Laboratory for membrane transport and stress biology research

The Institute of Natural Sciences and Mathematics is a subdivision of Ural Federal University, which engages in educational, scientific, innovative, social and educational activities. The fundamental nature, a lot of practical tasks, involvement of scientists, and the students’ participation in scientific activities are the keys elements of our education.


The integration of education and research ensures the competitiveness of graduates in employment market in the field of natural science and related applied areas. An important task of the Institute is to attract talented young people to form a community of teachers, students and graduates.


Our student community includes winners and prize-winners of National Olympiads and competitions in Mathematics, Computer Science, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Astronomy, and prize-winners of world championships in programming and information security.


Our graduates are experts in such fields as high technology, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, space, military defence, clinical diagnostics and genetics. They work in institutions of the Russian Academy of Sciences, research and expert laboratories, industrial corporations, leading computer companies and universities in Russia and abroad.


The Institute conducts fundamental and applied research, carries out expertise in different areas, including education. It integrates specialists in the international academic community, initiates and implements international research projects. The Institute provides work centres for collective use and popularizes scientific knowledge among the population. The main research areas of the Institute are:


• Mathematical and computer modelling of physicochemical processes in multiphase media;

• Mathematical modelling in physiology and medicine;

• Theory of automata and formal languages;

• Advanced materials, nanotechnology and physical instrument making;

• Bioresources, biotechnologies, physiology and fundamental medicine, bioinformatics;

• Information and telecommunication systems;

• Information processing and analysis technologies;

• Space physics.


The research work is based in the departments, laboratories, Research Institute of Physics and Applied Mathematics, research and educational centres, collective use centres, Kourovka Astronomical Observatory, Botanical Garden, Biological Station, Centre for Fundamental Biotechnology and Bioengineering.


Shabala 2International Head

Dr. Sergei Shabala

Professor in Plant Physiology

Stress Physiology Research Group Leader

Co-Director Australia-China Research Centre for Plant Stress Biology

University of Tasmania

UrFU HeadKiseleva

Dr. Irina Kiseleva

Head of the Department of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry

Institute of Natural Sciences

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For the first time in Russia, a MIFE-technology-based electrophysiological laboratory is created at UrFU for the broad use in biological, environmental and biotechnology research, opening the possibility of its further application in biomedical research.

The establishment of a new electrophysiological laboratory and its fitting with equipment that enables non-invasive measurement of transmembrane ion fluxes (the MIFE-technology) is an ambitious project led by professor Sergey Shabala (current H-index = 46).

mifeThe MIFE-laboratory studies the role of transmembrane ion fluxes in plant adaptation to oxidative stress induced by different stressors, including heavy metals; identifying key membrane transporters mediating ROS signaling and plant resistance. It will also be involved in projects on screening terrestrial and aquatic species from the habitats with different level of toxic load to identify genotypes resistant to stressors using MIFE-technology.

At least 10 specialists in the field of MIFE-technology will be prepared through graduate studies, training courses and internships.

“When I was doing my PhD in plant electrophysiology in mid-80ies, the Ural State University was one of the leading institutions in the field at that time, so I used some papers produced by University researchers as a “blueprint” for my own work. Now I am very happy to have an opportunity to “resurrect” these traditions and bring membrane transport biology research at UrFU to its former glory, using modern technology platforms and my own expertise and intensive international collaborations.”

Dr. Sergey Shabala

My UrFU colleagues have ample expertise in plant physiology and, specifically, in the field of oxidative stress signalling and tolerance (where my own strengths are). Our skills and expertise are highly complementary and, thus, will undoubtedly benefit the field.”

Dr. Sergey Shabala