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The Third White Sea Comparative Physiology Summer School, September 2018

The 3rd White Sea Comparative Physiology Summer School has been successfully held at WSBS MSU on 28.08-15.09.2018.

The School was generously supported by MSU Marine Research Center and The Company of Biologists.


The School was attended by students and teachers from Russia, Serbia, Finland, UK, Sweden, Nigeria, Czech Republic, Spain, Canada, Switzerland, Portugal, Italy and Austria. The following students have successfully accomplished both practical and theoretical parts of the course and obtained certificate of attendance:

Artem Razumov (Russia)
Charlotte Marris (UK)
Daniel Morgenroth (Spain/Sweden)
James Hinchcliffe (UK/Sweden)
James Marchant (UK/Canada)
Jann Zwahlen (Switzerland/Italy)
Kasja Pavlovic (Serbia)
Ksenia Butova (Russia)
Martins Ainerua (Nigeria/UK)
Nuno Ramalho (Portugal/Czech Republic)
Per Hjelmstedt (Sweden)
Veronika Olejničkova (Czech Republic)












The students were working in small groups, 3 persons in each, and mastered 6 methods essential for actual complex studies of cardiovascular system:

1. Patch-clamp recording of ionic currents in isolated cardiomyocytes. Instructors: Prof. Matti Vornanen, Dr. Denis Abramochkin.




2. Confocal calcium imaging in isolated cardiomyocytes. Instructor: Dr. Holly Shiels.




3. Recording of action potentials in multicellular myocardial preparations with sharp microelectrodes. Instructors: Alexandra Ivanova, Tatiana Filatova.




4. Immunocytochemical staining of isolated cardiomyocytes. Instructor: Dr. Halina Dobrzynski.



5. In vivo ECG recording in free-swimming fish. Instructors: Dr. Vladislav Kuzmin, Viktoria Potekhina.




6. In vitro measurement of cardiac mitochondria respiration rate. Instructors: Dr. Gina Galli, Dr. Javier Iglesias-Gonzalez.




Noteworthy, in the end of each working day all the students and teachers discussed the obtained results.

Besides the practicals, 19 lectures were given, dedicated to either methodical or theoretical aspects of comparative cardiovascular physiology:

1. Opening lecture by Dr. Holly Shiels, “Comparative physiology: challenges for the future”.
2. “Microelectrode registration of electrical activity” - by Dr. Denis Abramochkin.
3. “Introduction to patch-clamp technique” – by Dr. Matti Vornanen.
4. “Biological fluorescence” – by Dr. Holly Shiels.

5. “Principles of immunocytochemistry” – by Dr. Halina Dobrzynski.
6. “Preconditioning of the cardiovascular system by exercise and hyperbaric oxygenation” – by Dr. Vladimir Jakovljevic.
7. “In vivo and in vitro examination of cardiac function” – by Dr. Ivan Srejovic.
8. “Fish heart physiology in an era of climate change” – by Dr. Holly Shiels.
9. “Principles of mitochondrial respiration rate measurement” – by Dr. Gina Galli.
10. “Mitochondrial adaptations to hypoxia” –by Dr. Gina Galli.
11. “In vivo cardiorespiratory effects of temperature in fish” –by Dr. Erik Sandblom.

 12. “Mathematical models in comparative electrophysiology. From the Hodgkin-Huxley model to personalized human heart models.” – by Dr. Olga Solovyova.
.13. “The hypothesis of thermal deterioration of electrical excitability (TDEE)” – by Dr. Matti Vornanen
14. “Gasotransmitters in the regulation of vascular tone in mammalian and non-mammalian vertebrates” – by Dr. Olga Tarasova.
15. “Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species in early development and tissue regeneration” – by Dr. Javier Iglesias-Gonzalez.

16. – “Mapping of the mammalian cardiac conduction system” – by Dr. Halina Dobrzynski.

17. “Electrophysiology of pacemaking tissues in vertebrate animals: evolutionary and embryological aspects” – by Dr. Vladislav Kuzmin.

18. “Patch-clamp in the raging sea” – by Dr. Denis Abramochkin.
19. “Excitation propagation in the fish heart” – by Dr. Jan Azarov.

Scientific program of the School was balanced with various social and cultural events, such as 4 parties, sea trip to Kastyan island, excursions in vicinity of WSBS, viewing of Soviet movies and a great evening of Russian folk games and songs organized by Evgenia Volkova.

Moreover, several popular lections were offered to participants: Prof. Alexander Tzetlin introduced them to the history and present life of pomor people, Alexander Kotsky showed them the wonders of Russian cuisine, Dr. Maxim Lovat timely explained the mechanisms of alcoholism and principles of safe vodka consumption, Dr. Denis Abramochkin told about the main landmarks of Russian history, Daria Samoilova demonstrated the main representatives of WSBS flora.

No doubt, the School got remarkable success and became unforgettable event for all of the participants. Once again our Biostation got new friends around the world! However, all that would be impossible without well co-ordinated work of Organizing Committee (D.V.Abramochkin, V.S.Kuzmin, M.A.Shirokova) and heroic help of volunteers: Alexander Gvozdev, Armen Zakarian, Artem Kuznetsov, Daria Samoilova, Evgenia Volkova, Eva Borisova and Olga Zakabluk. 


For the third time our Biostation welcomed international group of young physiologists. The future of physiological sciences depends on them. Their happy faces inspire us to go further – forwards to the 4th White Sea Comparative Physiology Summer School in 2021!


Photos: 66


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Republic Karelia, RUSSIA

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