Department of Radiobiology

Research Topic

The Department of Radiobiology elaborates effects of ionizing and non-ionizing radiations on genetic instability in human cells with focus on hematological stem cells. An effect of radiations on origination of leukemia and molecular mechanisms in etiology of leukemia are being investigated. DNA damage response, gene and chromosome rearrangements, and apoptosis are the main endpoints studied by the state-of-the-art techniques including automated fluorescent and imaging microscopy, DNA repair foci and comet assays, chromosomal aberrations, micronuclei, FISH, RT-qPCR, DNA cloning and sequencing, standard and imaging flow cytometry, and cell sorting.

New emerging possibilities of using non-ionizing radiation in medicine, on one side, and increasing health risks from exposures to low doses of ionizing radiation and low intensity non-ionizing radiation, from another side, are in focus of research projects at the Department. The department has contributed to development of new approaches for inhibition of cancer cell growth with extremely low frequency magnetic fields, mapping of magnetic fields from mobile communication devices in human head, and radiobiological studies for implementation of therapeutic proton complex at Ružomberok. Special efforts are given to establishing biomarkers for assessment of individual radiosensitivity of breast cancer patients and health risks from exposure to radiofrequency radiation of mobile communication. The department has also contributed to biological dosimetry in medical radiologists.

Research Team

Assoc. Prof. Igor Belyaev, DrSc.

Head of Department

+421 2 3229 5119

Igor Belyaev received a diploma in Physical Engineering (Radiation Physics and Dosimetry) from the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (Moscow Technical University) in 1981; a Ph.D.  in Radiobiology from the Institute of Biophysics, USSR Academy of Science, Pushchino, USSR, in 1986; a Doctor of Science Degree in Genetics from St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1994; was named an Associate Professor of Toxicological Genetics by the Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden, in 2004. From 1981 to 1994, he held the positions of Research Scientist, Head of the Laboratory, and Head Research Scientist at the Department of Biophysics, Radiation Physics and Ecology at the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute.  From 1994 to 2007, he served as a visiting scientist, senior research scientist and group leader at the Departments of Radiobiology, Molecular Genome Research, Genetic and Cellular Toxicology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden, and as a Professor at the Institute of General Physics, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, Russia. Since 2007 he has worked for the Cancer Research Institute, Biomedical Research Center, Slovak Academy of Science.

Igor Belyaev is now or formerly a member of: the Working Groups of the International EMF Project of the World Health Organization, the Working group for the evaluation of RF carcinogenicity of the International Agency on Research in Cancer; the Stakeholder Dialogue Group on EMF, Health systems and Products, Risk Assessment, Health and Consumers of the Directorate-General, of the European Commission; the EMF Working group of the European Academy for Environmental Medicine, the Memorial Fund Committee of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, the Swedish National Committee for Radioscience, the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. He serves as Associate Editor for the International Journal of Radiation Biology and on the Editorial Boards of the Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine and the International Journal of Molecular Science. In 2011, he was awarded by the Bioelectromagnetics Society for the most influential paper in Bioelectromagnetics 2006-2010.

Web of Science Researcher ID: I-4029-2018


RNDr. Eva Marková, CSc., Deputy Head of the Department, Researcher ID: AFR-6829-2022

