Valdis Janis BERZINS


Professor Valdis Janis BERZINS

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology,
Faculty of Biology
University of Latvia
Kronvalda bulv. 4
Riga, LV 1586


Born: March 23, 1943, Riga, Latvia

Departed: April 19, 1998


Main Research:

Main scientific interests are in molecular biology, genetic engineering and modern biotechnology. Author of more than 100 scientific publications and patents V.Berzins together with J.van Duin's group first had reported sequence of group I bacteriophage fr genome and present data of comparative analysis of structure of regulatory regions and viral proteins genes. Specific fragments of phage MS2 and fr RNA comprising the translation initiation region of the replicase gene were purified, sequenced and used as template to investigate structural determinants of formation of ribosomal initiation complex. V. Berzins has elaborated structural model of the translation initiation on s mRNA and formulated some principles of recombinant DNA expression in bacterial cells. Now the investigation of in vitro evolution of bacteriophage RNA for application in studies of structural principles of replication and translational control is in progress.

V.Berzins and the group led by him have cloned and investigated a number of human a-interferon genes. A new subtype of a-interferon, called IFN-aN, was cloned and expressed in E.coli. The mosaic structure of the genes of this class, arising as a result of intergenic recombinations, was discovered.

At present, on the basis of a synthetic gene of human a-atrial natriuretic factor, the bacterial producer of cardiac peptide hormone is constructed. a-hANF is involved in the regulation of extracellular fluid volume and homeostasis of blood pressure, and the physiological and immunological properties of recombinant a-hANF as an antihypertensive agent are studied.

Simultaneously the research of PCR-based diagnostic methods of Lyme borreliosis and congenital lysinuria and citrullinaemia is in progress.


Languages: English, Latvian, Russian


Thesis: "Effect of Bacteriophage MS2 Infection on Biosynthesis of Cellular Nucleic Acids in Escherichia coli." Supervisor Prof. E. Grens.

Thesis: "Structure and Function of Translation Initiation Regions on Prokaryotic mRNA."




Honours and Awards:

Professional Activities and Memberships:



University of Latvia:


Recent/Representative Publications:



France Patent 2 541 570 From: 18.12.87
UK Patent GB 2150573 B From: 11.11.87
USA Patent 4,751,287 From: 14.06.88
Swerige Patent 453512 From: 08.02.88


Research Projects:


Last update 02.06.1999