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'Meet our grantees' 5: Namik Rashydov, Head of Laboratory of Biophysics signaling systems, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

In the 'Meet our grantees' series we present beneficiaries of our EaP PLUS grants to attend brokerage (networking) events. Now we publish the 5th interview with Namik Rashydov.


  • Posted on: Mar 13, 2019
  • Ukraine
  • Important

Tags: EaP PLUS project news, EU-EaP cooperation, Excellent science, Horizon 2020, Researchers

I am Namik Rashydov and was born in 1950 in the paradisiacal town Sheki, Azerbaijan, which is located on the Great Caucasus Mountain range. For a long time I have been living and working in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, as scientific researcher at the Institute for Cell Biology and Genetic Engineering of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NASU). My scientific interests include the remediation of the Chernobyl alienation zone and how the living habitat here withstands chronic radiation. My hobbies include travelling, preparing healthy food for people and sharing information about these activities and experiences with my friends.

Can you please explain your professional background?

After my graduation from Azerbaijan State University I worked in the field of applied nuclear research. But I am also wondering what role radiation plays in our life. As a result, I spent some time investigating the influence of thermal neutrons on the genome of plants at the Nuclear Reactor of the Institute Nuclear Research of NASU. I found that the spectrum of mutation of the plants after thermal neutron irradiation was expansive. This research shed light on the Boron Neutron Capture Therapy cancer treatment (BNCT) in oncology. In 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe my research interest shifted to radioecology and I began my experiments and relevant environmental monitoring in radionuclide contaminated areas.

What is your current professional situation?

Currently, I am the head of the “Laboratory Biophysics Signal System of plants” where some related topics are worked out. The system approach explains how biotas mitigate, suffer and continue lifespans under the influence of ionizing radiation. In experiments, plants deserve special attention because they have sedentary lives, growth and transgenerational development and, other than animals, are unable to leave contaminated areas. Thus, they cannot avoid the harmful effects of exposure to chronic radiation. Our experimental areas, near the former village Chistogalovka, are located at a distance of approximately 5 km from the epicentre, the destroyed Chernobyl station and the control area is located at Chernobyl town where the soil is comparably less radionuclide contaminated. The aim of this study was to use different experimental approaches to evaluate transgenerational changes of metabolic pathways, as a result of soybean and flax adaptation to the environment in the Chernobyl alienation zone.

What is the focus of your scientific research project?

My central scientific research subject is the link of plant/crop characteristics to ecosystem services and sustainability in a diversity-productivity context, and especially the implementation of scientific results within this subject into practical applications in agriculture/forestry in Ukraine. The project will strengthen other countries’ research within the area of sustainability, and will contribute to capacity building within relevant Ukrainian research communities.

What were you able to achieve/which event were you able to attend thanks to the EaP PLUS grant?

Thanks to the EaP PLUS grant I could learn about the my research sector within the European scientific environment. Moreover I could attend the 56th International Agricultural-Food Fair at Gornja Radgona. During this event, I could orally present my research field, had bilateral talks, and matchmaking sessions with possible collaboration partners for the futureI focused on presenting my research study platform and had talks with persons from Hungary, Slovenia, and China for instance.

In which way did the EaP PLUS grant contribute to support your scientific research project?

Thanks to the EaP PLUS grant I additionally understood how to better present my project to the final customer. I also received valuable information about European customers, which I think need our further ecology clean production enriched with Selenium.

What are the next steps of your scientific research project (where do you see yourself in the next 5 years)?

Thanks to the participation in this international event, I could increase the amount of potential partners for jointly submitting a research application to HORIZON 2020, as well as to other international funding schemes. We have a consortium of EU and USA partners, ready to participate in research collaboration. We have the scientific results, which may be introduced into practice, and at the brokerage event we were supposed to involve interested business partners for potential collaboration. The focus of our field of research is targeting the following Horizon 20202 call: BIOTEC-02-2019: Boosting the efficiency of photosynthesis (RIA). We are intending to submit a proposal to this particular call.

We already received some Ukrainian grant in order to continue our investigation in the next five years. Moreover, we have prepared a mutual project with Uppsala University (Sweden), but we are currently still waiting for the results to be announced.

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