History of the Department of Physiology, Human Health and Safety and of Natural Science Education

History of the Department of Physiology, Human Health and Safety and of Natural Science Education

THE DEPARTMENT OF PHYSIOLOGY, HUMAN HEALTH AND SAFETY AND NATURAL SCIENCE EDUCATION was established on September 1, 2022 through the reorganization of two departments of the Faculty of Biology, namely the Department of Human Health and Civil Safety was merged with the Department of Human and Animal Physiology.

The department of human and animals physiology Novorossiysk University was established with the participation of Sechenov in 1872. Working in Odessa, less than 6 years, Sechenov had to fulfill a number of important studies. So, here it is set the value of hemoglobin and the liquid portion of blood for the binding and transport of carbon dioxide. Studying the function of the nervous system, Sechenov found the disappear excitation after the frequent stimulation of the nerve. On this basis, he concluded that not only in the central nervous system, but also in the peripheral nerves the processes of excitation replaced by inhibition processes. The joint work of Sechenov and Mechnikov about the nature of the effects of the vagus nerve on the heart was great interest to the physiology. They found that the periodicity of vagus inhibitory effect on the turtle heart activity occurs after its prolonged stimulation: heart activity increases, then inhibited.

Spiro PA and latter Verigo BF – the disciples of Sechenov – led the Department of Physiology after leaving Sechenov from Odessa in 1876. They provided Sechenov`s direction in physiological studies. Under the direction of Sechenov Spiro studied the innervation of the airways, and proved the existence in the medulla oblongata and pons nerve centers involved in the regulation of breathing. Spiro discovered the phenomenon of reciprocal innervation. Spiro also described a phenomenon which has been called "reflex traces". Spiro also found the phenomenon of summation of stimuli in the nerve centers. After a number of works about the phenomenon of hypnosis, he strongly rejected the view that hypnosis is a mysterious phenomenon, inaccessible to study. Some works Spiro focused on the physiology of digestion.

After the death of Spiro P.A. (1893) Physiology Laboratory headed by Verigo B.F. in 1894. He researched the physiology of the nervous system and proved that specific relationships between the process of excitation and conduction of excitation in nerve were present. He interpreted the excitation propagation as a jump process. Verigo investigated the mechanism cathode depression and found that during the excitation along the nerve passes redistribution of ions. He conducted extensive immunobiology studies.

After the transition Verigo BF to the physiology department of the Medicine Faculty organized in 1901, Vladimir Zavyalov was elected head of the Physiology Laboratory of the Physics and Mathematics Faculty. He worked mainly as a teacher. When the disciples of Vvedenskiy – Beritov J.S. (Beritashvili) and Vorontsov D.S. – comes to Physiology Laboratory in 1915–1916 years, science lab work activated. Beritov established the law coupled irradiation of excitation in the central nervous system after four years of work in Odessa. He also explored the reciprocal innervation of skeletal muscle. Vorontsov studied electrocardiograms of frog heart. Several of his works were devoted to the nerve physiology; they studied the conduction of excitation along the nerves.

The Department of Animal Physiology was organized after the Great October Revolution, in the early 20s, at base of the Physiology Laboratory of the Zoology Department. First, this department was headed by a disciple of Pavlov Babkin B.P., who also headed the Department of Physiology at the Medical Institute. In 1922 Babkin left Odessa, and in the same year Sinelnikov E.I. – Pavlov collaborator – led the Department of Physiology. His scientific investigations provided in various chapters of physiology: physiology of the central nervous system and the autonomic nervous system, thermoregulation, physiology of the digestion and lymph formations. Sinelnikov has developed a special method of warming and cooling blood flowing to the brain and, together with his collaborators, proved that the changing of blood temperature activated thermoregulatory centers. Formation of conception of conditioned reflex regulation of body temperature is a merit of the Department scientists, which was confirmed by many physiologists and clinicians. A number of works Sinelnikov and his colleagues focused on the conditioned reflex activity. It has been found (K.M. Leutskim), that the frogs, who are deprived of the cerebral hemispheres, can develop conditioned reflexes to light and at the time, but the inhibition to the differential stimulus develops hard and not only operated, but also in normal frogs. Los M.V. Elk and Chevaliov V.E. found that conditioned reflexes break at brain anemization cats but rapidly restored after normalization of blood circulation in the central nervous system. Faytelberg RA found that conditional reflex activity in pigeons is disturbed during vitamin deficiency, developed inhibition process on the avitaminosis food, resulting in the bird becoming indifferent to food. Studying reflex relationship between the internal organs, Sinelnikov and others have found that between the organs of the abdominal and pelvic cavities exist viscero-visceral reflexes, which reserved after the destruction of the spinal cord. Problems of physiology of digestion more developed by Sinelnikov and his collaborators (Semenyuk L.Y., Volya S.M., Alekhina G.F., Samojlenko I.S.). It has been shown that the act of chewing influences the activity of digestive glands and the formation of tooth-jaw apparatus. Excluding the masticatory apparatus impair the absorption of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Secretory and motor activity of the intestine of humans and animals more studied. It was proved that the duration of contractions hungry and relative rest depends from the digestive mode prior starvation.

