Department of Medical Biology

Academic Staff, Department of Medical Biology, MU-Plovdiv


e-mail: [email protected]
Телефони : +359 32 200 671; +359 32 200 673



The discipline Human Biology allows students to acquire knowledge and skills in the following basic biological concepts:

•Molecular foundations of life – biological macromolecules
•Realization of genetic information
•Genetic code
•Organization of the genetic material in the cell
•Heredity and variability
•Human hereditary diseases
•Genetic engineering
•Biology of the cell
•Individual development
•Immunological homeostasis
•Population genetics
•Theory of evolution
•Molecular evolution
•Interactions between organisms in biocenosis
•Human interactions with nature environment

Course objectives

The objective of the Human Biology course is to develop:

1. The understanding that living systems, including humans, have hierarchically ordered levels of organization with their own specificity and rules that determine biological features and functions.

2. The notion that humans, as a product of biological evolution, are ecologically connected to the development of nature and of the biosphere as a whole.

3. The ability to apply biological rules as scientific theory and methodology of medicine.

4. Practical skills and knowledge of basic biological techniques with medical application.

Course tasks

  • Proficiency in the most important properties and manifestations of the organismal world and humans in particular:
  • molecular and cellular basis of life;
  • heredity and variability;
  • reproduction and individual development of organisms;
  • immunological homeostasis;
  • biology and genetics of populations;
  • morphology and biological cycle of medically important parasites.
  • Obligatory competencies

    1.Theoretical knowledge – mastering and analysis of:

    •hierarchical levels and structural organization of the human organism (molecular, cellular and systemic)
    •genetic structures and processes of transfer of genetic and epigenetic information
    •mechanisms of immunological homeostasis
    •ontogenesis and phylogenesis

    2. Practical skills:

    •preparation of temporary and permanent microscopic slides
    •light microscopy
    •genetic cases
    •basic immunological reactions
    •blood typing
    •basic molecular biology methods
    •basic cellular biology methods
    •fingerprinting and dermatoglyphics
    •populational variation analysis

    Elective course „Biology of Parasites“ – winter term; 15 hours; 1 credit

    Example tests: Y. Feodorova, M. Kazakova, V. Alexandrov, N. Mehterov. V. Sarafian. Editor V. Sarafian. Tests in Medical Biology, ISBN 978-619-7085-88-4, Plovdiv, 2017

    Academic Staff

    Associate Professor Maria Kazakova, PhD – Head of Department

    Phone:032 200 677

    e-mail: [email protected]

    Prof. Victoria Sarafian, MD, PhD, DMSc

    проф. д-р Виктория Сарафян, дм, дмн
    Phone: 032 200 670

    e-mail: [email protected]
    e-mail: [email protected]

    Associate Professor Nikolai Mehterov, PhD – Responsible for research activities

    Phone: 032 200 675

    e-mail: [email protected]

    Professor Denitsa Docheva, PhD -Guest Professor

    Department of Musculoskeletal Tissue Regeneration
    Orthopaedic Hospital König-Ludwig-Haus
    & University of Wuerzburg, Germany

    e-mail: [email protected]

    Chief Assistant Professor Milena Draganova, PhD – Responsible for quality control

    Phone: 032 200 676

    e-mail: [email protected]

    Chief Assistant Professor Yana Feodorova, PhD – Responsible for

    гл. ас. Яна Феодорова, дб

    Phone: 032 200 672

    e-mail: [email protected]

    Chief Assistant Professor Yordan Sbikov, PhD – Responsible for International Cooperation and Project Activity

    Phone: 032 200 672

    e-mail: [email protected]

    Chief Assistant Professor Maria Gevezova, PhD – Responsible for teaching activities

    Phone: 032 200 675

    e-mail: [email protected]

    Assistant Professor Tsvetomira Ivanova, PhD

    Phone: 032 200 676
    e-mail:[email protected]

    Assistant Professor Eleonora Kovacheva

    Phone: 032 200 672
    e-mail: [email protected]

