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About the project
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Project title: „Capacity building for interdisciplinary biosafety research”

Contract Nr. 2009/0224/1DP/
UoL project registration Nr. ESS 2009/87
Project duration: January>2010 – December 2012
Total amount of funding: 1 134 098 LVL (ca. 1 613 676 EUR)
Project research leader (principal investigator): Nils Rostoks, e-mail:

Work package leaders (co-PI):

Aivita Putniņa, e-mail:

Una Riekstiņa, e-mail:

Tatjana Tračevska, e-mail:

Jānis Ancāns, e-mail:

Project administrator: Jūlija Stare, e-mail:

Assistant of project administrator: Sandra Strole, e-mail:

Project objective is to form a new, interdisciplinary research team, to attract and train human resources for interdisciplinary research in biosafety and biotechnology management and to strengthen the capacity in biosafety at The University of Latvia.  The research team will perform interdisciplinary research in biology, medicine, social sciences and law.

Project outcome is a new, interdisciplinary research team consisting of 20 scientists and technical staff (20 full time equivalents, FTE) that will continue to operate at the University of Latvia after completion of the project and increased capacity in biosafety research at the UoL and in Latvia. The following measurable outcomes will be achieved during the project: interdisciplinary biosafety expert panel, seminars, a research conference, data base, project web site, publications, technologies and research protocols, Ph.D., master and bachelor theses, recommendations on biosafety policies.

Main activities of the project (work packages):

WP1. Study on legal and ethical regulations in the EU Member States (MS), evaluation of available biosafety practices and technologies, identification of the technological and methodological solutions appropriate for Latvia. Analysis of current biosafety topics in three different areas that is prospective for biotechnology development in Latvia, i.e., stem cell research and therapies, genetically modified organisms (GMO) for basic research and agriculture, development of bioanalytical markers for Staphylococcus sp.

WP2. Development of biosafety criteria and methodology by evaluating social, ethical and legal factors, and management quality of modern biotechnologies. WP2 leader is Dr. Aivita Putniņa.

WP3. Development of biosafety criteria and testing methodology for somatic stem cell production in vitro and therapeutic applications. Selection of bioanalytical markers for somatic stem cell genome stability and characterization of differentiation potential. WP3 leaders are Drs. Una Riekstiņa and Jānis Ancāns.

WP4. Long-term experimental evaluation of structural and gene expression stability of GMO genomes for development of biosafety criteria and methodologies. WP4 leader is Dr. Nils Rostoks.

WP5. Development of biosafety criteria and methodologies for Latvian population of potentially pathogenic bacteria by identification of virulence and resistance markers. WP5 leader is Dr. Tatjana Tračevska.

WP6. Development of integrated biosafety criteria, methodologies and policy recommendations. Increasing academic and popular awareness of the biosafety issues.

WP 7. Increasing public participation in assessment of biosafety risks.


Measurable project outcomes:

·        Web site and a data base on popular publications in biosafety area;

·        Twelve popular publications by the project investigators;

·        Two open public discussion on biosafety issues;

·        Three informative brochures on current biosafety issues and solutions.


Legal entity: University of Latvia


University laboratories involved in the project:

·        Faculty of Biology, Laboratory of Bioanalytical Methods

·        Center for Bioethics and Biosafety


Project web site: