History and main achievements of the institute

The Institute of Human Morphology was established and started its work in early 1961. The foundation of the Institute and its further development are inseparably linked with the names of outstanding scientists (pathologists and morphologists) N.A. Kraevsky, I.V. Davydovsky, D.A. Zhdanov, V.V. Portugalov, Y.L. Rapoport, M.A. Skvortsov, A.I. Strukov, R.D. Stern. Alexander Pavlovich Avtsyn, Academician of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR, was the founder of the Institute and its first Director.

The Institute of Human Morphology is the successor of the Institute of Normal and Pathological Morphology of the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences, which was established after the end of the Great Patriotic War, and was led by most eminent Soviet pathologist, academician, Alexey Ivanovich Abrikosov. The Institute was assigned the following tasks: scientific and methodological guidance of the pathological departments of healthcare institutions, coordination of scientific research in the pathology field of the most important human diseases, analysis of the causes of death as well as detection of the diagnosis and management defects, statistical studies of the pathological materials, organization of scientific research on the most important healthcare issues involving morphologists of various profiles (pathologists, anatomists, histologists, embryologists), the development of the modern methods of the morphological studies and their practical application in the morphological laboratories and pathology departments, training of highly qualified specialists in the field of normal and pathological human morphology. The main objective of the research in the Institute was defined as a comprehensive study of normal and pathological human morphology in the course of the individual development.

The most significant period of the Institute`s work is linked with the name of A.P. Avtsyn, who was the Head of the Institute for 27 years until 1988 and in later years worked at the Institute as the director`s counsellor until the end of his life (April 20, 1993). He saw the purpose of the Research Institute of Human Morphology in the organic union of in-depth fundamental studies for acquiring the knowledge of fundamental biomedical laws and of the applied research for solving the most topical public health issues in the clinical practice. In this regard he engaged prominent specialists from Moscow and various regions of the Soviet Union in the Institute`s research. The first laboratories of the Institute were headed by such famous scientists as I.V. Davydovsky, D.A. Zhdanov, A.I. Strukov, M.A. Skvortsov.


In 1988 The Institute was headed by a prominent scientist, academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Nikolay Permyakov. He managed to preserve the research team, the building and the equipment of the Research Institute of Human Morphology during 90s of the last century, which was the difficult time for the country and science during sociological and economic changes. Nikolay Konstantinovich introduced a new research direction at the Institute, namely the pathological anatomy of extreme conditions. The main objective of the studies conducted in his laboratory was the pathogenesis of terminal conditions and shock, in particular endotoxic shock.

After the N. K. Permyakov`s death (1999) the Director of the Institute became the student of academician A. I. Strukov, the corresponding member of RAS, professor, Lev Vladimirovich Kaktursky, the President of the Russian Society of Pathologists. Under his direction, a system for certification of pathological studies was created and efforts are being made to improve the pathological services in the Russian Federation. In 2015 L.V. Kaktursky filled the post as the Scientific Director of the Institute.

In April 2015, the leadership of the Institute was entrusted to the student of academician A.I. Strukov, professor, Olga Vasilyevna Makarova. In addition to her administrative duties, she carried out a large research and educational work, being a professor at the Department of Cell Biology and Histology, Faculty of Biology, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University and the Head of the laboratory of immunomorphology of inflammation FSBI Research Institute of Human Morphology, in which studies of the gender-associated and individual differences in the immune system responses during stress stimulation, infectious and inflammatory diseases are performed.

Since February 15, 2019, the Research Institute of Human Morphology has been headed by the student of academician A.P. Avtsyn, professor, Lyudmila Mikhailovna Mikhaleva, whose career path started and developed in the Institute from a resident to the Head of the laboratory of clinical morphology. L.M. Mikhaleva successfully combines research work in the field of oncomorphology and morphology of inflammatory diseases with clinical practice and educational work.

The main directions of the Institute research are fundamental and applied studies of the structural, functional and molecular biological basis of human vital activity in the pre- and postnatal ontogenesis in normal and pathological conditions, including the pathology issues and pathogenetic mechanisms of major human diseases, and also the functional morphology of integrative systems of the organism (nervous, endocrine, immune), molecular and cellular mechanisms of inflammation and regeneration, development of the foundations of cell technology and experimental models of human diseases.

The research of the Institute is aimed at obtaining results of priority importance for the theory and practice for Russian health care. Molecular
biological criteria have been developed, diagnostic and prognostic markers of tumor progression have been identified in the field of oncomorphology, and all of the above are highly-demanded by the clinicians for selecting the targeted therapy. Clinical and morphological features of opportunistic diseases in HIV infection were revealed. Unique studies have been conducted investigating the effect of the endocrine disruptors on the immune and endocrine systems in the offspring, and the establishment of mechanisms for miscarriage in the "mother-placenta-fetus" system pathology, also the determination of the neuro-endocrine mechanisms of prenatal development of pancreatic islets with identification of key points that contribute to the diabetes mellitus development. The immunobiological mechanisms of gender- and age-related differences in the course of infectious and inflammatory diseases have been established as a part of the personalized medicine approach. The universal nature of infraradian biorhythms with their phases’ prognosis in order to increase the host defense and work productivity in human during extreme conditions is discovered.

The Institute carries out active educational work in training the academic personnel in the morphology field in accordance with accreditation and a license for educational activities in the following specialties: pathological anatomy (postgraduate education, residency), cell biology, histology and cytology (medical and biological sciences). The Dissertation Committee Д 001.004.01 at the FSBI Research Institute of Human Morphology conducts the defence of theses for Doctoral and Candidate Degree in these specialties.

The Diagnostic Center of the Institute, in accordance with the license for medical activitity, performs intravital morphological diagnosis of human diseases and morphological evaluation of the effectiveness of pharmaceuticals during preclinical trials.

The Institute is the founder of the scientific and practical journal "Clinical and Experimental Morphology" which is included in the the List of Higher Attestation Commission under the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (Vysshaya Attestatsionnaya Komissiya, VAK).

The Russian Society of Pathologists and its Moscow Department operate on the basis of the Institute, and the Autonomous Non-Profit Organization "System of Voluntary Certification of Pathological Research" carries out its work in the walls of the Institute.