A graduate of the Russian-Armenian University with a degree in “Bioengineering and Bioinformatics”, RAU lecturer Anahit Hovhannisyan won a grant named after Maria Sklodovskaya-Curie, a Nobel Prize winner in physics and chemistry. This grant is considered one of the most prestigious in the field of science and is awarded annually by the European Commission to experienced scientific researchers.
For more than 10 years, Anahit Hovhannisyan has been engaged in population genetics and has been working at the Institute of Molecular Biology of the RA National Academy of Sciences.The research of the young scientist will be aimed at studying the influence of selective choice and the origin of clinically significant genetic variants in the Armenian population. The project will be implemented at Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland).
“Over the past five years, there has been a huge leap in biology: now we have a unique opportunity to work with the entire genomes of organisms. This is a huge amount of information that allows us to evaluate all the variations in the genome. Modern technologies and methods also make it possible to analyze the DNA of human, animal and plant fossils. Thus, we can obtain detailed information about the genetic history of populations, the origin and spread of many diseases. My research is specifically aimed at studying the genetic and demographic history of Armenians, as well as analyzing the origin of clinically significant genetic variants in the Armenian population", said Anahit.
Anahit Hovhannisyan also graduated from National Academy of Sciences of RA postgraduate studies and now teaches the RAU students population genetics. Speaking about science and education in Armenia, she noted huge interest of youth towards various spheres of knowledge: “We should actively attract younger people, create relevant conditions for their career growth, and, of course, involve them in scientific works from early student years”.
According to Anahit Hovhannisyan, the role of knowledge, gained within Russian-Armenian University, is very high. “Of course, Alma-mater puts and forms the initial foundation of knowledge. But it depends on a student themselves, how solid this foundation will be, how relative it will be to the latest requirements of time. Everything is achieved within the process of long-term work on yourself, constant pursue towards knowledge and achievement of new goals”.
The young researcher is not going to stop on achieved and plans continuing to actively undertake scientific activity and participate in promotion and popularization of science in Armenia and beyond it.
It should be noted that from 2016 Armenian scientists have opportunity to apply for grants within the frames of scientific and innovative program of the European Union Horizon-2020 (currently Horizon Europe), which also includes the grant after Marie Sklodowska Curie. So far this grant was awarded only to one Armenian scientist. This year two participants were strictly selected from Armenia: Anahit Hovhannisyan and Ripsime Mkrtchyan (physicist).
Translated by Inessa Sharko & Sona Oganyan
(Master's Program in Translation & Interpretation)