Eminent scientists

Dimitry Gedevanishvili (1902-1990)

Dimitry Gedevanishvili was born on September 15, 1902, in Tbilisi.

After secondary school education he, in 1920, matriculated in Tbilisi State University, having graduated its Medical Faculty in 1927. In the same year he started working in a clinic of Neuropathology under guidance of Professor Simon Kipshidze, and then in a physiological laboratorie and chair of Tbilisi State University which was directed by the renowned Georgian physiologist Ivane Beritashvili. In 1937 D.Gedevanishvili was conferred on the degree of a doctor in biological sciences, and later, the title of a professor. He headed physiological chairs at Pharmaceutical and Stomatological Institutes. In 1946 D.Gedevanishvili was elected a corresponding-member of Georgian Academy of Sciences. In 1959-1973 he was a pro-rector in scientific affairs of the Tbilisi Medical Institute.

For more than a quarter of century D.Gedevanishvili has been studying Georgian medicinal flora, making its biological standardization. His works done in this area have tangibly contributed to the cause of study of Georgian natural chemical compounds. Great erudition and ability for deep analysis enabled him to solve in an original way quite a number of priority problems, in result receiving international recognition.

D.Gedevanishvili is the author of over 200 scientific works. The proof of his competent authority and broad recognition is also the fact that he was one of the editors of international scientific journal “Biomedical Computerization”, a member of world-wide Organization for Cybernetics and General Systems’ Management and International Association for Cybernetics.

He was Honored Scientist of Georgia, was decorated with Orders of Lenin, of the Red Banner of Labor and of Honor, and some medals.

Dimitry Gedevanishvili died on March 28, 1990 in Tbilisi. He is buried in the Didube Pantheon of Writers and Public Men.


George Vatsadze (1883-1971)

George S.Vatsadze was born in 1883 in Tbilisi.

In 1911 he finished with highest honor the Tbilisi 2nd high school for boys, left for Moscow to continue studying at the Moscow Medical University. During World War I G.Vatsadze being a freshman volunteered in the “Red Cross” detachment. In 1915 in Petersburg at the Emperor’s Palace the queen Mariam was awarding a group of officers, among them was George Vatsadze too. After graduation from the Medical Institute he worked in Russia, but because of farther’s illness had to return to Tbilisi.

The then Tbilisi governor appointed him a general practitioner in the village Digomi. Soon afterwards I.Beritashvili, just being returned from Russia, invites him to work at the Chair of Physiology of Tbilisi University Medical Faculty.

G.Vatsadze’s activity at that period was not restricted with scientific research only. In 1921 he was head of health care department of workers’ deputy executive council. And later, served as a vice-commissary of health care and head of Resort Management, at different resorts of Georgia he initiated Summer Convalescence Camps for children, sanatoria for infants. G.Vatsadze focused attention on the resorts Borjomi, Abastumani, Utsera, specially studied the effect of mineral waters on human body, particularly of Borjomi water. For this reason he explored the effect of Borjomi on digestive and metabolic processes.

In 1926 G.Vatsadze left for Germany for a couple of years to Kili Institute of Physiology. The years spent there proved extremely fruitful for him as a scientist. On returning to his fatherland with doctor’s degree, he again continued to work with I.Beritashvili.

In 1930 when the Medical Faculty was to be separated from University as a separate Institute, Ivane Javakhishvili recommended G.Vatsadze in the capacity of rector of Medical Institute. Thus he becametyhe first rector (1930-1936) of Tbilisi State Medical Institute. On his initiative and guidance two buildings and a hostel for 360 students have been erected.

In 1944 G.Vatsadze was granted the title of honored scientist. In parallel to his recognition started his Golgotha, lasting for 12 years.

In 1945 professor G.Vatsadze was arrested and confined in a cellar of Ministry of Domestic Affairs. In a few months he was sentenced a 10-year imprisonment. Fortunately, his family escaped repressions. In 1949 G.Vatsadze was sent into exile to Spasski penitentiary nearby Karaganda. He was rehabilitated only in 1958.

George Vatsadze died in 1971 in Tbilisi.


Vladimir Voronin (1870–1960)

Vladimir Voronin was born in 1870 in Russia, village Nikolskoe of Tula province.

Since 1893, after having graduated from the Medical Faculty of Moscow University, V.Voronin worked in Germany, then in France at Pasteur Institute in Paris. His scientific works of that time are as important now as ever.