    Bozhidar Vergov, MD – PhD student

    Тел: 032 200 675
    e-mail: [email protected]

    Toma Tsvetanov – Bioinformatician, researcher at RIMU

    Тома Цветанов
    Тел: 032 200 673
    e-mail: [email protected]

    Valentina Mihaylova, MSc – PhD student, Responsible for Distant learning

    Phone: 032 200 671

    e-mail: [email protected]

    Technical staff

    Valentin Dichev, PhD – Biologist

    Тел: 032 200671
    e-mail: [email protected]

    Tatyana Todorova, MSc – Biologist

    Phone: 032 200 671

    e-mail: [email protected]

    Tatyana Damyanova, MSc – Biologist

    Phone: 032 200 671

    e-mail: [email protected]

    Elitsa Tanova, MSc – Chemist

    Phone: 032 200 671

    e-mail: [email protected]

    Kalinka Nikolova – Technical Assistance

    Phone: 032 200 673

    e-mail: [email protected]
    e-mail: [email protected]

    Pavlina Slavova – Sanitary staff

    Тел: 032 200 674
    e-mail: [email protected]

    Nedka Lambreva – Sanitary staff

    Тел: 032 200 674
    e-mail: [email protected]


    The present research topics in the Department of Medical Biology are connected with:
    • Investigation of the cellular mechanisms of proliferation and apoptosis.
    • Expression of different antigens (blood group, lysosomals and galectins) in tumor cell lines and in human tumors.
    • Effects of natural and synthetic substances on the induction of immune response and cytokine secretion in vitro.
    • Effects of biological and synthetic preparations on cell cultures in vitro.
    • New disease biomarkers in tumorogenesis.
    • Expression profiles i human diseases personalized molecular medicine.

    There are four research laboratories in the Department of Medical Biology equipped for experimental and diagnostic work in the field of cell and molecular biology and fundamental and clinical immunology.

    The Cell Biology laboratory provides oppоrtunity for cell and tissue cultivation and in vitro examination of the effect of different substances on lymphocyte cultures and cell lines. Laminar box, CO2-incubator, inverted microscope, digital microscope techнology are the basic technical equipment of this laboratory.

    The Immunology Laboratory is specialized in immunoenzyme and immunocyto- and histochemistry analysises. There are: ELISA-reader, cryo and paraffin microtome, refrigerating centrifuges, immunoblot and immuno electrophoresis apparatus, fluorescent microscope.

    Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Genetics has new equipment: Real-time PCR suitable for diagnostics, Two conventional PCR blocks, Cold and regular centrifuge, Ependorf tube heat incubator, Vortex, Nano-drop spectrophotometer, UV/ visible gel detection systems, Ice machines, Ultra-pure water system, DNA, RNA and protein gel electrophoresis systems, Protein blotting system, Laminar hood, -80 and -20 freezers.

    The 3D bioprinting laboratory at the Department of Medical Biologyis equipped with all necessary facilities, tools and expertise in order to carry out quality research at the forefront of tissue engineering. The research unit boasts the first extrusion-based 3D bioprinter in the region, fully equipped cell culture labs, specialised instruments for live cell analysis, a histology section and others that provide the opportunity to create innovative 3D bioprinted tissue models to study diseases like cancer or degenerative or inflammatory conditions, to perform drug testing studies and to facilitate the advancement of personalised medicine.

    The department took part in a number of projects. We have collaborators from Bulgaria, Belgium, Italy,Germany. There is a closele colaboration with scientists from the Institude of Molecular Biology, BAS, Sofia; Universuty of Plovdiv ,Paissii Hilendarsky‘; Thracian University‘ – Stara Zagora; Medical University-Sofia; National Centre of infectious and Parasitic Diseases – Sofia.
    International collaboration is set with researchers from University Campus BioMedico, Rome, Italy; N. Copernicus University, Poland; University of Namur, Belgium; University of Munich, Germany; Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland; University of Groningen, The Netherlands; Max- Planck Institute, Potsdam, Germany, Istituto Regina Elena – Istituti Fisioterapici Ospitalieri, Rome, Italy; Scientific Center for Functional Genomics, Biomedicine and Translational Medicine, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

    The department is a training center for two accredited doctoral programs “Immunology” and “Medical Biology”.