RNDr. Milan Škorvaga, CSc., Researcher ID: AAO-2360-2021

Mgr. Sachin Gulati, PhD., Researcher ID: AAQ-7547-2021

Mgr. Pavol Košík, PhD., Researcher ID: GMX-2393-2022

Mgr. Matúš Durdík, PhD., Researcher ID: ABC-8653-2021

Mgr. Lukáš Jakl, PhD., Researcher ID: AFR-7772-2022

RNDr. Lucián Zastko, PhD., Researcher ID: AAZ-9018-2021


Mgr. Andrea Tvarožná, Researcher ID: AFR-0846-2022

Mgr. Petra Petrovičová


Mgr. Katarína Bérešová, Researcher ID: ABC-9655-2021

Mgr. Dominika Kochanová, Researcher ID: ABB-1542-2021

Mgr. Katarína Vigašová, Researcher ID: ABA-3204-2021

  1. DNA damage response and preleukemic clones in hematopoietic stem cells in diagnostics, risk estimation and treatment of pediatric leukemia, APVV-15-0250, 2016 – 2019, Principal investigator Igor Belyaev, DrSc.
  2. Applications of Biological Dosimetry Methods in Radiation Oncology, Nuclear Medicine, Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA 2017 – 2023, Principal investigator Igor Belyaev, DrSc.
  3. Constitutive and induced DNA damage in hematopoietic cells for assessment of risk and optimizing treatment of childhood leukemia, Grant Agency of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic (VEGA), 2015 – 2017, Principal investigator Igor Belyaev, DrSc.
  4. Mechanisms of impact of low intensity electromagnetic radiation on course of cancer disease, VEGA, 2018 – 2021, Principal investigator Igor Belyaev, DrSc.
  5. European Union Structural Funds: Long-term strategic research on the prevention, intervention and mechanisms of obesity and its comorbidities. NFP313010V344, Subactivity 2.4: Influence of obesity and obesitogenic factors on radiation sensitivity of adipose and hematopoietic stem cells, 2020 – 2023, Principal investigator Igor Belyaev, DrSc.
  6. ATHEM-03-GEN, Kompetenzinitative (Germany); Genomic instability in cells from persons exposed to RF from base stations; 2021 – 2022, Principal investigator Igor Belyaev, DrSc.
  7. Preleukemic gene fusions and DNA repair in umbilical cord blood cells, VEGA, 2015- 2017, Principal investigator Škorvaga Milan, PhD.
  8. Biomarkers for assessment of individual radiosensitivity in breast cancer therapy, VEGA, 2017 – 2020, Principal investigator Marková Eva, PhD.
  9. Radiation-induced preleukemic fusion genes in hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells of umbilical cord blood cells, VEGA, 2018 – 2021, Principal investigator Škorvaga Milan, PhD.
  10. Radiation-induced noncoding RNAs in mononuclear cells of umbilical cord blood, VEGA, 2022 – 2025, Principal investigator Škorvaga Milan, PhD.
  11. Study of genetic instability in cells from leukemic patients and chemotherapy-resistant preleukemic stem cells at remission for prevention of relapses, VEGA, 2022 – 2025, Principal investigator Lukas Jakl, PhD.

Recent publications (current and present team members are underlined)

Belpomme, D., Carlo, G. L., Irigaray, P., Carpenter, D. O., Hardell, L., Kundi, M., Belyaev, I., Havas, M., Adlkofer, F., Heuser, G., Miller, A. B., Caccamo, D., De Luca, C., von Klitzing, L., Pall, M. L., Bandara, P., Stein, Y., Sage, C., Soffritti, M., Davis, D., Moskowitz, J. M., Mortazavi, S. M. J., Herbert, M. R., Moshammer, H., Ledoigt, G., Turner, R., Tweedale, A., Munoz-Calero, P., Udasin, I., Koppel, T., Burgio, E., and Vorst, A. V. (2021): The Critical Importance of Molecular Biomarkers and Imaging in the Study of Electrohypersensitivity. A Scientific Consensus International Report. Int J Mol Sci 22.

Belpomme, D., Hardell, L., Belyaev, I., Burgio, E., and Carpenter, D. O. (2018): Thermal and non-thermal health effects of low intensity non-ionizing radiation: An international perspective. Environ Pollut 242, 643-658.

Belyaev, I. (2017): Duration of Exposure and Dose in Assessing Nonthermal Biological Effects of Microwaves, pp. 171-184. In M. Markov (Ed.): Dosimetry in Bioelectromagnetics, CRC Press, Boca Raton, London. New York.

Belyaev, I. (2019a): Health effects of chronic exposure to radiation from mobile communication, pp. 65-99. In M. Markov (Ed.): Mobile Communications and Public Health, CRC Press, Boca Raton.

Belyaev, I. (2019b): Main Regularities and Health Risks from Exposure to Non-Thermal Microwaves of Mobile Communication. Ieee. New York.

Belyaev, I., Dean, A., Eger, H., Hubmann, G., Jandrisovits, R., Kern, M., Kundi, M., Moshammer, H., Lercher, P., Muller, K., Oberfeld, G., Ohnsorge, P., Pelzmann, P., Scheingraber, C., and Thill, R. (2016): EUROPAEM EMF Guideline 2016 for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of EMF-related health problems and illnesses. Rev Environ Health 31, 363-97.

