The 24th conference ‘Fundamental Science and Clinical Medicine – Homo and Health’ has taken place at St Petersburg University. Students, young researchers and experienced scientists from leading Russian and international universities, research institutes and healthcare centres spoke at the event. 

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The biomedical conference ‘Fundamental Science and Clinical Medicine – Homo and Health’ was conceived over 20 years ago by Yuri Natochin, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Since then, it has brought together young researchers from Russia and abroad. ‘An entire generation of young doctors–researchers has developed during this time. We are confident that this is one of the best platforms to make the first steps in presenting one's research and take part in scientific discussions. The conference “Homo and Health” helps to develop one’s scientific style and set the priorities,’ notes Professor Petr Iablonskii, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at St Petersburg University.  

This traditional event was held in an online format, which significantly expanded its outreach. This year the organisers received over 520 applications for participation, of which 470 works have been approved by the reviewers and published in the conference papers.

 

‘The geography of the participants of the current conference is wide: from Vietnam and Vladivostok to Dresden and Zagreb, from Arkhangelsk and Petrozavodsk to Tel Aviv and Indore. I think that it is the best proof of the conference’s popularity, international reach and high scientific level,’ emphasised Petr Iablonskii.

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Professor Karina Lenskaya, the Head of the Department of Pharmacology at St Petersburg University, gave a presentation on the development of new medications at the plenary session.    According to her, it takes from 7 to 12 years from the start of the development activity for medication to enter the market in Russia. At the same time, pharmacies carry more and more generics. These are medications whose composition does not significantly differ from the formula of the original medication. They require less time for production and registration.

We should work on the first-in-class or new medications. It certainly takes more time to develop and launch them in the market, but such medications will be more effective and might have less side effects.

Professor Karina Lenskaya, the Head of the Department of Pharmacology at St Petersburg University

When developing the drug formula, it is important to choose optimal ingredients to increase the pharmacological action of the medication. The Institute of Translational Biomedicine is engaged in this activity at St Petersburg University. The Institute researchers work on optimising pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of the new drugs. According to Karina Lenskaya, it is crucial to follow a multidisciplinary approach enabling cooperation between chemists, biochemists and medical doctors. Also, students should be introduced to the stages of the new medication development process during their university studies.

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Young researchers and leading scientists from Belarus, Croatia, Germany, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Palestine, Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam took part in the conference.

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Psychiatrist Miro Jakovljevic, member of the Croatian Academy of Medical Sciences, professor at the University of Zagreb, spoke about the ways to increase the efficiency of psychiatric help during the pandemic. He presented the CP-CNO concept of narrative psycho-pharmacotherapy for creative personalities. This concept has resulted from the professor’s 40 years of clinical practice and scientific research. As explained by the scientist, 40% of changes in psychotherapy occur due to personal resources both internal and environment-based. 30% of changes are related to the qualities of the psychotherapist including empathy and the ability to accept. 15% of changes emanate from the patient's trust and positive expectations otherwise called the placebo effect. The remaining 15% result from special techniques and theoretical models applied by the doctor. The CP-CNP concept rests on achieving stability and resilience, includes a change in the patient's life scenario, conscious practices, and a new life goal. Due to this approach the patient’s creativity, self-understanding, and contentment with life increase together with achieving somatic, psychological, spiritual and social well-being.

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At the plenary session, Elizaveta Borodulina, a school student from St Petersburg and one of the youngest conference participants, shared the results of her research on the correlation between the level of intellectual development among high school students and their ability to concentrate. Young researchers from St Petersburg University, ITMO University, Saint Petersburg State Chemical Pharmaceutical University and the Zabludowicz Centre for Autoimmune Diseases at the Sheba Medical Centre affiliated with Tel Aviv University (Israel) also made presentations at the conference. 

The symposium on the ‘Current issues of clinical pathophysiology’ has been held at St Petersburg University for the fifth time. This year, it attracted researchers and young scientists not only from Russia and Croatia, but also from Iran and Palestine.

 

The conference work proceeded in the nine sections dedicated to the main medical fields. There were three satellite symposia: the traditional Russia–Croatia symposium on the ‘Current issues of clinical pathophysiology’ held under the auspices of the International Society for Pathophysiology; the ‘Art, History, Medicine’ symposium; and ‘Together against the pandemic’ symposium devoted to the COVID-19 research.  

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