    1. Bios instant notes. Molecular Biology by A. McLennan, A. Bates, P. Turner, M. White. 2013, 4th edition, Garland Science, Taylor & Francis Group.
    2. Bios instant notes. Immunology by P. Lydyard, A. Whelan, M. Fanger. 2003, 3rd edition, Garland Science, Taylor & Francis Group.
    3. Basic Immunology: Functions and Disorders of the Immune System by A. K. Abbas, A.H. Lichtman, Shiv Pillai. 2012, 4th edition, Elsevier.
    4. Human Biology by C. Starr and B. McMillan B. 2014, 10th edition, BOOKS/COLE.
    5. Paniker’s Textbook of Medical Parasitology by C. K. Jayaram Paniker. 2013; 7th edition.
    6. V. Sarafian, M. Kazakova, M. Draganova, N. Mehterov. Practical book Medical Biology for students in Medicine and Dental medicine, 3-rd edition, Plovdiv, 2020
    7. V. Alexandrov, Y. Feodorova, M. Filipova, M. Kazakova, N. Mehterov, V. Sarafian. Parasitology Manual for first year students in Medicine and Dental medicine, Plovdiv, 2020.
    8. M. Kazakova, M. Draganova-Filipova, V. Alexandrov, V. Sarafian. Parasitology microscopic Practical Course for first year students in medicine and dental medicine. Edited by Prof. V. Sarafian, MD, PhD, DMedSci, – electronic version – CD, Plovdiv, 2015.
    9. Y. Feodorova, M. Kazakova, V. Alexandrov, N. Mehterov, V. Sarafian. Editor: V. Sarafian. Tests in medical biology. Plovdiv, 2017.


    The results of our studies have been published in international journals such as Int J Cancer, Acta Pathol Microbiol Immunol Scand, Transpl Proceedings, Int Rheumatology, Arch Med Res, Acta Biologica, Acta Zoologica, J Mol Histol, Folia Biologica, Cytotechnology, Open J Animal Sci, Arch Dermatol Research, Plant Physiol Biochem, Biotechnology Advances, Methods in Enzymology, Plant Physiology Biochemistry, Cell Biol Toxicol, Am J Clinical Pathol, BBI-health, Pharmaceutics, Biomolecules, Front Oncol, Nat Cell Biol, etc. and have been cited thousands of times.




    Dissertations defended in the Department of Medical Biology


  • Yankov N., 1967. Isolation and indentificationof local strains of leptospires.
  • Tsvetkova A., 1975. Biology and distribution of Trichomonas vaginalis.
  • Ishev V., 1981. Study on the antigenic similarities between Trichomonas vaginalis and human spermatozoa.
  • Vassilevska M., 1981. Study on the protein composition of leptospires and its relation to their systematics.
  • Andreeva N., 1987. Clinical and laboratory studies on trichomonosis in men.
  • Sarafian V., 1994. Study on the cell expression of human blood group antigens A, B and H identified by monoclonal antibodies B7H4, D1E8 and BH82.
  • Draganov M., 2000.Establishment ofa serum-free cell culture system, strain McCoy-Plovdiv. Characterization and application.
  • Filipova M., 2013.Immunobiological effects of Bulgarian propolis in vitro.
  • Mehterov N., 2013.Positional cloning of atr7 and atr9 – genes involved in oxidative stress tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana.
  • Kazakova M., 2013. Immunobiological studies on YKL-40 in some inflammatory joint and tumor processes.
  • Dichev V., 2021. YKL-40 in inflammatory diseases
  • Dissertation for the degree “Doctor of Medical Sciences”:

  • Sarafian V.,2007. Blood group and lysosomal glycoproteins – immunobiological aspects.