The Research Institute of Physical and Organic Chemistry of the Rostov State University (IPOC) was founded in 1971 as a subdivision of the North-Caucasian Scientific Centre of Higher School established a year before. The Institute includes six departments and four laboratories. Currently, the staff of the Institute comprises 180 associates, among them there are 14 Doctors of Science and more than 65 Ph.D. The Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Molecular Spectroscopy Laboratory has the status of a Shared Access Center of the Russian Foundation Science Research (RFBR). For RFBR grant holders from the south of Russia, similar functions are performed by the Laboratories of Quantum Chemistry and Photochemistry, which implements the RFBR and Ministry for Industry Science and Technology projects on computer network development and molecular simulation for higher education institutes in the south of Russia.
Since 1998, the Institute has been affiliated to the Division of General and Technical Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences (since 2001, the Division of Chemistry and Materials Sciences). This fact, together with the foundation of joint laboratories with the Southern Center of RAS, Institute of the Problems of Chemical Physics, Institute of Physical Chemistry and the International Tomographic Center of RAS reflects the tendency towards the closer integration of Russian science and education. An important advantage of the organization structure of the Institute is the close contact to educational departments of the Universities allowing selection and recruitment of the most gifted students to the work on scientific projects. The Institute maintains post-graduate and doctorate courses and has Dissertation Council for defending Ph. D. and Doctor of Science degrees.
The main fields of research developed at the Institute are related to organic synthesis, photochemistry, the synthesis and study of the properties of metal coordination compounds, structural theory, and the mechanisms of organic reactions.
Of the interesting results of investigation performed at the Institute in recent years, noteworthy is the theoretical development of the principle of structural design of compounds with dynamic molecular behavior able to undergo reversible low barrier intramolecular rearrangements. This principle has underline the targeted synthesis on bi stable compounds existing as two or several stable forms whose interconversions can be induced by electromagnetic or electric fields. Studies into photocontrolled bi stable structures have resulted in the development of new types of photochromic and fluorescent systems functioning as abiotic converters of light energy, highly sensitive photochemical chemosensors, effective molecular switches and 3D data recording media (molecular memory).
A traditional field of investigation at the Institute is the synthesis of polycyclic nitrogen- and oxygen-containing heterocycles and monosaccharides. The scientists working at the Institute have received more than 100 patents, including foreign ones, for physiologically active compounds exhibiting more than 50 types of biological activity including antidiabetic, antiaggregant, antiarrythmic, antinuclear, local anesthetic, antioxidant and others. Some of these products have already been authorized for clinical trials and are allowed to be used in clinical practice by the Russian Federation Pharmacological Committee.
The applied studies carried out at the Institute concentrate on electrochemistry (study of metal corrosion mechanisms, development of effective corrosion inhibitors for drilling tools operating in highly acidic and hydrogen sulfide environments), geochemistry (regional analytic surveys, landscape pollution mapping, analysis of antropogenic pollution), development of new composites, coatings, lubricants and antifriction materials for aerospace and the automotive industry (some materials elaborated at the Institute were used in the space shuttle Buran).
During the last 5 years the scientists working at the Institute have published more than 20 scientific monographs (ten of them were published in the USA, Germany and the Netherlands) with more than 1000 scientific papers published in Russian and other international journals. More than 100 patents were granted two inventions being patented abroad (in 23 countries). There are three State Prize laureates winners: of A.M.Butlerov and L.A.Chugaev Prizes of RAS as well as of a number of International Awards including the Alexander von Humboldt Prize.
Of special significance are international programmes and grants from the European Union (INTAS), Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF, USA), Alexander von Humboldt and Volkswagen Stifftung Foundation (Germany), International Science and Technical Center (ISTC), Council of National Research and Science (CNRS, France). The Institute supports intense collaboration with many laboratories and researchers all over the world.
Academician of RAS V.I.Minkin
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