In 1897 he defended doctoral dissertation. In 1908 a title of Professor was conferred on him. From 1908 to 1922 he was head of General Pathology and Bacteriology Chair at Odessa University, at the same, of Odessa Bacteriological Station.

In 1922, the founders of the newly launched Tbilisi State University invited him to be Chief of Pathophysiology Chair at Medical Faculty of the University. He headed this Chair also after disintegration of the Medical Institute as a separate educational Institute (from 1930 to 1955). At the same time he, since 1944, headed the Pathophysiology Department at Ivane Beritashvili Institute of Physiology of Georgian Academy of Sciences and the Pathophysiology and Morphology Department at the Academy. A distinguished scientist (since 1941), an honorary member of Georgian Academy of Sciences (since 1944) V.Voronin had gone a long way in science. The scope of his scientific interests was the study of general pathology of inflammation, blood circulation and the peripheral nervous system. He was distinguished by his fundamental and encyclopedic knowledge in the fields of physics, chemistry, mathematics, he had phenomenal memory, was a highly experienced researcher and teacher. All this found its reflection in his two-volume “Handbook of Pathophysiology” (1947-1948). These books are important by their content and originality, since for tackling and solution of questions concerned with pathogenesis of multiple diseases V.Voronin applied the laws of physics, mechanics and mathematics. About 70 of his published works dealt with the questions of pathophysiology, as well as application in medicine of statistics and cybernetics.

Great is V.Voronin’s contribution to the preparation of highly qualified scientific personnel. Among his pupils were not only well-known pathophysiologists (A.Bogomolets, I.Zaalishvili, G.Mchedlishvili and others), but also many clinicians (P.Gertsen, V.Filatov, M.Yasinovski, L.Dmitrienko, K.Eristavi, I.Lortkipanidze, A.Cheishvili and others).

From 1955 to 1976 the Head of Pathophysiology Chair at Tbilisi State University was his pupil, Professor Irene Zaalishvili; from 1976 to 1990 the Head of the Chair was also his pupil, Professor Teimuraz Natadze. V.Voronon’s scientific traditions were continued by Professor Vakhtang Kipiani, who was the Head of the Chair (now Department) from 1990 to 2015.

V.Voronin has never been a member of the Communist Party, notwithstanding, he was awarded with two Orders of Lenin and two Orders of Red Banner. In 1949, V.Voronin was awarded with A.Bogomolets Scientific Prize by Ukraine Academy of Sciences.

To the lees of his life V.Voronin did not leave Georgia, which he was fond of and almost 40 years he spent for flourishing science in Georgia.

V.Voronin died in 1960 in Tbilisi.

Archil Mikeladze (1929-1974)

Scientific activity of a distinguished Georgian neuromorphologist, Professor Archil Mikeladze, MD was closely associated with I.Beritashvili Institute of Physiology of the Georgian Academy of Sciences. As back as in the 1950s on the initiative of Ivane Beritashvili a group of neuromorphologists was formed, which since 1960 was led by A.Mikeladze who gathered together gifted young people – Gulnara Kiknadze, Eleonora Dzamoeva, Inga Kakabadze, Mzia Zhvania, Anna Tsitsishvili, Helen Mkheidze, Ilia Lazrishvili. The team pursued studies under A.Mikeladze of neuronal organization and monosynaptic connections of the CNS various areas. It has been established in that period that the frontal lobes of the cerebral hemispheres, namely the proreal gyrus, has afferent and efferent monosynaptic connections both to different cortical regions and subcortical structures.

In 1964 by I.Beritashvili’s endeavor the Institute purchased a Japanese electron microscope for A.Mikeladze’s team. From this period practically for the first time in Georgia systematic exploration of fine structure of biological systems, viz. of the nervous system has begun. At the beginning of the 60s of the last century known were the peculiarities of ultrastructural organization in the CNS individual areas, the types of neurons and glial cells were not identified, the existence of different type synaptic and monosynaptic specialized contacts was not known. Therefore, at the initial stage of scientific activity the team studied the ultrastructure of neurons, synapses and neuroglia under normal conditions and this set groundwork for working out identification criteria of the mentioned structural elements.

The findings yielded just in a few years acquired the all-union recognition and A.Mikeladze was elected as a member of the Electron Microscope Scientific Council at the Soviet Academy of Sciences and a chairman of Georgian section of the council. The Electron Microscopy Laboratory of the Institute of Physiology (that has been the name of the group since 1967) constituted a base of the Council and just in this Laboratory qualified specialists in the field of electron microscopy were prepared under supervision of A.Mikeladze for the scientific institutions not only of Georgia, but also of other republics.

