HSE University to Establish Four New International Labs
Two international laboratories will be created at the HSE University Institute of Electronics and Mathematics, one at the Faculty of Geography and Geoinformation Technology, and one at the Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology. The four projects were selected from a total of 17 applications.
HSE University has announced the results of the Project Competition for Launching International Laboratories, which covers the period from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2024.
The Committee for Organizing the Activities of International Research Projects, with the involvement of leading foreign and Russian scientists at HSE University, has selected the following projects:
‘Low-dimensional Semiconducting Metamaterials, Quantum Dots, Nanophotonics and Quantum Optics, and Quantum Communication: Self-organization and Spontaneous Patterns, Ferromagnetic Superconductors, and Unconventional Superconductivity in Low-dimensional Metamaterials’ led by Francois Peeters and Alexei Vagov.
‘Lightning Initiation, Intracloud Lightning and High-energy Atmospheric Physics’ led by Ashot Chilingarian and Alexander Kostinskiy.
‘Structural and Functional Organization of Complex Territorial Systems in Conditions of Modern Changes in the Global Climate’ led by Christine Fürst and Robert Sandlerskiy.
‘High-tech Healthcare’ led by Andrei Lavrinenko and Pavel Melentev.
HSE University will set up four new international laboratories based on the results of the contest. Two will be created at the Institute of Electronics and Mathematics (MIEM): the Centre for Quantum Metamaterials and the International Laboratory for the Study and Assessment of Dangerous Geophysical Phenomena. The Faculty of Geography and Geoinformation Technology will gain the International Laboratory for Landscape Ecology, while the Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology will gain the International Laboratory of Nanoplasmonics and Its Biomedical Applications.
The Centre for Quantum Metamaterials
Quantum metamaterials are an important field in contemporary science at the junction of fundamental science and technology. The new unified research centre at HSE MIEM will conduct interdisciplinary studies into innovative quantum materials.
In recent years, the topic of ‘metamaterials’ has started gaining wider attention. Metamaterials are artificially created composite materials with properties not found in any naturally occurring materials. Quantum metamaterials are a class of metamaterials whose properties are governed by quantum mechanics, making them a highly intriguing field of research in modern science.
Laboratories dedicated to quantum materials and metamaterials can be found in leading universities around the world, including Stanford University (USA), the University of British Columbia (Canada), the University of Washington (USA), Imperial College London (UK), and Harvard University (USA).
HSE MIEM has prior experience in the study of quantum materials and is the perfect environment for the new Centre for Quantum Metamaterials. The centre’s work will be vital in conducting and coordinating research into the properties of innovative quantum materials and instruments made from them. Such instruments feature components that operate under vastly different physical principles: superconductors, magnets, semiconductors, low-dimensional nanosystems and more.
The International Laboratory for the Study and Assessment of Dangerous Geophysical Phenomena
Modern physicists face a number of important questions surrounding the physics of lightning, such as the role played by cosmic rays in lightning initiation and the lightning processes capable of creating flows of high-energy particles. Finding answers to these questions requires close cooperation between scientists from a wide range of disciplines, including thunder and lightning physics, gas-discharge and long-spark physics, cosmic-ray physics, and radiophysics. Such cooperation will be possible at the new world-class laboratory created at HSE MIEM in collaboration with the Cosmic Ray Division of the A.I. Alikhanyan National Science Laboratory (Yerevan Physics Institute, Armenia). The international laboratory’s researchers are preparing to obtain groundbreaking experimental and theoretical results in the fields of lightning initiation and intracloud lightning in the context of high-energy atmospheric physics and cosmic-ray air showers.
The International Laboratory of Nanoplasmonics and Its Biomedical Applications
The new international laboratory at the HSE University Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology is aimed at creating and developing methods for detecting ultra-low concentrations of troponin molecules in human blood in order to prevent cardiovascular diseases in their early stages. The researchers also plan to contribute to the fight against COVID-19 by developing methods to detect ultra-low concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 particles in order to monitor the spread of infection. The researchers will also trial the developed diagnostic methods in hospitals. The results of the project will provide a solid foundation for the creation of compact devices capable of taking highly accurate and rapid measurements. Such work has vital medical and pharmacological applications, and the project’s output will be highly sought after in the field of medical diagnostics.
