The staff of the laboratory participates in the training of students from other graduate programmes in the Faculty of Biology and in the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy.

The overall number of graduates from the Laboratory is more than 150.

SCIENTIFIC STUDIES
Fundamental and applied research is conducted in the Laboratory. Traditional research is to develop new anti-herpetic substances in vivo and in vitro by carrying out screening of various substances, derived from natural sources - higher and lower plants, mollusks, microorganisms or obtained by molecular design, to establish the molecular mechanisms of their antiviral activity and to explore possibilities for combination therapy of herpes virus infections.

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Assoc. Prof. Boris Bakalov was Head of the laboratory from 2006 to 2010 (opening of the Scientific Session in 1993 as Vice Dean) Assoc. Prof. Shishkov in 1997 during the Scientific Conference

The results of the experimental work of the academic staff of the Laboratory are reflected in over 130 scientific publications and several patents of antiviral substances. Over the past two years, the Laboratory participates in three research projects funded by the Ministry of Education and Science.

Four PhD students defended successfully their theses in the Laboratory during the last 5 years.

SUBJECTS IN THE BACHELOR’S DEGREE AND THEIR PRINCIPAL LECTURERS
Compulsory subjects: Molecular Virology for students in Molecular Biology – Assoc. Prof. Dr S. Shishkov; Elective subjects: Virology for students in Biotechnology, Biology, Biology and Chemistry, Biology and Geography (fifth semester), as well as for students in Ecology and environmental Protection (third semester) - Assoc. Prof. Dr S. Shishkov.

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Practicals in Virology

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Students are actively involved in scientific research

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PhD students represent their achievements at reputed international conferences

PROGRAMMES IN THE MASTER’S DEGREE
Teachers provide training in the unique for the country master’s programme Virology. They participate in conduction of the compulsory subjects Viral Replication, Medical Virology, Therapy and Prophylaxis of Viral Diseases, Tumor Virus, Phages and Lisogenesis and Vaccines, and elective subjects Cell Cultures and Viral Inhibitors of Natural Origin.

Teachers also conduct lectures in subjects in the master’s programmes Cell Biology and Industrial Biotechnology at the Faculty of Biology and master’s programme Pharmacy at the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy.