40th Anniversary of Academic Council in Filatov Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy

L.A. Iurchenko, a secretary, junior research fellow

I would like to start with a short excursus to the history. January, 13, 1934, Council of People's Commissars of the USSR enacted a regulation No79 “On academic degrees and titles” which established scientific degrees of Candidate of Science and Doctor of Science, scientific titles of Assistant, Associate Professor and Professor for Institution of Higher Education, scientific titles of a junior reserach fellow, a senior research fellow and a research fellow for Research Institutes (in 1937, the titles of assistant and junior research fellow were excluded from the list, merging from scientific rank to full-time positions in universities and research institutes). The same regulation implemented the system of conferment of an academic degree following the results of the public defense of candidate or doctoral dissertations, determined the requirements to persons seeking an academic degree and scientific title, “Procedure of conferment of an academic degree” and “Procedure of conferment of an academic title”.

Thus, the day of January, 13, 1934, can be considered as a ‘birthday’ of the soviet scientific assessment system, and the 13th of January as a Day of Candidate and Doctor of Science. 

Before 1975, thesis defenses were held at the meetings of Academic Councils of Higher Education Institutions and Research Institutes at which were gathered together specialists in very different specialties.  Defense Councils were almost in every Higher Education Institution and they were comprehensive. Those councils often were not able to complete an expert review on the quality of a dissertation. 

Resolution of the Council of Ministers No 1076 from December, 29, 1975, established “Regulations for procedure of conferment of academic degrees and titles” bringing under regulation the assessment of academic and teaching staff. According to this resolution were created specialized councils for thesis defense within one or two specialties. On accepting a new resolution, the councils were abandoned and recreated only in big scientific centers.

Resolution of the State Committee on Science and Technology of Council of Ministers No 231 from May, 25, 1977, established the Nomenclature of scientific research specialties, including 487 of those. The development of science and technology required a periodic renewal of the Nomenclature pointed. Their new revisions were accepted on July, 19, 1984, and November, 4, 1988. At the same time, the Higher Attestation Commission offered providing the development of research fellow specialty passports if necessary.

It was Nadezhda Puchkovskaia, the director of the Filatov Institute, who initiated the creation of our Academic Council, and Stanislav Yakimenko, the Academic Secretary of the future Council, who organized it in fact. In 1975 the Institute submitted a reasoned request to the Higher Attestation Commission of the USSR Council of Ministers to establish the specialized Academic Council for Academic Degrees and Titles at the Filatov Institute. And the Council was established for a term of five years. The Academic Council was authorized to conduct defenses in specialty 14.00.08, Eye Diseases.

The Academic Council consisted of 17 members including 16 Doctors and 1 Candidate of Science.  

The first Academic Council included: 

N.A. Puchkovskaia, an academician of the USSR AS, Dr of Sc (Med), Prof., as Chair;

L.T. Kashintseva, Dr of Sc (Med), senior research fellow, as Deputy Chair;

S.A. Iakimenko, junior research fellow, Cand of Sc. (Med), as Academic Secretary;

V.V. Voino-Iasinetskii, Dr of Sc (Med), Prof.; 

I.V. Kliuka, Dr of Sc (Med), senior research fellow; 

G.V. Legeza, Dr of Sc (Med), senior research fellow; 

R.K.Marmur, Dr of Sc (Med); 

A.S. Novokhatskii, Dr of Sc (Med), senior research fellow; 

G.V. Panfilova, Dr of Sc (Med), Prof.; 

Z.D. Skripnichenko, Dr of Sc (Med), Prof.; 

S.V. Filatov, Dr of Sc (Med), senior research fellow; 

I.S. Cherkasov, Dr of Sc (Med), Prof.; 

I.I. Chikalo, Dr of Sc (Biol.), Prof.; 

V.E. Shevalev, Dr of Sc (Med), Prof.; 

T.V. Shlopak, Dr of Sc (Med), Prof.; 

N.I. Shpak, Dr of Sc (Med), Prof.; 

N.S. Shulgina, Dr of Sc (Biol), Prof.

The first defense of candidate dissertation in the Scientific Council at the Filatov Institute was performed on the 16th of June 1977. Vascular pathology in genuine Tapeta-retinal dystrophies thesis was successfully defended by A. I. Ieremenko,  an Eye Diseases Department assistant of Novokuznetsk State Institute of Postgraduate Medicine.