Great are Prof. Mikeladze’s desert in the organization of the Electron Microscope International School and Exhibition in Tbilisi in 1969 and 1971 that had given impetus to wide extension of research in Georgia in this direction. Under his supervision, the ultrastructure of functionally divergent areas different type neurons, interneuronal synaptic and nonsynaptic connections, neuroglial cells and vascular capillaries was studied in norm and under modeling of different pathological processes. He together with his associates has demonstrated that as distinct from the projection neurons within the subcortical structures, whose most part of perikaryon’s surface is covered with presynaptic terminals in pyramidal neurons of any neocortical zone the majority of synapses are localized on thin dendritic offshoots and spines.

In A.Mikeladze’s scientific activities the issues of glial cells and neuron-glia interrelationship were of pivotal importance. It was been established that in the process lysis of degenerated nerve fibers together with macrophages-microgliocytes, the astrocytes are also involved.

Studied by A.Mikeladze and his associates was the structure of neurons, glial cells and capillary network of the vegetative nervous system’s central nuclei on the level of light and electron microscopy. The evidence obtained was generalized in his monograph published in 1968 entitled: “The Structural Organization of the Central Nervous System Vegetative Nuclei”. In recognition of A.Mikeladze’s achievements in the field of electron microscopy, he was elected as a chairman of International Conference on Electron Microscopy, held in 1973 in Tbilisi.

A.Mikeladze and his associates actively collaborated with the Institute’s physiological laboratories and conducted joint research with the Laboratories: GeneralPhysiology of the Cortex (head, Prof. Alexander Roitbak), the Brain Blood Circulation (head, Prof.George Mchedlishvili), Biochemistry (head, Acad. Peter Kometiani), Neurobiology of the Sleep-Wakefulness Cycle (head, Prof. Tengiz Oniani).

He was the author of multiple papers and a participant of a number of International forums in the field of electron microscopy.


Some publications by A.Mikeladze:


Monograph - «The Structural Organization of the CNS Vegetative Nuclei». «Metsniereba», Tbilisi, 1968 (in Russian).


  1. Mikeladze A.L. Endings of afferent nerve fibers in lumbosacral region of spinal cord. Fed Proc Transl Suppl. 1966, 25(2): 211-216
  1. Mikeladze A.L., Kiknadze G.I. Some afferent connections of the cat’s proreal gyrus of the cerebral cortex frontal area. Proc. Georgian Acad. Sci., 1966, 42, 737 (in Russian)
  2. Mikeladze A.L. Electron microscopic characteristics of the neuroglia. Arkh. Anat. Gistol. Embriol., 1967, 52(3): 29-37 (in Russian)
  3. Mikeladze A.L. Ultrastructure of the capillaries of the brain. In: Tr. Inst. Fiz. Akad. Nauk. Gruz. Ssr. 1968; 15: 271-282 (in Russian)
  4. Kiknadze G.I., Mikeladze A.L. The structural organization of the frontal cortex. In: Contemporary Problems of Activity and Structure of the CNS. Metsniereba, Tbilisi, 1968, 2(15), 291-300 (in Russian)
  5. Mikeladze A.L., Lazriev I.L. Quantitative analysis of structural elements surrounding dendrite processes of the cortical neurons. In: “Electron Microscopy 1968”, Roma. 1968, 2, 575-576
  6. Mikeladze A.L. Characterization of the postsynaptic structures of the brain. Folia Morphol. (Praha). 1969; 17(4): 420-431
  7. Mikeladze A.L., Kiknadze G.I. The efferent connections of the cat’s brain proreal gyrus. J.Neuropath. and Psychiatry,1969, 69,1822–1826 (in Russian)
  8. Mikeladze A.L. The neuron-glial interrelation in the cerebral cortex according to electron microscopic data. In: The long-term electrical potentials of the nervous system. Metsniereba, Tbilisi, 1969, 124 (in Georgian)
  9. Mikeladze A.L., Lazriev I.L. Ultrastructure of the mamillary body. Neurosci. Translat., 1969, 11, 84-90
  10. Mikeladze A.L. The ultrastructure of cerebral cortex synapses following direct electrical stimulation. Biull. Exp. Biol. Med., 1969, 67(3): 106-10. (in Russian)
  11. Mikeladze A.L., Lazriev I.L. The ultrastructure of neurons and synapses of the cat’s brain stem dorsal cochlear nucleus. Arch.Anat., 1970, 59, 11, 18-27 (in Russian)
  12. Mikeladze A.L, Alekseiuk A.A. Study of the cerebral cortex surface with a scanning electron microscope. Arkh. Anat. Gistol. Embriol., 1971, 60(3): 86-89 (in Russian)
  13. Mikeladze A.L., Roĭtbak A.I., Dzamoeva E.I. Contacts of axon terminals with oligodendrocytes in the cerebral cortex. Dokl. Akad. Nauk SSSR. 1971, 200: 970-972 (in Russian)
  14. Lazriev I.L., Mikeladze A.L. Electron microscopic study of synapses at primary afferent fibers in the brain stem cochlear nuclei. Bull. Exp. Biol. Med., 1972, 74, 12, 101-104 (in Russian)
  15. Mikeladze A.L., Kutateladze I.I. Ultrastructure of the cerebral cortex during strychnine application. Biull. Eksp. Biol. Med., 1972, 73(10): 113-116 (in Russian)
  16. Mikeladze A.L., Dzamoeva E.I. Various features of the ultrastructure of cerebral cortex macroglial cells. Arkh. Anat. Gistol. Embriol., 1972, 63 (11):15-25 (in Russian)
  17. Mikeladze A.L., Alekseiuk A.A. A study of the cerebral ventricles with a scanning electron microscope. Arkh. Anat. Gistol. Embriol., 1972, 63(12): 60-63
  18. Mikeladze A.L., Kakabadze I.M. The ultrastructure of stellate neurons in the cat’s and monkey’s cerebral cortex. Cytology, 1973, 15, 8, 981–984 (in Russian)
  19. Mikeladze A.L., Roitbak A.I., Lazriev I.L. The synapses with myelinated and unmyelinated preterminal regions in the cat’s cerebral cortex. Neurophysiology, 1979, 11, 2, 174-175 (in Russian)