After the death of Sinelnikov E.I. in 1951 at the head of the department became his disciple Faytelberg R.O. Prof. Faytelberg with employees, in 60-70 years, were also carried out studies on absorption regularities of various nutrients in the gastrointestinal tract, not only during normal but also various pathological conditions. At that these laws were examined in terms of the complex relationships between the stomach and the intestine. Considerable attention devoted to the mechanisms of regulation of the processes of absorption, as well as the role of stimuli of different areas of the digestive tract. In the same period, prof. Faytelberg R.O. and assoc. Alekseyeva Z.I. first established the dependence of the absorption of glucose and glycine fron the content of Na ions in their solutions. Then this position has been confirmed in many laboratories around the world. Assistant professor Siomik LI performed the study of absorption of chloride salts of Mn, Zn, Co, Cu in different parts of the intestine. These results formed the basis for her PhD thesis. Later these studies were continued by Senior Researcher Ermakova TL, who studied micronutrient absorption at their introduction together with amino acids and sugars. During these years, work began on the study of mechanisms of the central nervous system influence on the absorption processes. For this microelectrodes stereotactically introduced into different structures and areas of CNS (cortex, subcortical structures, cerebellum, spinal cord). These investigations performed assistants professor Vengrzhanovsky P.M., Drachuk L.G., ph.d. Wasilewska V.S., Tkachenko G.M., Bashev V.D., Rahimberdiev A.A., senior assistant Malakhovskaya V.M. Thus, the effect of a constant electric current of different voltage on different neural structures was investigated and its effect on absorption too. At that different parts and structures of the brain and spinal cord were stimulated. Apart from these methods of stimulation of neural structures by electric current, destructions by electrocoagulation of different areas of the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, subcortical structures and transection of the spinal cord at the different levels were conducted. As a result of these numerous years of research it was found the influences the various nerve structures on the absorption activity of the intestine. It was also established that the influence of the nervous system on the intestinal apparatus is carried out with the participation of serotonin, which is formed in the intestines in the so-called chromaffin cells (Prof. Faitelberg RO Balan MM). In cases where the corresponding structure stimulated absorption processes in the intestinal, increased serotonin. Therefore, it was referred to the factors of absorption. For absorption factors were considered and peptides. In the same period, the role of the autonomic nervous system examined in the conduction impulses to the absorptive intestinal apparatus. In recent years working at the Department prof. Faytelberg very interested questions of absorption in the gastrointestinal tract of different medicinal substances. Under his guidance, these studies were initiated in the early 70s and continues to this day. For example, an assistant professor of biochemistry Karpov L.M. in these years (now – Professor and Head of Department of Human and Animal Physiology) using radioisotope methods carried out series of studies on the absorption of certain vitamins in the small intestine in dogs and rats in conjunction with the staff of the Department of Physiology. Together with the Institute of Biomedical Problems (Moscow) was carried out the study of rectilinear of motion sickness on the absorption process in the gastrointestinal tract. By the way, on this topic in 1981 Gladkiy T.V defended her PhD thesis. At the department research work on the effect of different blood substitutes (polyglukin, gemodez et al.) on the animal organism in blood loss was carried out. With fire-Institute (Moscow) the effect of the combustion products of synthetic materials on the organism was studied. The high scientific authority of the department was the reason that it has been entrusted to carry out the two Republican Congresses of Physiologists (1961 and 1977), as well as a number of All-Union Symposium on the physiology and pathology of the digestive system. This intensive scientific work of the department, of course, has been seen by the management and the students of the University. The department has become one of the centers of student research: prof. Faytelberg many years was scientific director of the Student Scientific Society (SSS), and Siomik L.I. – chairman of SSS University. Under the guidance of prof. Faytelberg – 27 candidate and 6 doctoral theses were defended. Even after retirement, he did not interrupt communications with the University and the Department, continuing the consultations and participate in the organization of various congresses and conferences. He died on February 4, 1998 at 96 years of age.

