Scientific topics

Research Staff Methods Projects Publications

Research activities carried out in the Department are in connection with increasing efficiency and safety in the use of natural and synthetic substances and drugs with unclear toxicobiological characteristics and side effects, which is important problem in the processes of personal adaptation and social integration. The laboratories in the Department investigate biological activity of natural and synthetic substances, involvement of neuromodulatory mechanisms in their effects, as well as the possibilities of controlling and optimizing drug action. Oxidative stress (cell damage and protection from active forms of oxygen), the antioxidant activity of known and newly synthesized medicinal products aimed at protecting the cell from the harmful effects of free radicals are investigated; the role of proteosomes in liver damage due to oxidative stress, effects of known and newly synthesized drugs in neurodegenerative disorders are studied. Investigations are being conducted in the field of experimental drug toxicology, which contributes to clarifying the toxic effect of drugs and active forms of oxygen on cellular regulatory mechanisms.

Scientific topics

Research Staff

Methods Projects Publications

  • Prof. Reni Kalfin, PhD - Head of Department
  • Prof. Albena Alexandrova, PhD
  • Prof. Lyubka Tancheva, PhD
  • Prof. Rositsa Zamfirova, PhD
  • Assoc. Prof. Almira Georgieva, PhD
  • Assoc. Prof. Elina Tsvetanova, PhD
  • Chief Assist. Madlena Andreeva, PhD
  • Assist. Borislav Minchev
  • Valia Grigorova, biologist
  • Diamara Uzunova, biologist
  • Zlatka Stoyanova, engineer
  • Petya Gavrilova, laboratory technician
  • Petya Todorova, chemist
  • Georgi Pramatarov, technician
  • Christiana Kanzova, technician

Scientific topics Research Staff


Projects Publications

  • Enzymological methods
  • Computerized models in toxicology
  • Recording of vascular and visceral smooth-muscle motility in vitro, in situ and in vivo
  • Cell culturing
  • Liver and brain biochemistry
  • Chromatographic methods of drug monitoring
  • Biochemical tests for oxidative stress
  • Measurement of [3H]-labeled transmitters in vitro
  • Registration of blood pressure and perfusion of blood vessels
  • Registration of gastric acid secretion
  • Tests for studying nociception
  • Test for studying inflammation
  • Lipid peroxidation in biological preparations
  • Activity of antioxidant and metal-containing enzymes in biological preparations
  • Levels of non-enzyme antioxidants in biological preparations
  • Effects of different substances, incl. drugs, chelators, supplements on oxygen free species (O2- and OH·) generated in chemical systems
  • Acetylcholine esterase activity
  • T-maze test
  • Barnes maze test
  • Novel object recognition test
  • Step-through inhibitory passive avoidance test
  • Alzheimer’s disease experimental models
  • Parkinson’s disease experimental models

Scientific topics Research Staff Methods



  • National Research Programme “Innovative Low-Toxic Bioactive Systems for Precision Medicine (BioActiveMed)” approved by DCM # 658 / 14.09.2018 and Agreements ДО1-323/18.12.2019, ДО1-358/17.12.2020, ДО1-278/03.12.2021
  • Grant ДН01-4/16.12.2016-2021 "Analysis of the human blood-group microbiome in healthy individuals", (2016-2021) supported by National Science Fund, Bulgaria
  • Directed synthesis of new neurotensin analogue and studies on its preventive effects in experimental rat models of Alzheimer's disease (2018-2021) with Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • Grant № ДМ 11/5 от 21.12.2017 г.: “Dynamics of pro/antioxidant status and genomic plasticity of molluscs from typical Black Sea habitats as a response to environmental changes”, (2017-2019), Young Scientists and Postdocs program, supported by National Science Fund, Bulgaria
  • "Alternative approaches of bioproduction of alkaloids and active substances from Bulgarian rare and threatened medicinal plants" - NATO SfP Project "Bioproduction", SfP 974453
  • "New biological markers and antidot intoxication treatment with neuroparalytic agents", TNO-PML
  • Synthesis of new bioactive lactams and lactones with amino acid and/or phosphonate substituents, supported by National Science Fund, Bulgaria 1706/07
  • ROS in the effects of anti-inflammatory and antidepressant drugs (2009-2011) - with the Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Krakow, Poland.
  • Synthesis and biological activity of novel nociceptin analogues as potential analgesics, Grant ДТК 02/61/2009
  • ROS in the effects of anti-inflammatory and antidepressant drugs (2009 - 2011)

Scientific topics Research Staff Methods Projects


  Period (2020-2022)

  • Tancheva, L., Lazarova, M., Saso, L., Kalfin, R., Stefanova, M., Uzunova, D., Atanasov, A. Beneficial effect of melatonin on motor and memory disturbances in 6-OHDA-lesioned rats. Journal of Molecular Neuroscience, 7, 4, Humana Press, 2021, ISSN:15591166, DOI:DOI:10.1007/s12031-020-01760-z, 702-712. JCR-IF (Web of Science):3.444

  • Stankova, I., Lazarova, M., Chayrov, R., Popatanasov, A., Tancheva, L., Kalfin, R. Newly synthesized amantаdine derivative: safety and neuropharmacological activity. Farmacia, 69, 6, Romanian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2021, ISSN:00148237,, 1112-1119. JCR-IF (Web of Science):1.607

  • Tancheva L., Lazarova M., Alexandrova A., Dragomanova S., Nicoletti F., Tzvetanova E., Hodzhev Y., Kalfin R., Miteva S., Mazzon E., Tzvetkov N., Atanasov A.G. Neuroprotective mechanisms of three natural antioxidants on rat model of Parkinson’s disease: a comparative study. Antioxidants, 9, 1, MDPI, 2020, ISSN:2076-3921, DOI:10.3390/antiox9010049, JCR-IF (Web of Science):5.014

  • Tancheva L, Petralia M, Miteva S, Dragomanova S, Solak A, Kalfin R, Lazarova M, Yarkov D, Ciurleo R, Caval E, Bramanti A, Ferdinando N. Review: Emerging Neurological and Psychobiological Aspects of COVID-19 Infection. Brain Sciences, 10, 11, Basel, Switzerland : MDPI, 2020, ISSN:2076-3425, DOI:10.3390/brainsci10110852, 852. JCR-IF (Web of Science):3.332