Head: Prof. Andrey Tchorbanov, PhD

Tel.: +359 2 979 31 12





Assist. Prof. Nikolina Mihaylova Mihaylova, PhD



Assist. Prof. Kalina Nikolova-Ganeva, PhD



Assist. Prof. Nikola Kerekov, PhD



Assist. Prof. Petia Ganova, PhD



Assist. Iliyan Manoylov, PhD



PhD student Silviya Bradyanova




The main research interests of the Laboratory of Experimental Immunology are directed to autoimmunity and autoimmune diseases, allergy, vaccines and immunomodulators. The work is focus on the development of new approaches for specific suppression of pathological immune cells through genetic engineering and protein molecules.

We have used experimental spontaneous and induced murine models of lupus in our therapeutic approaches. We successfully down-regulated lupus symptoms in sick mice by treatment with protein or genetically-engineered chimeric antibodies which cross-link the B-cell receptors and the inhibitory receptors.

The team is well experienced in clinical research and in establishing precise animal models of human diseases. A topic of interest is the development of humanized mouse models of human diseases (allergies, autoimmune diseases – systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes and cancer). We have already shown that it is possible to down-regulate the activity of self-specific B and T cells from lupus, diabetes and House dust mite allergy patients in humanized mouse SCID model by treating them with a hybrid molecules, containing monoclonal antibodies against the human negative receptors coupled to a B-cell epitopes recognized by pathological antibodies.

During the past years the research group of Dr. Tchorbanov has been focused also on murine and humanized models of cancer, mainly on glioma and stem cell biology and basic mechanism of malignancy. Widely covered in the activity of the team are studies on immunomodulating activity of black sea and garden snail proteins as adjuvants for bacterial and viral vaccines and their anti-tumor effects. The use of hemocyanins as an adjuvant in vaccines consisting of bacterial or viral antigens was proven that the hemocyanins have the potential to be used as adjuvant in similar way as KLH. The anti-cancer properties of both hemocyanins have been tested in vivo on murine model of colorectal cancer.

The research activity of the laboratory has been funded by grants from the national research fund and bilateral contracts with many universities as well as from international funding sources, e.g.: Internal funding for the network of Institute Pasteur (ACIP), bilateral with Hungary, Italy, Taiwan and Egypt. Several contracts with private companies have been realized also.


  1. “DNA vaccines: Viral Antigen Targeting by Genetically Engineered Chimeric Molecules” 2010-2016; Project leader A. Tchorbanov NFSI – Bulgaria DTK 02/19
  2. “Functional elimination of autoreactive T cells by antibody therapy in murine and humanized SCID models of Systemic lupus erythematosus and Multiple sclerosis” 2011-2017; Project leader for IM-BAS A. Tchorbanov NFSI – Bulgaria DVU 10-250
  3. “Adoptive T cell therapy as a new approach for pancreatic cancer” 2016-2018; Project leader A. Tchorbanov; Bulgarian-Egyptian (BAS – Academy of Scientific Research and Technology Scientific & Cultural Relations Sector) international join project
  4. “Development of experimental murine Specific pathogen free model for test of probiotic activity and colonisation” 2016-2017; Project leader A. Tchorbanov; Neopharm – Bulgaria
  5. “A novel approach for cancer treatment by activated monocyte – derived macrophages” 2016-2019; Project leader A. Tchorbanov; Bulgarian-Italian (BAS – National Research Council) international join project
  6. “Investigation of the process of generating platelets’ derived microparticles (PMP) and the morphological changes under the action of platelet-activating and inhibiting factors in patients with deep venous thrombosis carriers of the G20210A PTM mutation” 2016 – 2017; Project leader Komsa; project leader for IM-BAS A. Tchorbanov; BAS – Medical University Pleven join project
  7. “Investigation of oogenesis quality in vivo and in vitro in murine oocytes in experimental systemic lupus“ 2016 – 2017; Project leader for IM-BAS Tchorbanov; BAS – Medical University Sofia join project
  8. „New approach for tumor inhibition by hemocyanin therapy in model of colorectal cancer” 2016 – 2017; Project leader I. Ivanova; Program of BAS for young scientist support №293
  9. “Epigenetic modulation of systemic lupus erythematosus development in pristane-induced mouse model of diseases” 2016-2017; Project leader N. Kerekov; Program of BAS for young scientist support №292
  10. “New approach for therapy of autoimmune diabetes by protein chimeric molecules” 2016-2017; Project leader I. Manoylov; Program of BAS for young scientist support №291
  11. “Suppression of autoreactive B and T cells by protein chimeric molecules in humanized SCID models of Autoimmune Diabetes Mellitus“ 2016-2019; Project leader A. Tchorbanov; DH03/11 NFSI – Bulgaria.
  12. “Analysis of new physiologically active binding sites of human C1q“ 2016-2019; Project leader I. Tsacheva; project leader for IM-BAS A. Tchorbanov;  DH01/9  NFSI – Bulgari


