The Eliava Institute was founded in 1923 by distinguished Georgian physician, bacteriologist and phage researcher Prof. George Eliava. An extraordinary role in the institute’s development was played by famous French-Canadian scientist Felix D’Herelle, who first discovered bacteriophages. These scientists developed the joint idea of creating the World Centre of Phage Research and Phage Therapy in Tbilisi, Georgia. Unfortunately, this was the time of Stalin’s Terror. In 1937, Eliava was executed, along with his contemporaries, and D’Herelle never came back to Georgia.
During its long history, the Eliava Institute has been known by several respectedtitles. The best-known was the Scientific-Industrial Union (SIU) “Bacteriophage.” It included two major parts, the Research Institute and Industrial Department, the latter consisting of ten manufacturing units. Altogether, roughly 800 people used to work at the SIU “Bacteriophage”, of whom 120 engaged in research. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Industrial Department was partly privatized.During the Soviet period, the Eliava Institute played an important role in the elaboration of novel biological preparations and manufacturing products against almost all major bacterial and viral diseases, such as anthrax, rubies, tuberculosis, brucellosis, salmonellosis, dysentery, etc.
For many years, Eliava IBMV has been a leading organization in bacteriophage research, production of phage preparations and their practical application. Experts around the world recognize the contribution of Eliava IBMV scientists in the production of diagnostic, prophylactic and therapeutic preparations (bacteriophage “cocktails,” biological anti-bacterial and immunological medications) against bacterial infections and their application in various fields (medicine, veterinary, and environmental protection).
- Research and education
- Human health (Phage Therapy and Prophylaxis)
- Animal and plant protection
- Environmental protection
- Food safety
- Innovation development and technology transfer
Currently, the Eliava Institute employs 130 researchers, technicians and administrative staff. The institute includes eight units:
- Laboratory of General Microbiology
- Laboratory of Applied Microbiology
- Laboratory of Microbial Ecology
- Laboratory of Molecular Biology
- Laboratory of Virology and Immunology
- Bacterial and Strain Collection
- R&D Department
- Biological Control Group
The library of the Eliava Institute has one of the most important and complete collections of scientific books and periodicals in Georgia, including many rare publications that are not available on the Internet. The library contains scientific literature in seven languages: Georgian, Russian, English, German, French, Hungarian and Polish. The collection includes about 10,000 books and 8,000 scientific journals.
The Eliava Museum is located inside main building of the George Eliava Institute. The museum contains a variety of photographs capturing the life and history of the institute, and includes artifacts such as scientific equipment and furniture used in previous periods of the Institute.