Prof Vladimir Khavinson
President of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics, European Region; Vice–President of the Gerontological Society of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Director of the Saint-Petersburg Institute of Bioregulation and Gerontology, Member of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, the main specialist in gerontology and geriatrics of the Health Committee and adviser of the Committee for Social Policy of the Government of St. Petersburg.
Since 1971 V. Khavinson has been engaged in studying of the role of peptides in regulation of the mechanisms of ageing, design, preclinical and clinical study of new peptide geroprotectors. His 35-year long investigations resulted in elaboration of a method for complex application of peptide bioregulators to slow down ageing and increase average life span. 6 peptide pharmaceuticals and 36 biologically active supplements developed by V. Khavinson have been introduced into clinical practice.
V. Khavinson is the author of over 700 publications, however, the major achievements are summarized in his books “Gerontological aspects of genome peptide regulation” (Karger AG, 2005) and “Peptides and Ageing” (NEL, 2002). He is the author of 189 Russian and International patents.
It is thanks to participatory efforts of V. Khavinson that the scientific specialty «Gerontology and Geriatrics» was adopted in the Russian Federation on the governmental level in 2001. An Academic Council for upholding PhD and Doctorate thesis in gerontology and geriatrics was organized at the Institute immediately. Besides professionals from Russia, doctors from other countries defend dissertations in gerontology in this Council. Over 160 theses have been defended at this Council since then.
Three IAGG-ER Congresses were organized and held under his personal supervision. These are: the 2nd European Congress of IAGG on Biogerontology in 2000 in St. Petersburg, the 6th European Congress of IAGG on Clinical Gerontology in 2002 in Moscow and the 6th European Congress of IAGG in 2007 in St. Petersburg.
The Russian Gerontological Society issues 2 scientific Journals – «Advances in Gerontology» and «Clinical Gerontology». V. Khavinson is a member of the Editorial Boards of both Journals and a Deputy Editor-in-Chief of “Advances…”. «Advances in Gerontology» is indexed in Index Medicus/Medline and is be published in the English language by Springer Verlag starting from 2011. The informational instrument of the Society is its bulletin «Herald of the Russian Gerontological Society». It has been published since 1996.
In 2009, the Institute headed by him was designated an IAGG Collaborating Centre.
In 2010, the Institute was given a Special Consultative Status of the UN ECOSOC.
In 2011, it was enrolled in the IAGG’s Global Ageing Research Network (GARN).
He was the first to organize an International training seminar in collaboration with United Nations Department for Social and Economic Affairs related to formulation and implementation of state policy in the countries of Eastern Europe and Middle Asia. A very important initiative launched by him as a current Chair of the IAGG-ER Biological Section is a special issue of “Biogerontology” prepared together with the Secretary of the IAGG-ER Prof. Suresh Rattan, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal on the occasion of the 7th European Congress of IAGG in Bologna (14-17 April, 2010). It contains articles presented by National European Gerontological Societies providing an overview of the state of biogerontological research in various countries in Europe.
According to the initiative of V. Khavinson the Executive Committee of the IAGG ER has instituted the Award of the IAGG ER «For Advances in Gerontology and Geriatrics». The aims of this Award are to elevate the prestige and significance of gerontological science and to secure public acknowledgement of the excellence and achievements of gerontologists in Europe in the three following disciplines: biological, clinical and social & behavioural sciences.
Design and funding of the award has been undertaken by the Saint Petersburg Institute of Bioregulation and Gerontology.
Honors and awards:
- Honorary title “ Honored Inventor of the Russian Federation”, 1988
- “The USSR Council of Ministers’ Prize” for the introduction and promotion of new
highly efficient peptide bioregulators in health care and veterinary practice, 1990
- The Russian Academy of Sciences Prize, 1991
- The State Scientific Grants of the Russian Academy of Sciences for outstanding scientists, 1994, 1997
- P.Kapitsa’ Memorial medal “Author of Scientific Discovery”, 1996
- The Ukrainian Academy of Medical Sciences Prize, 2003
- P.Ehrlich Silver Medal for outstanding achievements in preventive and social medicine, Europaische Akademie der Naturwissenschaften, Hannover, 2006
- Award of the State Duma of the Russian Federation for the best project represented at the Economy Forum in 2007
- Honorary title «Honored Scientist of the Russian Federation», 2007
- Prize of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences for the monograph “The Pineal Gland: routes of correction in ageing”, 2010
Member of Societies:
- Gerontological Society of the Russian Academy of Sciences (since 1994 Vice-President)
- Italian Academy of Economics and Social Sciences, active member (since 1996)
- The Gerontological Society of America, active member (since 1996)
- Research and Medical Society of Gerontologists and Geriatricians of the Ukraine,
Honorary member (since 2000)
- Member of the Expert Council of the Committee for promoting healthy life style
of the Public Chamber (since 2006)
- President of the Biological Section of the IAGG ER (2007-2011)
- President of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics, European Region (since 2011)
Member of Editorial Boards of the Journals:
- ”Advances in Gerontology” (St.Petersburg);
- “Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine” (Moscow)
- “Clinical Gerontology” (Moscow)
- “Cytokines and Inflammation” (St.Petersburg)
- “Geronto-Geriatrics” (Mexico)
- “Herald of Gerontological. Society of the Russian Acad.of Sci.”(St.Petersburg)
- “Herald of the Russian Acad. of Natural Sci.” (St.Petersburg)
- “Medical Acad. Journ.” (St.Petersburg)
- “Neuroendocrinology Letters” (Stockholm) – Honorary Director
2012 - Epigenetic mechanisms of increasing the organism vital resource
Peptides are able to regulate gene expression. In transgenic mice, they suppressed 2-4-fold the expression of the HER-2/neu mammary gland cancer gene. The peptides administered increase IL-2 and c-fos genes transcription in lymphocytes and various structures of hypothalamus. The mechanisms of the peptide action are associated with chromatin activation in blood lymphocytes of aged patients. Human fibroblasts treated with peptides showed the telomerase activity induction and a 2.5-fold increase in the mean telomere length. Peptides increased the number of cell divisions by 42.5% (showed the overcoming of the Hayfiick's limit) and the lifespan of rats by about 30-40%.
Fluorescent FITC-labeled peptides penetrate into HeLa cells and their compartments including nucleus and nucleolus and, therefore, they may interact there with both DNA and RNA. In vitro, peptides investigated bind to double- and single-stranded deoxyribooligonucleotides containing CNG and CG sequences that are target sites for DNA methylation in eukaryotes. Peptide binding depends on the cytosine methylation status of oligos and DNA. Peptides modulate specifically the action of eukaryotic endonucleases depending on DNA methylation status. Site-specific peptide binding with DNA protects DNA against endonuclease hydrolysis. Their binding to CNG or CG sites in gene promoters should prevent a methylation of these sites with respective DNA-methyltransferases and leave promoters unmethylated that is crucial for activation of most genes. This is a one of the most probable mechanisms of regulation of transcription with short peptides. Peptide binding with DNA is modulated by H1 histone.
Treatment of aged and senile people with peptides improved their physiological functions and decreased the lethality by 44-49% in a period of 15-year clinical observation.
Thus, specific peptide-DNA interactions control epigenetically the cell genetic functions and can be responsible for homeostasis recovery and life-span prolongation. They seem to play an important role even at earliest stages of life origin and in evolution.