Vsevolod V. BELOUSOV
Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Technologies,
M. M. Shemyakin and Yu. A. Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry (Moscow, Russia)
DSc (biology), professor
Areas of expertise:
redox biology, neurobiology, development of molecular tools to monitor and regulate key processes in living systems
Special awards and honors:
Society for Free Radicals Research Award — Development of biosensors for hydrogen peroxide detection
There are a few things in science that matter. The first is being in the right place at the right time. Scientists tend to overestimate their role in creating or discovering something new. In fact, sometimes they are just lucky enough to join a good laboratory at the moment when interesting research work is going on there; or they are fortunate to hire a talented researcher; or they have always had money to live on and therefore could afford to stay in science even when the country was going through rough times. But even if you have opportunities, you still have to be able to take advantage of them. Second, good observation skills are important. Odd experiment results are the most interesting ones, but can you notice and interpret them accurately? Third, take a slightly amateurish approach to science — ask naïve questions that have not been answered yet. Those scientists who have been focusing on a particular area of research for a long time tend to dogmatize it and stick to traditional concepts. But true progress is driven by people with naïve views who, nevertheless, have their own original ideas and skills. Fourth, a really interesting hypothesis must be formulated. Experiments aimed to test it will definitely yield some interesting discoveries, and whether you hypothesis was true or not will no longer matter. Fifth, collaboration with specialists working in different areas is essential, even if your areas of expertise do not overlap. Sometimes, an astronomer may have what a medical researcher or a biologist are looking for.
If you are a young scientist, I would recommend you find a good research laboratory recognized for its serious work, even it is not near where you live or study. Do not let the laboratory chief or his/her fellow workers enchant you with their stories. Go to PubMed, Google Scholar or other open academic databases and search for articles written by the researchers affiliated with this laboratory that have been published over the past 3–5 years. There are more good research laboratories abroad than in Russia. But then again, there are more bad ones there too — just because we have fewer labs here, many of which, nevertheless, are integrated into the world scientific community.
- Erapaneedi R, Belousov VV, Schäfers M, Kiefer F. A novel family of fluorescent hypoxia sensors reveal strong heterogeneity in tumor hypoxia at the cellular level. EMBO J. 2016 Jan 4; 35 (1): 102–13.
- Mishina NM, Mishin AS, Belyaev Y, Bogdanova EA, Lukyanov S, Schultz C, Belousov VV. Live-Cell STED Microscopy with Genetically Encoded Biosensor. Nano Letters. 2015 May 13; 15 (5): 2928–32.
- Matlashov ME, Bogdanova YA, Ermakova GV, Mishina NM, Ermakova YG, Nikitin ES, Balaban PM, Okabe S, Lukyanov S, Enikolopov G, Zaraisky AG, Belousov VV. Fluorescent ratiometric pH indicator SypHer2: Applications in neuroscience and regenerative biology. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2015 Nov; 1850 (11): 2318–28.
- Ermakova YG, Bilan DS, Matlashov ME, Mishina NM, Markvicheva KN, Subach OM, Subach FV, Bogeski I, Hoth M, Enikolopov G, Belousov VV. Red fluorescent genetically encoded indicator for intracellular hydrogen peroxide. Nature Communications. 2014 Oct 21; 5: 5222.
- Schwarzländer M, Wagner S, Ermakova YG, Belousov VV, Radi R, Beckman JS, et al. The ‘mitoflash’ probe cpYFP does not respond to superoxide. Nature. 2014 Oct 23; 514 (7523): E12–4.
- Bilan DS, Matlashov ME, Gorokhovatsky AY, Schultz C, Enikolopov G, Belousov VV. Genetically encoded fluorescent indicator for imaging NAD(+)/NADH ratio changes in different cellular compartments. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. 2014; 1840 (3): 951–7.
- Matlashov ME, Belousov VV*, Enikolopov G*. How Much H2O2 Is Produced by Recombinant D-Amino Acid Oxidase in Mammalian Cells? Antioxidants & Redox Signaling. 2014 Mar 1; 20 (7): 1039–44. *Сorresponding authors.
- Lukyanov KA, Belousov VV. Genetically encoded fluorescent redox sensors. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. 2014 Feb; 1840 (2): 745–56.
- Bilan DS, Pase L, Joosen L, Gorokhovatsky AY, Ermakova YG, Grabher C, Gadella TWJ, Schultz C, Lukyanov S, Belousov VV. HyPer-3: a genetically encoded Н2О2 probe with improved performance for ratiometric and fluorescence lifetime imaging. ACS Chemical Biology. 2013 Mar 15; 8 (3): 535–42.
- Mishina NM, Bogeski I, Bolotin DA, Hoth M, Niemeyer BA, Schultz C, Zagaynova EV, Lukyanov S, Belousov VV. Can We See PIP(3) and Hydrogen Peroxide with a Single Probe? Antioxidants & Redox Signaling. 2012; 17 (3): 505–12.