Kostyuk Award – 2017: biosensors and Helicobacter infection

Премія Костюка – 2017: біосенсори та хелікобактерна інфекція

Kostyuk Award 2017 was awarded for the development of biosensors and for the research of Helicobacter infection progress peculiarities.

Last week the awarding ceremony of Kostyuk Award was held for the seventh time. Kostyuk Award is the annual award for the young Ukrainian scientists working in the field of biomedical research. This year’s winners of Kostyuk Award are Roman Moskalenko (Medical Institute of Sumy State University) – for the research of some types of Helicobacter infection progress regularities, and Ivan Kucherenko (The Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, IMBG) – for the development of biosensors that are of prime importance for the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of diseases.

Platon Kostyuk, whose name was given to this award, is the renovated Ukrainian neurophysiologist, who worked in Bogomoletz Institute of Physiology of the NAS of Ukraine and was the chair of this institution from 1966 till the day of his death in 2010. In the mid-70s of the last century, jointly with his workmates, he managed to replace the nerve cell cytoplasm with artificial medium. This has broken entirely new ground to study the operation of neurons and helped to make discoveries of fundamental universal significance. According to Oleg Krishtal, who is currently at the head of this Institute, and who was the student of Platon Kostyuk, this institution has become one of the world’s leading research centers in the field of electrophysiology.

When the Ukrainian science had bad times, the Institute turned into the powerful source of highly skilled researchers for the Western universities, and nowadays many its former employees are successfully working in Europe and the USA. In 2011 they have established the Kostyuk Foundation to support Ukrainian scientists dealing with biomedical research field.

Scientists from any scientific institution with PhD/Cand.Sci. degree received no longer than ten years ago are eligible for the application. Previous winners of the Award are not eligible to apply.

The following selection criteria will be regarded when reviewing the applications: innovativeness, significance of the research question, significance of obtained results, etc.

Since 2015, Shevchenko Scientific Society (USA) is also engaged in Award issues. According to Oleg Krishtal, this will enlarge the circle of Foundation donors, which will  increase the number of laureates.

This year, 20 scientists were contesting for the award, 5 of which made it into the final round:

  • Dmitry Butov (Kharkiv National Medical University);
  • Sergey Kropivko (IMBG);
  • Vyacheslav Kulik (Bogomoletz Institute of Physiology of the NAS of Ukraine);
  • Ivan Kucherenko (IMBG);
  • Roman Moskalenko (Medical Institute of Sumy State University).

Each of them was given five minutes to present his work.

Ivan Kucherenko became the Kostyuk Award winner for the development of various biosensors. Most notably, he has created the biosensor that may simultaneously determine glucose and ATP concentrations, which is important for diabetes mellitus diagnostics, and helps to exercise control over the treatment of this disease. Yet another type of biosensors is destined for rapid diagnosis of myocardial infarction.

So far, developments exist in the form of prototypes. Ivan Kucherenko believes that they will be cheaper than its equivalents. It is of importance to note that they may be used at home.

As of the moment of prize awarding, the scientist kept on conducting his studies in Germany. Therefore, Alexei Soldatkin, scientific supervisor, molecular biology laboratory head at IMBG, correspondent member at the NAS of Ukraine, has represented Ivan Kucherenko at the awarding ceremony.

Roman Moskalenko has received Kostyuk Award for his contribution to the research of Helicobacter infection progress regularities in rhesus monkey. This project lasted more than 15 years with the participation of about fifty scientists from 30 research institutions. Prize winner has conducted morphological studies of changes in animal’s body.

According to Roman Moskalenko, the results obtained will help to improve the existing approaches to Helicobacter infection treatment.

Both winners have received cash payment prizes amounting to $1,000.

The Institute of Physiology is kindly inviting all non-indifferent persons to support the Ukrainian researchers working in the field of biomedicine. For more information about this award go to Facebook page.