Durdik, M., Kosik, P., Jakl, L., Kozackova, M., Markova, E., Vigasova, K., Beresova, K., Jakubikova, J., Horvathova, E., Zastko, L., Fekete, M., Zavacka, I., Pobijakova, M., and Belyaev, I. (2021): Imaging flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy in assessing radiation response in lymphocytes from umbilical cord blood and cancer patients. Cytometry A 99, 1198-1208.

Durdik, M., Kosik, P., Kruzliakova, J., Jakl, L., Markova, E., and Belyaev, I. (2017): Hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells are less prone to undergo apoptosis than lymphocytes despite similar DNA damage response. Oncotarget 8, 48846-48853.

Durdik, M., Kosik, P., Markova, E., Somsedikova, A., Gajdosechova, B., Nikitina, E., Horvathova, E., Kozics, K., Davis, D., and Belyaev, I. (2019): Microwaves from mobile phone induce reactive oxygen species but not DNA damage, preleukemic fusion genes and apoptosis in hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. Sci Rep 9, 16182.

Gulati, S., Kosik, P., Durdik, M., Skorvaga, M., Jakl, L., Markova, E., and Belyaev, I. (2020): Effects of different mobile phone UMTS signals on DNA, apoptosis and oxidative stress in human lymphocytes. Environ Pollut 267, 115632.

Hardell, L., Hedendahl, L., Carlberg, M., Hansson Mild, K., and Belyaev, I. (2018): Nya rön ger ytterligare belägg för ökad cancerrisk av radiofrekvent strålning. Medicinsk Access 242, 60-64.

Jakl, L., Lobachevsky, P., Vokalova, L., Durdik, M., Markova, E., and Belyaev, I. (2016): Validation of JCountPro software for efficient assessment of ionizing radiation-induced foci in human lymphocytes. International Journal of Radiation Biology 92, 766-773.

Jakl, L., Markova, E., Kolarikova, L., and Belyaev, I. (2020a): Biodosimetry of Low Dose Ionizing Radiation Using DNA Repair Foci in Human Lymphocytes. Genes (Basel) 11, 58.

Jakl, L., Skorvaga, M., Beresova, K., Kosik, P., Durdik, M., Jakubikova, J., Holop, M., Kubes, M., Zastko, L., Markova, E., and Belyaev, I. (2020b): BCR/ABL preleukemic fusion gene in subpopulations of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells from human UCB. Neoplasma 67, 158-163.

Kosik, P., Durdik, M., Jakl, L., Skorvaga, M., Markova, E., Vesela, G., Vokalova, L., Kolariková, L., Horvathova, E., Kozics, K., and Belyaev, I. (2020): DNA damage response and preleukemic fusion genes induced by ionizing radiation in umbilical cord blood hematopoietic stem cells. Sci Rep 10, 13722.

Kosik, P., Durdik, M., Skorvaga, M., Klimova, D., Kochanova, D., Cerna, Z., Kubes, M., Holop, M., and Belyaev, I. (2021): Induction of AML Preleukemic Fusion Genes in HSPCs and DNA Damage Response in Preleukemic Fusion Gene Positive Samples. Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland) 10.

Kosik, P., Skorvaga, M., and Belyaev, I. (2016): Incidence of preleukemic fusion genes in healthy subjects. Neoplasma 63, 659-72.

Kosik, P., Skorvaga, M., Durdik, M., Jakl, L., Nikitina, E., Markova, E., Kozics, K., Horvathova, E., and Belyaev, I. (2017): Low numbers of pre-leukemic fusion genes are frequently present in umbilical cord blood without affecting DNA damage response. Oncotarget 8, 35824-35834.

Makinistian, L., and Belyaev, I. (2018): Magnetic field inhomogeneities due to CO2 incubator shelves: a source of experimental confounding and variability? Royal Society open science 5, 172095.

Makinistian, L., and Belyaev, I. (2020): Towards ELF magnetic fields for the treatment of cancer, pp. 137-157. In M. Markov, J. T. Ryaby, and E. I. Waldorf (Eds): Pulsed electromagnetic fields for clinical applications, CRC Press, Boca Raton, London, New-York.

Makinistian, L., Markova, E., and Belyaev, I. (2019): A high throughput screening system of coils for ELF magnetic fields experiments: proof of concept on the proliferation of cancer cell lines. BMC cancer 19, 188.

Makinistian, L., Muehsam, D. J., Bersani, F., and Belyaev, I. (2018): Some recommendations for experimental work in magnetobiology, revisited. Bioelectromagnetics 39, 556-564.