Elguja Moniava (1927-2013)

Elguja Moniava was born on February 11, 1927 in the village Khuntsi of Martvili region.

In 1951 E.Moniava graduated from the State Medical Institute of Tbilisi. In 1951-1953 he worked in the Center of Medicinal Physical Culture of the Georgian Ministry of Health Care. In 1954-1957 he was a postgraduate student at the Institute of Physiology of the Georgian Academy of Sciences. From 1957 till 1964 he worked at this Institute as a junior researcher, while from 1964 till 1977 as a senior researcher.

In 1975 E.Moniava defended a doctoral dissertation and earned the degree of MD. In 1977 he was awarded the title of a Professor.

The scientific activity E.Moniava started at the Institute of Physiology with experiments on frogs and cats. He was an excellent experimenter and was distinguished by many noteworthy features. For stimulation of different spinal areas he used the microelectrodes made by himself, for this he deserved praise even from the great scientist of Georgia Ivane Beritashvili. His further scientific research was associated with the laboratory of famous person and scientist Sergi Narikashvili. For 20 years E.Moniava has been dealing with the problems of the brain reticular formation and has made many important contributions to this problem.

In 1977 on the base of I.Beritashvili Institute of Physiology E.Moniava set groundwork to founding a laboratory of quite a new direction – neuroendocrinology, of which he has been head for about 30 years. He succeeded in a short span of time in attracting scientific personnel and postgraduate students and involved them in active work. It is just in this laboratory that a number of facts of important scientific priorities were revealed. The role of hypothalamo-hypophysial hormones under the action of small doses of vasopressin and oxitocin on electrical activity of the cerebral cortex and the possible mechanisms subserving these effects have been demonstrated.

Important findings have been achieved in behavioral studies. The involvement of vasopressin was shown in memory mechanisms and also in formation of conditioned reflex reactions in early phases.

Just in the Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology in multiple explorations were demonstrated clear-cut properties indicating participation of the hypothalamo-hypophysial neurohormones in basic process of the CNS.

E.Moniava was a known specialist in the field of neurophysiology and neuroendocrinology not only in Georgia, but also abroad, he authored about 200 scientific papers and several monographs.

In 1980 he was elected as a member of the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO). And in 1996 a member of the Georgian Academy of Ecological Sciences and of the New-York Academy.

In 1990 for a cycle of works “The Thalamo-cortical Relationship”, together with Professor Sergi Narikashvili, he was awarded Ivane Beritashvili prize.

