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Awards for best research to 2 scientists

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 12:02 PM

ANSEF Researchers Win Awards for Best Research Project
 February 7, 2014

FAR is very proud to announce that two young ANSEF scientists are among this year’s winners of the very prestigious Best Research Project for 2013 Award from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and The National Academy of Sciences. The awards – eight in total – were given in the fields of technical, natural and social sciences, and the humanities. Aram Zeytunyan, 28, and Hovakim Zaqaryan, 27, both assets to the ANSEF program, won for best projects in the natural science category.

Aram is a senior researcher in the Optics Department of the Faculty of Physics at Yerevan State University (YSU). He graduated YSU with his bachelor’s degree in 2005, and in 2010 earned his PhD in physics. He was just 25 years old. He has authored more than 40 scientific articles, of which eight have been published in international science journals. Over the years Aram has received support from his mentor Levon Mouradian, a fellow ANSEF recipient, physics professor at YSU, and the Scientific Director of the Laboratory of Ultrafast Optics and Photonics.

In 2013, Aram received an ANSEF grant for his project entitled Novel Methods of Femtosecond Pulse Compression and Diagnostics. The project dealt with optical pulse compression and diagnostics. Aram’s related project called Ultrafast Optical Oscilloscope, which had the aim of developing a high-resolution optical oscilloscope to be used in high-tech equipment, won the Best Research Project Award. The end product will be used at the Center for the Advancement of Natural Discoveries Using Light Emission (CANDLE) Synchrotron Research Institute: http://www.candle.am/

Hovakim earned his master’s degree from YSU’s Faculty of Biology in 2008. He completed his PhD in biology in 2013. Since then he has worked for the Molecular Biology Institute at the National Academy of Sciences. Like Aram, Hovakim has also been published in national and international science journals. In 2011, Hovakim received an ANSEF grant for his project Comparative Study of Cytological and Morphological Characteristics of Immune Cells Infected by African Swine Fever Virus in Vivo and in Vitro. ANSEF gave him an opportunity to investigate the pathogenesis of African Swine Fever Virus, a complex DNA virus, which is considered to be one of the most devastating viral diseases of domestic pigs and has the potential for widespread impact on agriculture. The damage caused by the swine fever virus in Armenia, Georgia and Russia in 2013 alone was estimated to be 1 billion USD. Currently, there is no effective vaccine available to treat it. The research he conducted with the help of his 2011 ANSEF grant enabled him to proceed with his project Design of Antiviral Agents Based on Synthetic Oligonucleotides Against African Swine Fever Virus, which won the Best Research Project Award. Hovakim’s research shows the emergence of cells present in the viral infection, which indicate the possibility to produce a medication that can help to prevent the virus from spreading.

FAR is proud to have supported these two young researchers through the ANSEF program and we wish them all the best for their future endeavors. Based on this notable achievement they’re both on the path to making significant contributions to science.

Read more about the awards (in Armenian) on the Ministry’s website:

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