council 042
Armenian society of biological psychiatry
Armenian association for molecular
and cellular biology and immunology
Eng Rus Arm



Nelly Babayan, PhD

E-mail: n_babayan@mb.sci.am

Phone: +374 91 572-573

Group members:

  1. Ruben Aroutiounian, DrSc
  2. Natalya Sargsyan, PhD
  3. Ruzanna Grigoryan, PhD
  4. Margarita Malakyan, PhD
  5. Gohar Tadevosyan
  6. Lusine Khondkaryan
  7. Lilit Apresyan
  8. Meri Gyozalyan
  9. Alik Andreasyan
  10. Anjela Sargsyan

General information:

The research activities of the Group of Cell Technologies focus on in vitro safety testing programs for the potential therapeutic agents, biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, chemicals, agrochemicals, cosmetics and radiation. Toxicological test-systems are conducted in compliance with Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) internationally recognized guidelines, including ICH and OECD. The cell bank consists of human cell lines derived from various tissues (see the cell lines collection) and primary human embryonic fibroblasts. The group also proactive in the development and use of in vitro and ex vivo methods to study cellular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders.

Current research projects:

Development of cell-based test-system to study epigenetic mechanisms involved in neurotoxicity

The correct model for neurotoxicity risk assessment based on predictive test-systems, appropriate endpoints, extrapolation models from in vitro/in vivo data to human are not clearly identified. It is more difficult to assess a group of toxins demonstrated the systemic action of toxicity that affects different neurophysiological targets. We proposed that a network of interacting epigenetic mechanisms is responsible for their toxicity. We are particularly interested in analysis of concentration and time-dependent DNA-methylation response in animal and human cells after selected toxin exposure using methylation sensitive comet assay. It will show the adequacy of the method, endpoint and cell lines selection for correct assessment, extrapolation, and prediction of toxins neurotoxic capacity.

Screening on antioxidant, anticancer and immunomodulatory activities of plant extracts

A significant number of natural products are recognized as drug entities by the FDA and similar organizations, moreover, natural products are used to treat 87% of all categorized human diseases. Phytochemicals as a huge group of natural products have also been considered as a rich source of lead molecules in drug discovery. However, the test-battery for drug discovery based on medical plants screening using high impact technologies is still unclear because of the lack of high quality screening libraries. We work on representing the test-battery for high-throughput screening of plant extracts for discovery leads with antioxidant, anticancer and immunomodulatory activities that pass the basic toxicity assessment barrier. We also proposed that, when screening plant extracts for a particular activity, not only the activity of key components but also their multicomponent content that primarily determines the level of toxicity should be considered. Тhereby, we perform a correlation analysis of plant extracts’ chemical contents and toxicity, which will help to create the screening-library database.

Study of biological effects of ultrafast radiation

Electron accelerator femtosecond beams delivered with laser plasma accelerators, may challenge our understanding of radiation effects on molecular targets. The crucial step toward the application of laser accelerated electrons beam in the field of radiobiology is the determination of its relative biological effectiveness (RBE) based on biological endpoints such as DNA damage/repair, cell viability and tissue specificity. We elaborate the RBE prediction model for linear energy transfer (LET) determination as a value of energy deposition rate of ultrafast radiation. The analysis of RBE parameters’ correlation with irradiation conditions can determine the actual value of the LET at which the maximum RBE appears for different biological systems.

Selected Publications:

>> Full publications list of IMB
  1. T.Harutyunyan, G.Hovhannisyan, N.Babayan, M.A.K.Othman, T.Liehr, R.Aroutiounian. Influence of aflatoxin B1 on copy number variants in human leukocytes in vitro. Mol Cytogenet, 2015, 8:25.
  2. A.Tovmasyan, N.Babayan, D.Pogosyan, K.Margaryan, R.Grigoryan, N.Sarkisyan, S.Mamyan, L.Sahakyan, R.Aroutiounian, R.Ghazaryan, G.Gasparyan. Novel amphiphilic cationic porphyrin and its Ag(II) complex as potential anticancer agents. J Inorg Biochem, 2014, 140:94–103
  3. Manukyan Kh., Amirkhanyan N., Aydinyan S., Danghyan V., Grigoryan R., Sarkisyan N., Gasparyan G., Aroutiounian R., Kharatyan S. Novel NiZr-based porous biomaterials: Synthesis and in vitro testing. Chem Eng J, 2010, 162:406-414.
  4. R.M. Aroutiounian, G.G. Hovhannisyan, G.H. Gasparyan, K.S.Margaryan, D.N.Aroutiounian, N.K. Sarkissyan, and A.A. Galoyan. Proline-rich polypeptide-1 protects the cells in vitro from genotoxic effects of Mitomycin C. Neurochem Res, 2010, 35:598-602.
  5. Tovmasyan A, Babayan N, Sahakyan L, Shahkhatuni A, Gasparyan G, Aroutiounian R, Ghazaryan R. Synthesis and in vitro anticancer activity of water-soluble cationic pyridylporphyrins and their metallocomplexes. J Porphyr Phthalocyanines, 2008, 12:1100-1110.