In 2000 E.Moniava was granted Honor’s Order, and in 2002 a Medal for Loyalty to Tbilisi. By his supervision 15 doctoral and candidate dissertations were defended.


Vakhtang Mosidze (1928-1999)

Professor Vakhtang Mosidze was born on September 20th, 1926 in Tbilisi. In 1944 he finished with honors the Tbilisi secondary school N1. In 1944-49 was a student of the Tbilisi State Medical Institute. In 1949-52 was an intern at the Institute’s hospital department. In 1952 he successfully passed exams in physiology to the commission chaired by Ivane Beritashvili and was sent to Leningrad to take postgraduate courses at the Institute of Experimental Medicine in the Department of Physiology, under supervision of Prof. K.Abuladze, corresponding-member of the USSR Academy. In 1955 he defended thesis on “Conditioned and Unconditioned reflexes following transection of the corpus colliculus”. In the same year he began working at Ivane Beritashvili Institute of Physiology first as a junior and then a senior scientific researcher. In 1962 he defended doctoral thesis at the scientific council of the Tbilisi Medical Institute on: Coupled and separated work of the brain. In 1965 Prof. V.Mosidze was appointed as a Head of laboratory of Conditioned Reflexes (Laboratory of Interhemispheric Interrelationship since 1972). He was a chairman of the brain interhemispheric interrelationship commission at the Georgian Academy of Sciences, was a member of IBRO and since 1972, of the European Organizations for brain and behavior studies. In 1974 he became an honored scientist of Georgia, while in 1976 was awarded I.Tarkhnishvili Prize. In 1988 Professor V.Mosidze was elected as a corresponding member of the Georgian Academy of Sciences. He was also a member of the New-York Academy. In 1991 he was nominated and elected as director of the Institute of Physiology. In 1994 for his contributions together with his associates to the problem of the brain symmetry and asymmetry he was awarded the State Prize, later on, was elected as an honorary citizen of Tbilisi. He died on February 26th, 1999.

V.Mosidze’s works are mainly devoted to one of the extremely important problems of the present-day neurology, i.e. the brain interhemispheric relations. His findings shed light not only on the role of interhemispheric exchange of sensory inputs, but also on the involvement of stem cells in the hemispheric relations and on the importance of these processes for conditioned reflexes and memory. Clarified was the importance of the corpus colliculus for synchronous activity of the cerebral hemispheres and for interhemispheric generalization of strychnine discharges. Study was pursued of callosal neurons’ characteristics, their target neurons and a contention is expressed that via these neurons must be realized the horizontal transcommissural relations of hemispheres that is required for the brain integrative activity. The neurophysiological mechanisms for imprinting were clarified. The problem of functional asymmetry and specialization has been addressed.

V.Mosidze was the author of about 200 publications including 6 monographs. It is worthnoting that his findings have not only theoretical, but also practical importance for neurological clinicians, physiologists, psychiatrists and neurolinguists.


Kiazo Nadareishvili


Sergi Narikashvili (1906–1992)

Sergi P.Narikashvili was born on 24th December, 1906 in Tbilisi.

Scientific activity he began in 1931 under guidance of academician Ivane Beritashvili.

In 1937 he defended candidate’s dissertation.

In 1938-1940 he studied the effect of activation of different analyzers on trace process ongoing in the visual analyzer and in 1946 defended doctoral dissertation.

In 1953-1969 he was director of I.Beritashvili Institute of Physiology.

In 1961 S.P.Narikashvili was elected as corresponding member of the Georgian Academy of Sciences.

In 1962 he was conferred the name of an honored scientist.

Till 1992 S.P.Narikashvili was the head of laboratory of Cortico-subcortical Interrelationship at I.Beritashvili Institute of Physiology.

He initiated in Georgia such fields of science as is radiobiology, biophysics, molecular biology. On the basis of his laboratory the following new structural units were launched in the form of laboratories: of Pain Physiology (Head, S.Butkhuzi), of Neuroendocrinology (Head, E.Moniava), of Human Psychophysiology (Head, V.Maloletnev).

S.P.Narikashvili was a member of International Brain Research Organisation (IBRO), on the editorial board of journals Physiology and Behavior and I.Sechenov Physiological Journal.

In 1963 he was awarded I.Tarkhnishvili Prize.

In 1963 International Congress was held to mark the 100th anniversary after publication of I.Sechenov’s book “The Brain Reflexes”. At this Congress an International Certificate for achievements in science was established. The Certificate together with I.Beritashvili received S.Narikashvili.

