The University Clinic development plan and other issues were discussed during the Board of Trustees meeting on December 21st.
Before the sit-down Rector Ilshat Gafurov showed the University's medical facilities to President of Tatarstan and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Rustam Minnikhanov and other guests.
The first stop was at the neurology unit of the Second Republican Hospital (soon to become a part of the University Clinic). The unit was recently renovated by the University. Director of the Institute of Fundamental Medicine and Biology Andrey Kiyasov told the guests that the clinic is currently concentrating on developing translational medicine.
Then was the turn of the new Genomics Center created in cooperation with RIKEN. One of the first projects here will be the research of medication side effects with regards to human genome.
After that President Minnikhanov proceeded to study rooms, the new biobank and clean rooms for cell research. Director Kiyasov spoke about those in detail.
The delegation then moved to the therapy and neurology ward of the Second Emergency Hospital. Medical Director of the University Clinic Almir Abashev spoke about the future reconstruction and equipment purchases. The building opened its doors in 1849 and needs some significant renovation, but – as President Minnikhanov mentioned – with maximum attention to its historical appearance.
All in all, the President was very content with the work done. He said that the new clinic doesn't copy anything that has so far been done in Tatarstan but strives to be on par with the leading medical establishments of the world. The clinic can become the center of the new medical cluster, he added.
In his speech Rector Gafurov told the Board of Trustees that reviving medical education at the University is a tribute to its history. The medical faculty was one of the pillars of University education during its early years. The first elected rector of the University was physiology professor Johann Braun.
The disbandment of the medical faculty in 1930s signified the end of the golden age of medicine in Kazan, said the Rector. There were some brilliant researchers and talented doctors after that but no breakthrough discoveries or world-level figures.
That's why the University management decided to create the new institute and choose medicine as one of the priority areas. Only three years have passed, and now the University has a full cycle educational system, with studies, research, development, production, and clinical practice.
That's one of the reasons why the University became number 301 – 350 in the latest Times Higher Education rankings and number 31 in the separate rankings for emerging economies.
There are now 702 medical students at the Institute of FMB, 313 of them overseas students. 131 students are in the English-language programs in general medicine, pharmacy, and dentistry.
144 postgraduates are working on their PhD theses. Such a high number attests to the Institute's research potential, said Rector Gafurov. One can also add the fact that about 270 million rubles have been obtained through grants and sponsorships.
The Ministry of Education and Finance of Russia has so far been very impressed by these results, so there will be additional federal funding of 100 million year rubles a year for the next three years.
The Institute's publication activity gave 216 papers in 2015 in peer-reviewed journals of Web of Science and Scopus.
The research and technology at the Institute must also be mentioned. There are currently four World Excellence Centers: 1) Genomics, Proteomics, Biotechnology; 2) Pharmaceutics; 3) Neurobiology; 4) Regenerative and Translational Medicine. They are all headed by prominent scientists, among them Marat Yusupov, Rustem Khazipov, Yoshihide Hayashizaki, and Richard Pestell.
Moreover, 22 open labs have been created. They are independent research and development units and can fill their own rosters with Russian and foreign contributors.
Kazan University also joined the federal program Pharma-2020 and established its Pharmaceutics Research and Education Center. Pfizer, Novartis, and some other well-known Big Pharma companies already expressed their interest in cooperation. A number of new medications are ready for production, and the University is currently seeking for investment partners. The facilities are ready to start at any moment now.
Russian pharmaceutical centers also pay attention to this new opportunity. Namely, Saint-Petersburg State Chemical-Pharmaceutical Academy cooperates with the Pharmaceutics Center of KFU in its new antifungal medication research.
Of course, one mustn't forget about the Medical Simulation Center with its virtual operating theater and ICU, maternity ward and endoscopy room, and many other top-notch simulators.
Director of the Institute of FMB Andrey Kiyasov then proceeded to talk in more detail about translational medicine. According to the existing Institute's strategy, the first stage (2012 – 2014) was dedicated to the establishment and preparation works, the current second stage (2014 - 2016) has to do with international cooperation and the University Clinic, and the third (after 2016) will be the translational stage itself with first research results implemented in education and treatment.
President Minnikhanov also ordered to merge the former military hospital (adjacent to the new clinic) into the new structure. Details and paperwork will be discussed sometime next year.