22 April 2021 13:33

Science for life: the development of Kharkiv scientists is useful for medicine, ecology, energy saving

A team of researchers from V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University is currently working on the project “Indicators based on chromone derivatives for fluorescent determination of β-glucosidase activity.” This topic is of great importance for both science and economics. The development of fluorescent indicators for determining the activity of the enzyme β-glucosidase will allow to provide a faster and more accurate diagnosis of malignancies without histological examination as well as control the quality of river water, assess the restoration of fertile soils and the formation of organic fuel from industrial waste.

The project was successful in the call “Support for Research of Leading and Young Scientists” of the National Research Foundation of Ukraine in 2020 and received grant funding.

The project PI is Alexander Roshal, leading researcher of the Department of Physical and Organic Chemistry, Acting Director of the Research Institute of Chemistry of V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University.

We asked the researcher why they had chosen this topic for the call, what the essence of the work was and how they had progressed in the project?

Do not stumble at the beginning!

The researcher says: “We chose this topic because it is extremely important for both basic science and economics. In addition, researchers already have significant achievements in this direction and the positive assessments of the international scientific community.”

Under the previous principles of funding, this idea would have no chance of survival as it would be simply unrealistic to find funds and sponsors.

“This is why the NRFU’s grant funding is so important” – says Mr. Roshal. – “We have chosen a project the results of which can be used in various applied fields, and this is the state funding that guarantees the implementation of the idea”.

Another argument in favor of the chosen topic was the high level of qualification of the scientists of the Physical and Organic Chemistry’s Department. All stages of the project, according to researchers, can be performed in the department without the involvement of subcontractors. This has greatly simplified the preparation of documentation and saved time.

The Kharkiv team consists of three experienced and four early-career researchers.

It was worth starting with a celebration, but the work has won

The news about winning the call was met with joy and great enthusiasm by the researchers.

Without waiting for the first funds, we decided to immediately begin preparation and careful planning of work. The decision turned out to be the right one: despite the reduction of the project implementation period for 2020, all the planned works were completed on time.

What are these miracle indicators after all?

β-glucosidases cleave glucose and convert glycosides into aglycones. Therefore, from a compound that does not glow, it is formed another one, that emits light.

The goal of the researchers from Kharkiv is the creation of flavonoid glycosides, which can be used to assess the activity of β-glucosidases due to radiation and the rate of fluorescence ignition.

Once the reins are in hand, don’t bend!

The project was designed for three years, the planned funding is 8 mln UAH.

We also asked Dr. Roshal about the difficulties his team faced. He says: “We have created a very rich research plan, planned a fairly large amount of synthetic and experimental work. It was not easy to implement this plan in terms of shortening the project implementation time”. Therefore, the researcher advises the teams that plan to take part in the next call, to predict more balanced indicators (set big goals, but yet realistic).

However, Kharkiv researchers still adhere to their busy plans. They are convinced that discoveries “grow out” of perseverance, stubbornness and systematic work.

The scientists also hope that the practice of saving on science in our country will be a thing of the past. It is profitable for the state to finance researches because if science moves forward the economy will not lag behind!

Svitlana GALATA

Other news

13 June 2024

The Fourth Polish-German Science Meeting 2024 was held in Warsaw

On June 10-11 the Fourth Polish-German Science Meeting 2024 was held. The event was organized by the Foundation for Polish Science (FNP), the National S

10 June 2024

Gender Equality and Innovation, the Keys to Sustainable Trade: 2025 World Trade Congress on Gender

Organized jointly by the WTO, UN Women and the WTO Gender Research Hub 24-27 June 2025 Technology and science are driving forces shaping the global ec

“Enemy bombers with half-ton bombs were flying over my house”

A researcher from Kharkiv studies how Ukrainians respond to the threats and challenges of war The war has changed and continues to change Ukrainians.

04 June 2024

A press conference ‘Light for Ukraine’ was held as part of the GRC Annual Meeting

The Global Research Council (GRC) Annual Meeting is one of the most important events in the global research community. It brings together representative

03 June 2024

Ukrainian migrants on the EU labor market: what has changed during the war?

13 Ukrainian researchers have recently joined projects launched by research groups from the Netherlands. The researchers were successful in the ‘NWO Hop