In 1966 under management of S.Narikashvili, an International Conference was held in Tbilisi – The Cortical Regulation of Activity of the Brain Subcortical Structures.

In 1990 S.Narikashvili (together with E.Moniava was awarded I.Beritashvili Prize.

S.P.Narikashvili pursued studies of: a)the bomb explosion air-wave effect on excitability of the skeletal and nervous system; b) electrical activity changes in the brainstem reticular formation, cerebellum and neocortex at different functional states of the organism (sleep-wakefulness); c) peculiarities of the brainstem reticular formation activity.

In the laboratory headed by S.P.Narikashvili it was accomplished and ascertained:

  1. From the former Soviet Republics Georgia was among the first to receive a stereotaxic apparatus and with its application to implant electrodes into the brain structures.
  2. The role of unspecific thalamo-cortical system in functioning of specific thalamo-cortical system.
  3. For the first time it was established that each afferent system activates predominantly (territorially different) areas of the brainstem reticular formation.
  4. Upon activation of the brainstem reticular formation its descending activity may realize without ascending one.
  5. Changes in electric activity in the right and left parts of the brainstem proceed independently.
  6. The thalamic nonspecific system (central medial nucleus) has direct diffuse and bilateral connections to the neocortex (suprasylvian and coronal gyri).
  7. For the first time in Georgia recording was made of the single unit activity from different brain structures.
  8. The mechanism for interaction of different afferent impulses on the cortical and subcortical polymodal neurons was established.
  9. For the first time using two separate microelectrodes simultaneous recording was made of single unit activity from the anatomically connected structures and lawful occurrence of interaction between them was demonstrated.

S.P.Narikashvili was supervisor of 38 candidate’s dissertations and consultant of 14 doctoral ones. He was the author of about 300 scientific works.

Vazha Okujava (1930–2011)

 Vazha Okujava is a distinguished representative of Georgian Academy of Sciences. Neuroscientist, neurophysiologist, organizer of science and higher education.

V.Okujava started scientific activity in the Institute of Physiology of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, where in 1956 passed exams and became a postgraduate student. In 1960 he defended candidate’s dissertation under supervision of academician Ivane Beritashvili. The title of his thesis was “The electrophysiological and pharmacological analysis of dendritic activity of the cerebral cortex. Already at that time his first works attracted attention of famous specialists and deserved high estimation from them. After having taken postgraduate courses, V.Okujava successfully defended a doctoral thesis on: “Major neurophysiological mechanisms of epileptic activity”. His scientific activity has been highly acknowledged by the celebrities of the field. In 1967, still being quite a young scientist, he was elected a corresponding member of the Georgian Academy of Sciences and in 1974 its full member. In 1967 left for the USA, Bethesda (NIH) where in 1967-1968 worked as an invited scientist in the Institute of Neurological Diseases and Insult, where his work was admired by the American colleagues.

Having returned to Georgia, he continued active research work and formed new scientific units. In 1977 he headed laboratory of Nerve Cell Physiology, Pathology and Pharmacology, organized by him at the Institute of Physiology. In 1983 he founded and headed Neurobiological laboratory at the Tbilisi State University, where he developed quite a new direction translational medicine involving therapeutic monitoring of drugs and pharmacokinetic.

V.Okujava was an excellent organizer of science. This feature of his activity manifests itself since the 70s. In 1973-75 he is prorector at the Tbilisi State Medical Institute for scientific affairs, while in 1975-80 was an academician-secretary in the Department of Physiology and Experimental Medicine of the Academy.

Since 1980 a new stage in his life begins when he is appointed as a rector of the Tbilisi State University and works in this capacity till 1985.

It is in this period that his capabilities as an organizer get quite imminent. He devotes his efforts and energy to the development of science at the University. He takes an active part to initiate new and extend the existing research laboratories both in natural science and social disciplines.

V.Okujava was a member of different scientific institutions and societies: President of I.Beritashvili Physiological Society (1975-2011), chairman of Advisory Board at the Tbilisi State University, a member of the Presidium of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, a member of All-Union Scientific Council of Nervous System Physiology and Pathology, a member of International commission of epilepsy, International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) and a representative of national committee, etc, he was on the editorial board of a number of foreign scientific journals: Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, Neurophysiology, Epilepsy Research, a member of editorial collegiums of the Bulletin of Georgian Academy of Sciences, Editor-in-chief of Proceedings of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, Biol. Series. V.Okujava is the author of 326 scientific works, among them 6 monographs. He supervised 31 theses, including 5 doctoral ones. In sundry times he was awarded by Ivane Beritashvili Prize and Horesm International Prize.