Matronchik, A. Y., and Belyaev, I. Y. (2021): Physical model for effects of microwaves on nucleoids in living cells: role of carrier frequency, modulation and DC and AC magnetic field. Journal of Physics: Conference Series 2103, 012056.

Misek, J., Belyaev, I., Jakusova, V., Tonhajzerova, I., Barabas, J., and Jakus, J. (2018a): Heart rate variability affected by radiofrequency electromagnetic field in adolescent students. Bioelectromagnetics 39, 277-288.

Misek, J., Vojtek, J., Veternik, M., Kohan, M., Jakusova, V., Spanikova, G., Belyaev, I., and Jakus, J. (2018b): New radiofrequency exposure system with real telecommunication signals. Advances in Electrical and Electronic Engineering 16, 101-107.

Portier, C. J., Armstrong, B. K., Baguley, B. C., Baur, X., Belyaev, I., Belle, R., Belpoggi, F., Biggeri, A., Bosland, M. C., Bruzzi, P., Budnik, L. T., Bugge, M. D., Burns, K., Calaf, G. M., Carpenter, D. O., Carpenter, H. M., Lopez-Carrillo, L., Clapp, R., Cocco, P., Consonni, D., Comba, P., Craft, E., Dalvie, M. A., Davis, D., Demers, P. A., De Roos, A. J., DeWitt, J., Forastiere, F., Freedman, J. H., Fritschi, L., Gaus, C., Gohlke, J. M., Goldberg, M., Greiser, E., Hansen, J., Hardell, L., Hauptmann, M., Huang, W., Huff, J., James, M. O., Jameson, C. W., Kortenkamp, A., Kopp-Schneider, A., Kromhout, H., Larramendy, M. L., Landrigan, P. J., Lash, L. H., Leszczynski, D., Lynch, C. F., Magnani, C., Mandrioli, D., Martin, F. L., Merler, E., Michelozzi, P., Miligi, L., Miller, A. B., Mirabelli, D., Mirer, F. E., Naidoo, S., Perry, M. J., Petronio, M. G., Pirastu, R., Portier, R. J., Ramos, K. S., Robertson, L. W., Rodriguez, T., Roosli, M., Ross, M. K., Roy, D., Rusyn, I., Saldiva, P., Sass, J., Savolainen, K., Scheepers, P. T., Sergi, C., Silbergeld, E. K., Smith, M. T., Stewart, B. W., Sutton, P., Tateo, F., Terracini, B., Thielmann, H. W., Thomas, D. B., Vainio, H., Vena, J. E., Vineis, P., Weiderpass, E., Weisenburger, D. D., Woodruff, T. J., Yorifuji, T., Yu, I. J., Zambon, P., Zeeb, H., and Zhou, S. F. (2016): Differences in the carcinogenic evaluation of glyphosate between the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). J Epidemiol Community Health 70, 741-5.

Škorvaga, M., Durdík, M., Košík, P., Marková, E., Holop, M., Kubeš, M., Puškáčová, J., Kolenová, A., and Belyaev, I. (2018): Backtracked analysis of preleukemic fusion genes and DNA repair foci in umbilical cord blood of children with acute leukemia. Oncotarget 9, 19233-19244.

Zastko, L., Makinistian, L., Moravcikova, A., Jakus, J., and Belyaev, I. (2020): Effect of Intermittent ELF MF on Umbilical Cord Blood Lymphocytes. Bioelectromagnetics 41, 649-655.

Zastko, L., Makinistian, L., Tvarozna, A., Ferreyra, F. L., and Belyaev, I. (2021a): Mapping of static magnetic fields near the surface of mobile phones. Sci Rep 11, 19002.

Zastko, L., Petrovicova, P., Rackova, A., Jakl, L., Jakusova, V., Markova, E., and Belyaev, I. (2021b): DNA damage response and apoptosis induced by hyperthermia in human umbilical cord blood lymphocytes. Toxicol In Vitro 73, 105127.

Zastko, L., Račková, A., Petrovičová, P., Durdík, M., Míšek, J., Marková, E., and Belyaev, I. (2021c): Evaluation of Calyculin A Effect on γH2AX/53BP1 Focus Formation and Apoptosis in Human Umbilical Cord Blood Lymphocytes. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 22, 5470.