In period from 1978 to 1999 the Department of Physiology led by Professor V.D. Taranenko. With its arrival two electrophysiological laboratory and clinic (vivarium) were organized and equipped with modern facilities and, for the first time in Odessa, microelectrode technique neurophysiological studies were introduced. During the 80s and early 90s the main focus of research at the department of human and animal physiology was to study the mechanisms of neurons interaction in the cerebral cortex. Actively were explored the cellular mechanisms underlying paroxysmal activity in the cerebral cortex and other brain structures. Mechanisms of action of convulsants and GABA-ergic nature substances on the processes of post-synaptic inhibition have been established (together with prof. Karpov L.M.). Actively carry out research neuromorphological cortex after various treatments (with assistants prof. Siomik L.I.). With Taranenko department became the center of neurophysiology witch known in the country and abroad. The result of years of research was Protection (1986) by Taranenko V.D. of doctoral thesis on the topic "Functional properties of neurons and organization neurons interaction in cortex of the brain". Under the guidance of prof. V.D. Taranenko 10 PhD thesis were defended (Timofeev I.V., Turkin V.V., Kiryazova T.H., Lopantsev V.E., Topolnik E.V., Berete Namori, Sudha, etc.). Students of the department are currently working in well-known universities and clinics in the US, Canada and Germany. From 1987 to the end of 1999, prof. Taranenko V.D. was dean of the Faculty of Biology.

In 2000, associate professor Siomik L.I. performed the duties of Head of the Department.

Since 2001, the Department was headed by professor L.M. Karpov, which continues and develops the research areas and the traditions established by their predecessors. At that a lot of attention is given to studying of actions of new physiologically active substances, including neurotropic properties, for example, GABA-containing drugs.

Since 1991, with the participation of faculty, staff and students of the department it was made more than 10 scientific topics (cathedral and funded by the Ministry of Education of Ukraine) on the scientific direction of number 15, "Biology, biotechnology, food". Since 2000, they led by prof. Karpov L.M. Among them were the following:

  1. "Implementation Mechanisms vitamins metabolic activity as an integral regulator system", in which there are significant metabolic disorders in animals (white rats) by the action on the body of factors such as hypoxia, radiation, diabetes, etc. (2 thesis PhD protected)
  2. "The study of the mechanisms of biosynthesis of nicotine-amide co-enzymes in animal cells of different origin and functional state". The dependence of the level of co-enzymes in animal organs with age, action hepatotoxic factors, the efficiency of protein synthesis, and power systems were found. Pretreatment animals vitamin complex, spirulina products significantly protects the body from harmful factors.
  3. "The investigation of possibilities to improve the stability of the physiological and biochemical systems of the organism to the action of harmful factors and extreme." Results in the form of recommendations delivered to the customer, published 9 articles and 14 theses, 1 PhD thesis defended.
  4. "The role of different types of neuronal activity and the effects of antiepileptic GABA derivatives."

The main purpose of the staff and postgraduate students of the department is not only the preservation of the high level of the department, which has been achieved by our predecessors, but also meet new challenges of modernity, namely: confirmation of the scientific schools and research priorities, modernization of the department and its research and training capacity.