To the less of his life V.Okujava pursued rather fruitful scientific activity, was director of many international and local Scientific Projects.

The major realm of his interests were: modeling of neurological disorders and study of their neurophysiological mechanisms; study of neurophysiological bases of epilepsy; clinical electrophysiology; experimental and clinical neuropharmacology; investigation of memory neurobiological mechanisms on the neuronal level; behavioral researches – forms of memory and problems of their disorders, modeling of psychopathologic phenomena, etc.

Tengiz Oniani


Alexander Roitbak (1919–1991)

Georgian physiologist, scientist of merit of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, professor, corresponding member and member of the Scientific Council of the former Academy of Sciences of the Soviet Union (now the Russian Academy of Sciences) Alexander Roitbak was born on February 17, 1919 in Odessa, Ukraine. In 1941 he graduated from the Kiev Medical Institute. Since 1944 he pursued scientific activity in the Institute of Physiology of Georgian Academy of Sciences. A.Roitbak was known as a pupil and follower of famous Georgian physiologist Ivane Beritashvili. Since 1960 he has been head of Laboratory of General Physiology of the Cerebral Cortex. In 1968 A.Roitbak was elected a corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences.

His major contributions dealt with the questions of neurophysiology and electrophysiology of the nervous system. He has studied direct responses of the cerebral cortex and substantiated a postsynaptic nature of dendritic potentials. He discovered that at cortical rhythmical stimulation in the cortex may arise a focus of excitation – “dominant”. He has established that human reaction time is associated with breathing phases and proved participation of neuroglia in origination of prolonged electric potentials in the cerebral cortex. A.Roitbak is the author of hypothesis on a role of neuroglia in temporary connections as the basis of conditioned reflexes. His unique investigations in brain physiology have been recognized by the worldwide scientific community.

Since 1960 A.Roitbak has been a member of International Brain Research Organization (IBRO), was decorated with “Order of Honor”.

A.Roitbak died on December 24, 1991 in Tbilisi.

A partial list of essential scientific works:

  1. Glia and its role in neural activity. St.Petersburg, Nayka, 1993, p.350
  2. Оn the Question of Unconsciousness from the Point of View of the Neuroglial Hypothesis of the Formation of Temporary Connections. In the book: "The Unconscious. Nature. Functions. Research methods”. Tbilisi, Metsniereba, 1978, р.788
  3. Neuroglia and formation of new neural connections in the cerebral cortex, in the book: “The mechanisms of formation and inhibition of conditioned reflexes”. Moscow, 1973
  4. Bioelectric phenomena in the cerebral cortex, part 1. Tbilisi, 1955; Bulletin of the Georgian Academy of Sciences.
  5. Influence of sound irritation on unanesthetized cat's brain cortex hemispheres bioelectric effects. Bulletin of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, Tbilisi, 1954, 15, 41-47
  6. On the question of impulse irradiation from the respiratory center to the brain cortex. Bulletin of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, Tbilisi, 1953, 14, 361-367.
  7. Alpha rhythm, and its depressive reaction during schizophrenia. Bulletin of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, Tbilisi, 1952, 13, 241-247.
  8. On the question of olfactory bulb electrical activity. Bulletin of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, Tbilisi, 1952, 13, 377-381.
  9. About slow fluctuation, evoked by breathing rhythm in domestic rabbit electroencephalogram. Bulletin of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, Tbilisi, 1952, 13, 549-553.
  10. Oscillographic analysis of frog's brain reflexive reactions. Bulletin of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, Tbilisi, 1952, 12, 439-447.
  11. A reason of frog’s dual breathing movement. Bulletin of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, Tbilisi, 1947, 8, 179-186.
  12. The frog's breathing center action variability due to general spontaneous movement. Bulletin of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, Tbilisi, 1947, 8, 247-252.



Petre Kometiani


Zurab Kometiani (1934-2012)

Professor Zurab Kometiani, corresponding member of Georgian National Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Biological Sciences, was born on August 4, 1934 in Tbilisi, in the family of a great Georgian scientist, founder of Biochemistry in Georgia, academician Peter Kometiani and Tamar Tsuladze.

