Today, Research Institute of Influenza is one of the top scientific centres in the area of molecular biology, epidemiology, clinical picture and pathogenesis of viral infections, development of highly-sensitive diagnostic reagents and effective means for public antiviral protection.
RII incorporates Federal Influenza and ARI Centre and WHO National Influenza Centre, successfully operating both on the national and global levels as an integral part of WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System.
The principal activities of the Institute include exploration of molecular-genetic and phylogenetic features of prevailing and newly emerging viruses, including identification of viral genetic determinants, and forecasting evolutionary variability of influenza and other viral agents.
The Institute is equipped with all the necessary microchip-based tools for the process of quantifying cytokines in a biological fluid. RII specialists have designed laboratory samples of oligonucleotide and protein microchips, which can determine the expression levels of human cytokine genes; specificity of this microarray has been demonstrated. Biochips for influenza typing and subtyping, monoclonal antibody-based diagnostic test-systems for indicating influenza and other ARI viruses, and reagents for rapid diagnostics have also been developed.
New influenza vaccines are generated and tested, their design and production techniques evolved, with safety of these preparations being the main concern. Promising results are expected out of further studies of M2eHBc hybrid protein-based recombinant influenzal vaccine and a replication-defective live attenuated «Fluvac» vaccine. The Institute investigates and conducts targeted synthesis of antiviral medicines, constructs new nanotechnology-based drug forms.
By keeping its research and clinical facilities up-to-date, RII is able to expand its technological capabilities and establish a pilot manufacturing line for GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice for Medical Products)-compliant vaccines and drugs.
New Scientific Trends in Drug Design (within Russian and international innovation projects):
RII operates its own Clinical Department, including Specialized Clinic for Viral Infections and two clinical units for adults and children, located within St. Petersburg municipal infectious diseases hospitals. These clinical units provide diagnostic and advisory aid, severe and complicated influenza/ARI cases treatment, therapy of herpetic infections and chronic hepatitis. Also, clinical evaluation of new therapeutic and preventive medical products is conducted there.
The Collection of Viruses and Cell Cultures, maintained by RII, is regularly updated, providing a wide range of strains of human and animal influenza viruses, adeno–, corona–, herpes–, RS– and other viruses and cell cultures to all interested parties.
Two expert advisory bodies — Influenza and ILI Problem Committee, coordinating relevant national studies, and the RF MPHSD Influenza Vaccine and Diagnostic Strains Committee, ensuring review and approval of new influenza vaccine and diagnostic strains to be produced in Russia — function at the RII.
RII is engaged in international partnership with academic institutions, organizations, WHO National and Collaborating Centres. The partnership involves joint projects and agreements on influenza surveillance, molecular virology, genetic engineering, influenza diagnostic tools improvement, construction and development of novel influenza vaccines and therapeutic medicines. RII expands its CIS collaboration on avian influenza and pandemic A(H1N1) viruses surveillance. Joint scientific expeditions, materials research analysis, exchange of strains, specialists and information, are conducted.
RII hosts international conferences and symposia, with its staff also taking part in congresses, workshops, conferences and meetings abroad. The Institute publishes monographs, guides, notes and reference books.
The Institute is an academic and training centre, providing post-graduate education of highly qualified specialists in virology (03.00.06), epidemiology (14.00.30), infectious diseases (14.00.10), and an Academic Clinical Residency in Infectious Diseases Specialty. Dissertation Council (D 001 04301) in the field of virology functions at RII.
Additionally, Certification courses in «Virology» are run jointly by RII and I. I. Mechnikov State Medical Academy, St. Petersburg.
The scientific and financial policy of the Institute is carried out by the Scientific Board, which comprises heads of departments and laboratories, and the leading specialists in the influenza problem, including scientists from other institutes.