  • Mihaylova, N., Bradyanova, S., Chipinski, P., Herbath, M., Chausheva, S., Kyurkchiev, D., Prechl, J. and Tchorbanov, A. Annexin A1 as a target for managing murine pristane-induced systemic lupus erythematosus. Autoimmunity, 2017, IF:2.917
  • Birner, P., Tchorbanov, A., Natchev, S., Tuettenberg, J., Guentchev, M. The chemokine receptor CXCR7 influences prognosis in human glioma in an IDH1 dependent manner. J Clin Pathology 2015, 68, 10, 830-834. DOI: 10.1136/jclinpath-2015-202886 ISI IF:915
  • Isachenko V., Todorov P., Isachenko E., Rahimi G., Tchorbanov A., Mihaylova N., Manoylov I., Mallmann P., Merzenich M. Long-time cooling before cryopreservation decreased translocation of phosphatidylserine (Ptd-L-Ser) in human ovarian tissue. PLOS ONE 2015, 10 (6), e0129108 ; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0129108   ISI IF:3.2344. 
  • Gesheva V., Chausheva S., Mihaylova N., Manoylov I., Doumanova L., Idakieva K., Tchorbanov A. Anti-cancer properties of gastropodan hemocyanins in murine model of colon carcinoma. BMC Immunology 2014, 15:34, DOI: 10.1186/s12865-014-0034-3, ISI IF:2.4815.      
  • Birner P., Pusch S., Christov C., Mihaylova S., Toumangelova-Uzeir K., Natchev S., Schoppmann S.F., Tchorbanov A., Wesseling P., Streubel B., Tuettenberg J., Guentchev M. Mutant IDH1 inhibits PI3K/Akt signaling in human glioma. Cancer 2014,  120 (16), 2440-2447;  DOI: 10.1002/cncr.28732. ISI IF:5.0686.     
  • Kerekov N., Ivanova I., Mihaylova N., Nikolova M., Prechl J., Tchorbanov A. Built-in adjuvanticity of Genetically and Protein Engineered Chimeric Molecules for Targeting of Influenza A peptide epitopes. Immunol Research 2014, 60(1), 23-34; DOI 10.1007/s12026-014-8489-0, ISI IF:3.0987.      
  • Gesheva V., Kerekov N., Nikolova, K., Mihaylova N., Todorov T., Nikolova M., Tchorbanov A. Suppression of dsDNA-specific B Lymphocytes reduces disease symptoms in SCID model of mouse lupus. Autoimmunity 2014, 6;47(3):162-72; DOI: 10.3109/08916934.2014.883502, ISI IF:2.7148.      
  • Kerekov N., Michova A., Muhtarova M., Nikolov G., Mihaylova N., Petrunov B., Nikolova M., Tchorbanov A. Suppression of allergen-specific B lymphocytes by chimeric protein-engineered antibodies. IMBIO 2014, 219(1): 45–52; DOI 10.1016/j.imbio.2013.07.009.   ISI IF:3.0449.     
  • Nikolova, K., Kaloyanova, S., Mihaylova, N., Stoitsova, S., Chausheva, S., Vasilev, A., Lesev, N., Dimitrova, P., Deligeorgiev, T., Tchorbanov, A. New fluorogenic dyes for analysis of cellular processes by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. J Photochem Photobiol B: Biology 2013, 129: 125-134. DOI 10.1016/j.photobiol.2013.10.010.   ISI IF:2.803
  • Gesheva V., Szekeres Z., Mihaylova N., Dimitrova I., Nikolova M., Erdei A., Prechl J., Tchorbanov A. Generation of gene-engineered chimeric DNA molecules for specific therapy of autoimmune diseases. Human Gene Therapy 2012, 23(6): 357-365. ISI IF:4.019