Since May 2017, the department has been headed by Olga Anatoliivna Makarenko. Several areas of scientific research are conducted under her leadership:

“The study of the dysbiosis impact on the physiological state of central nervous system against the background of liver function disorders”. The relevance of this work is related to the steady increase in the number of patients with hepatobiliary pathology and the pathogenetic dependence of cerebral disorders on the liver state. Hepato-cerebral dependence is based on the dysbiotic aspect, which takes into account one of the most important, but at the same time little-researched function of the hepato-biliary system – antimicrobial function. The effect of bacterial origin toxins on the central nervous system has not been studied. Therefore, it is planned to investigate the pathogenic effects of dysbiosis and hepatobiliary pathology on the state of the central nervous system and to develop methods for correcting these disorders.

“The research on the treatment and prophylactic properties of Black Sea mollusk shells”. The analysis of the nutritional status of the Ukrainian population showed a low level of calcium intake with food and certain difficulties in the absorption of commercial calcium preparations in the gastrointestinal tract. The department implements research on: the chemical composition of Black Sea mollusk shells, the development of technology for obtaining substances from shells, the experimental studies on laboratory animals: acute and chronic harmlessness, bioavailability, absorption intensity in the intestine, therapeutic and preventive properties on models of osteoporosis (alimentary, postmenopausal, glucocorticoid) and dental-and-jaw diseases. The development of a product from mollusk shells is an important direction for overcoming dietary calcium deficiency in the Ukraine population, as well as for optimizing the prevention and treatment of states associated with increased calcium consumption (osteoporosis, fractures, caries, periodontitis) on the one hand, and utilization of shellfish processing waste – on the other hand. The performance of works is based on the application of a wide range of research methods (experimental on rats, physiological tests, biochemical, technological, chromatographic) with the involvement of the research and production association "Odesa Biotechnology", which has the necessary chromatographic equipment and production capabilities.

The main goal of the department's employees and graduate students is not only to preserve the high scientific level of the department, which had achieved by our predecessors, but also to solve new tasks posed by modernity, namely: confirmation of the scientific school and priority scientific directions, modernization of the department and its scientific and educational potential. 

History of the Department of Human Health and Civil Defense.

In 1978, by order of the Ministry of Higher Education Institutions of the Ukrainian SSR No. 363 of October 16, the Department of Civil Defense was created. This department provided teaching of two main cycles at all educational subdivisions of the university: Civil Defense and Medical Training. The Heads of the Department were G.A. Tsiupo-Gran; ph. d. associate professor V.A. Kalitsev; ph. d. associate professor Y.M. Avratinsky; ph. d. associate professor I.V. Ivanova in different years.

The cycle of civil defense was provided for a long time by talented teachers who had military experience: general V.K. Boychuk, colonels V.Ya. Kerpel, V.Z. Kalnysh, V.I. Samknulov, A.G. Kozykin, L.M. Kirpach, ph. d. (technical sciences) associate professor Neizvestnyi M.O., ph. d. (biological sciences) associate professor O.S. Bagaieva etc. Medical training of students for actions in emergency situations and mass injuries of people was carried out by ph. d (medical sciences) associate professors G.P. Katuntsevska, Zh.P. Kirilyuk, M.P. Yampolskyi, medical service colonel K.V. Grechany etc.

Unfortunately, some of the listed scientists are no longer alive, but we remember them and honor their memory.

Detailed information about the department's activities before 1986 has not been preserved.

However, at the present time, the staff of the department express their gratitude to the Academic Council of ONU, which had supported the choice of the team regarding the candidacy of ph. d. associate professor Yosyp Mironovich Avratynskyi, for the position of head of the department, despite the pressure from the authorities regarding another candidate.

It should be especially emphasized that the department gained significant activity precisely under the leadership of Y.M. Avratynskyi, who has replenished the staff of the department with qualified personnel and formed a strong creative team. During this period, students of our university received the "Civil Defense Nurse" certificate of the established state standard.

To date, the graduates of various years contact us for the information about the courses they have taken, with a certificate confirming their medical specialty. Such training adds priority to our graduates for employment abroad.