The vast majority of the authors defended their dissertations in our Council over the years of its existence have formed the basis of the faculty of medical universities of Ukraine.

During this time (as at July, 2016) there were 67 doctoral and 412 candidate dissertations defended, i.e a total of 479 defenses.  The number is impressive. Moreover, there were not only citizens of the former USSR, and, of course, Ukraine, but of other countries including Bulgaria, Cyprus, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Greece, Jordan, Cuba, Palestine, Syria, Nigeria, India, Qatar, Iran, Libya, Malta, Ghana, Peru, and Tunis. Our "nestlings" are working all over the world. 

The Council is authorized to accept dissertations for defenses in specialty 14.01.18 “Ophthalmology”. By the way, before 2005 our specialty was called “Eye Diseases”; and upon the initiative of the Institute’s Director Nataliya Pasyechnikova and on the Institute’s request, a reasonable and timely decision was made to rename the specialty to “Ophthalmology”. Also, a new specialty passport was accepted, in creation of which all Council members took an active part. 

Over the years, no doctoral or candidate dissertations have been rejected by the Higher Attestation Commission of Ukraine or of the former USSR. No paperwork reclamations have been reported. A year average is 1 to 2 doctoral and 9 to 10 candidate dissertations.    

Starting upon creation and to April 1998, Council Chair was Nadezhda Puchkovskaia. From 1998 to 2000 she was an Honorary Chair. Professor Ivan Logai chaired between 1998 and 2004. Since 2004, Chair of Academic Council has been Nataliya Pasyechnikova, Prof., a corresponding member of the NAMS of Ukraine.

The current Academic Council members are: 

N. V. Pasyechnikova, Dr of Sc (Med.), Prof., a corresponding member of the NAMS of Ukraine, as Chair; 

N.F. Bobrova, Dr of Sc (Med.), Prof., as Deputy Chair; 

A.V. Zborovskaia, Dr of Sc (Med.), as Academic Secretary; 

P.A. Bezdetko, Dr of Sc (Med.), Prof.; 

I.M. Boichuk, senior research fellow; 

V.V. Vit, Dr of Sc (Med.), Prof.; 

S.K. Dmitriiev, Dr of Sc (Med.), Prof.; 

G.I. Drozhzhyna, Dr of Sc (Med.), Prof.; 

T.A. Krasnovid, Dr of Sc (Med.), senior research fgellow; 

N.F. Leus, Dr of Sc (Med.), Prof.; 

E. V. Maltsev, Dr of Sc (Med.), Prof.; 

V.A. Naumenko, Dr of Sc (Med.), Prof.; 

V. V. Savko, Dr of Sc (Med.), senior research fellow; 

I.V. Savitskii, Dr of Sc (Med.), Prof.; 

R.L. Skrypnyk, Dr of Sc (Med.), Prof.; 

A.M. Soldatova, Dr of Sc (Med.), Prof.; 

P.A. Fedirko, Dr of Sc (Med.), Prof.

The authorities’ term of the current Council has been set until December, 29, 2016. 

The scope of the dissertations. Much of doctoral dissertations (28%) were on issues of refraction errors and binocular vision disorders. The second place was to scientific and practical issues on inflammatory and dystrophic diseases of the retina, optic nerve, and choroid. Corneal pathology, glaucoma, inflammatory somatic eye diseases: each of these nosological problems was the topic for 9.4 % of dissertations. 6.2 % of works were devoted to neoplasm of the eye, trauma, and cataract each. The issue of the retinal detachment comprised 3.1% of a total number of doctoral dissertations. The scope of candidate dissertations was as follows: a great part was devoted to refractogenesis, ametropia, amblyopia, and binocular vision disorders (17.1%); 13.3 % to eye trauma and burn issues; 12.2% to diagnostics and treatment of the anterior eye segment; 11.5 % to inflammatory and dystrophic diseases of the retina, optic nerve, and choroid; 9% and 8% to management of glaucoma and cataract, respectively; 3.1 % to diabetic retinopathy; 3.84% to functional diagnostics, and 9.1% to issues on organizing ophthalmic care and patients’ rehabilitation. 

 The years roll by, changing laws and regulations, rotating the members, but keeping up the basic principles of our Council: goodwill, integrity, and objectivity.