The International Laboratory for Landscape Ecology
Landscape ecology combines natural sciences such as biology, ecology, and physical geography with social sciences such as landscape architecture, regional planning, economics and others. It is a field that integrates various interdisciplinary approaches in environmental research. Landscape ecology also combines a spatial approach to geography with a functional approach to ecology. This provides a basis for synthesizing data from a variety of measurement systems, which enables up-to-date assessment of the condition of complex territorial systems, from ecosystems to landscapes.
The International Laboratory for Landscape Ecology will be a unique transdisciplinary natural sciences department at HSE University aimed at developing original environmental research methods at the global level. Its researchers will develop a full range of methods for processing remote information, with a focus on maximizing its effectiveness as a source of data on the structure and organization of land cover.
HSE University has announced the winners of the Project Competition in Basic Science Research for Intercampus Departments. The competition, which the university is organising for the first time, will provide funding to 10 research teams working on five topics. Four of the winning projects will be implemented by new research departments formed as a result of the competition.
An international group of scientists and medical specialists, including HSE researchers, examined the role played by microRNA (miRNA) and long non-coding RNAs on the progression of ovarian cancer. Having analysed more than a hundred tumour samples, they found that miRNA can prevent cell mutation while long non-coding RNAs have the opposite effect of enabling such mutations. These findings can help design new drugs which act by regulating miRNA concentrations. The study was published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
In early September, the HSE University Faculty of Computer Science hosted the international conference Computer Methods of Cognitome Analysis. The event was organised by the International Laboratory of Algebraic Topology and Its Applications at the faculty.
Researchers of the HSE University and the Southern Federal University (SFedU) have tested a new method for studying the perception of facial emotional expressions. They suggest that asking subjects to recognise emotional expressions from dynamic video clips rather than static photographs can improve the accuracy of findings, eg in psychiatric and neurological studies. The paper is published in Applied Sciences.
Academics’ work week became even longer during the pandemic. This is true of researchers from different countries, independently of their gender and specialisation, an international research team with HSE University participation found. Their working time during the pandemic was 51 hours compared to the usual 40. The increased number of working hours per week seems to have become part of the new academic norm. The results of the study were published in the Plos One journal.
Researchers of the HSE International Laboratory of Statistical and Computational Genomics together with their international colleagues have proposed a new statistical method for analysing population admixture that makes it possible to determine the time and number of migration waves more accurately. The history of Colombians and Mexicans (descendants of Native Americans, Spaniards and Africans) features two episodes of admixture that occurred about 350 and 200 years ago for Mexicans and 400 and 100 years ago for Colombians. The results were published in the Plos Genetics journal.
Scholars from Moscow and Vladivostok Join Efforts to Study Institutes and Preferences in Economic Behaviour
Applications from HSE departments for the ‘Mirror Laboratories’ open project competition are open until May 20. One of the ‘mirror laboratories’ successfully operating today was created as a result of a similar competition in 2020 by economists from HSE University and Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) to study institutes and preferences in economic behaviour. Alexis Belianin, Head of the HSE International Laboratory for Experimental and Behavioural Economics, talked about how peers from Moscow and Vladivostok collaborate.
Psychologists from HSE University have joined their peers from Ekaterinburg to look into the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of Russian doctors. They found that medical staff are suffering from stress, anxiety, and depression more often than before. The results of the study were published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
The laboratory will be led by Robert Sandlersky, a specialist in energy and mass transfer and the study of other properties of landscapes via satellite imagery and Senior Research Fellow at the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The HSE News Service spoke to Robert about the laboratory’s future activities.
HSE University has launched a new International Laboratory for the Study and Assessment of Dangerous Geophysical Phenomena. Alexander Kostinskiy, Head of the Laboratory and Deputy Director of HSE MIEM, explains the laboratory’s future work, its important research and practical applications, and the role of international cooperation in the new laboratory.