Since 1990, the Department was reformed into the "Basics of Medical Knowledge" Department in connection with the teaching of additional medical disciplines. The activities of the department from the first days of its establishment until now have been connected with vital issues of the health preservation, providing first aid, behavior during emergencies of a natural, man-made, socio-political and military nature.

During all the years of Y.M. Avratynskyi's work, the department carried out active propaganda of donation among students and teachers of the university.

The seminars were held – trainings on the provision of pre-medical first aid with teachers of all faculties. The department cooperated with the Odesa Research Institute of Virology in scientific work.

In connection with the expansion of the range of teaching of regulatory and medical disciplines, the department was reorganized into the "Department of Medical Knowledge and Life Safety", which has headed by candidate of medical sciences, associate professor Ivanova Iryna Vadimovna in 1997. During the years of her leadership (1997–2010), the department has introduced five normative disciplines (Safety of Life, Basics of Occupational Safety, Occupational Safety in the Industry, Civil Defence, Basics of Medical Knowledge) and 15 medical disciplines and special courses.

In the department such medical disciplines as "Pathology", "First medical aid in life-threatening states", "Functional and laboratory diagnostics of pathological states", "Forensic medicine", "General patient care", "Fundamentals of pharmaceutical hygiene", "General hygiene" , "Family health", "Infectious and tropical diseases", "Non-traditional methods of recovery and treatment", "Medical commodification", "First aid for injuries and accidents", "Prevention of venereal diseases and family health”, "Child diseases", "Clinical pharmacology", "Disaster medicine", etc. were developed, approved and implemented for the specialties "Pharmaceutical chemistry", "Microbiology and virology", "Biology", "Medical physics".

In 1999 the department staff headed by I.V. Ivanova was included in the working group of the Ministry of Education of Ukraine on the development of the State Standard of Higher Education in the discipline "Safety of Human Life" (Order of the Ministry of Education of Ukraine No. 25 dated 02.01.1999). On the city TV channel "Kompas", a cycle of programs on first aid and general care for the population was conducted by I.V. Ivanova, were published more than 90 scientific works (personal and co-authored).

In May 2002, in order to increase the prestige of the discipline for the first time in Ukraine at the initiative of I.V. Ivanova, the All-Ukrainian Student Olympiad on "Safety of Life and Human Activity" was organized and held, the second stage of which was held on the basis of the Department of Medical Knowledge and Life Safety in Odesa I.I. Mechnikov National University during three years. The All-Ukrainian Student Olympiad, which was started in Odesa, has confirmed our discipline as relevant, interesting, and necessary for students of the higher educational institutions.

Scientific work was constantly carried out at the department in addition to educational and pedagogical activities. The research work of the department's teachers is aimed at researching issues of human life, the influence of environmental factors on the human body, safety of behaviour, prevention of aggression and violence, etc. The special attention is focused on issues of safe living and healthy lifestyle.

The subject of detailed and scientific study at the department in different years were:

  1. Evaluation of the effectiveness of comprehensive protection against influenza of the population of Odesa by identifying the peculiarities of the epidemic process in order to improve the system of anti-epidemic measures (1985–1989).
  2. Study of the endoecology of various social groups and determination of effective ways of their rehabilitation (1995–1997).
  3. Methodological and practical approaches to preventive rehabilitation of students according to their level of health and medical and social knowledge (2002–2006, No. 214).
  4. Methodological and practical approaches to the detection and prevention of violence in the student environment (2007–2010, No. 163).
  5. Development of approaches to theoretical and practical training of the university students for safe living (2011–2015, No. 213).
  6. Studying the effectiveness of teaching the students the basics of safety and health on the basis of subject-subject interaction (2016–2021).

In the period from 2010 to 2021, the head of the Department of Medical Knowledge and Life Safety was doctor of pedagogy, associate professor S.P. Gvozdii.

Starting from November 5, 2018 (ONU Order No. 124-02), the Department of Medical Knowledge and Life Safety was renamed to the Department of Human Health and Civil Safety.

Candidate of pedagogical sciences, associate professor V.V. Pienov has performed duties as the head of the Department of Human Health and Civil Security in period from September 2021 to August 31, 2022.


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