Z.Kometiani finished 7th secondary school for boys with honors and passed entrance exams at Engineering-Physics Institute in Moscow. At the Institute his teachers were famous scientists, amongst them the Nobel Prize winners Lev Landau and Igor Tamm. Among his fellow-students Z.Kometiani was distinguished as an assiduous, outstanding student and he was awarded by Lebedev’s scholarship. Because of his poor health, he had to come back to Georgia where he, in 1958 graduated with honors faculty of physics at Tbilisi State University.

In 1959-1962 Z.Kometiani was a post-graduate student at the Institute of Biophysics of the SSR Academy of Sciences. Thereafter, in 1963, under supervision of academician G.Frank, he successfully defended candidate’s dissertation, wherein on a membrane model of original construction he was the first to prove that there was a relation between free radicals and active transport of sodium ions. Then he returned to Tbilisi and continued scientific activity at Ivane Beritashvili Institute of Physiology as a junior researcher. In 1986 he defended doctoral thesis in Kiev at Institute of Biochemistry of Ukrainian Academy of Sciences on the theme: “The Regulatory Mechanisms of Na,K-ATPase Systems”. In 1987 title of a Professor was conferred on him.

Z.Kometiani set groundwork to the formation and development of a new field, membranology. That is a discipline based on biochemistry, biophysics, molecular biology, physiology and cytology.

In 1973 Z.Kometiani became a leader of a tem pursuing study of membranes activity, which in 1975 formed into a Laboratory of Membranology. Z.Kometiani was a pioneer in formulating a new theory on enzyme kinetics, worked out a mathematical approach and launched a special computer program which allows to draw up a kinetic scheme for the multisited enzyme system. Thanks to these methods it has become possible to decipher in full the molecular mechanism of the important enzyme system such as is Na,K-ATPase. For the first time, a kinetic scheme was devised by Z.Kometiani maximally approaching to the activity of the mechanism for this enzyme system. It can be said with conviction that Z.Kometiani created an original trend in the research of deciphering the molecular mechanism of Na,K-ATPase.

He has studied the effect of neurotransmitters and synaptosomal factor on transport ATPases and found a new way for fast regulation that is specific for the brain and has extremely great functional significance.

Zurab Kometiani is the author of tens of scientific papers, 5 books and 2 monographs. Under his supervision defended were 19 candidate’s and 3 doctoral dissertations. His scientific activity was highly credited, was awarded prizes of worldwide famous Georgian Scientists – Ivane Beritashvili, Peter Kometian and Ivane Tarkhnishvili.

Alexander Koreli (1941–2010)

In 1964 Alexander Koreli graduated from the biological faculty of I.Javakhishvili State University in Tbilisi.

By initiation of Professor N.Dzidzishvili, in 1966 he began to work at I.Beritashvili Institute of Physiology in the Laboratory of Ontogenesis of Nervous Activity (further on, of Emotion’s Physiology) as a junior scientific worker, and since 1989 was the Chief of Laboratory of Physiology of Emotions till 2006. Following the structural reorganization of the Institute of Physiology he was appointed and worked till the lees of his life as a chief scientist in the Department of Neurophysiology.

The domain of Alexander Koreli’s scientific interests was rather broad. In sundry times he pursued studies of formation of cortical primary responses in ontogenesis, the phenomenon of habituation of evoked responses and basically, he was engaged in exploring the role of the hypothalamus in formation of emotional reactions.

A.Koreli was distinguished by his special interest in new methodical approaches to his experimental work. In the late 1960s he was sent to a scientific mission to Prague in the laboratory of Professor I.Buresh where he acquired and after return implemented at the Institute the method of spreading depression. He was the first to apply focused ultrasound for noninvasive damage to the subcortical structures. With the use of selfstimulation method, which he also implemented at the Institute of Physiology, he had made many interesting contributions.

The psychopharmacological investigations occupied a special place in Koreli’s research. Namely, the action of diazepam, meprobamate, amyzil, galantamin and other on emotional reactions, anxiety and stressful state.

A.Korely is the author of several scores of scientific work. At the same time he pursued also a fruitful translational activity. He translated into Georgian the book by Hans Selye entitled “Stress Without Distress” and by Farley Mowat “Never Cry Wolf”, complied with N.Skhirtladze and published the English-Georgian Dictionary of neurophysiological terms.

A.Koreli was a member of the Brain Research Organization (IBRO), a member of the Georgian Society of Physiologists and a member of Association of Georgian Neuroscientists, a full-member of the Academy of Georgian Ecological Sciences.


Marine Kuparadze