Vazha Okujava

Vazha Okujava, academician of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, honored scientist, doctor of medical sciences and professor, was born in Tbilisi on February 25, 1930.  In 1947, he finished the Tbilisi secondary school for boys No 2 with honors. In 1950-1956, V. Okujava studied at the Tbilisi Medical Institute, medical and preventive faculty, which he completed with honors. After graduation, he continued postgraduate studies at the Physiology Institute of Georgian Academy of Sciences. In 1959-1961, V. Okujava worked as a junior research fellow at the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Neurology under the Ministry of Health of Georgia. In 1960, V. Okujava defended a dissertation and was awarded scientific degree of a candidate of sciences in medicine.
In 1961-1990, Vazha Okujava led the Department of Clinical and Experimental Neurology. Simultaneously, he was engaged in active scientific-social activities. In 1966, Vazha Okujava successfully defended the doctoral dissertation, and in 1969, he was awarded scientific title of a professor. In 1974, he was elected a full member of the Georgian Academy of Sciences. In 1973-1975, V. Okujava served as the Deputy Rector of the Tbilisi Institute of Medicine in the field of scientific work and in 1975-1980 – as an Academic-Secretary of the Department of Physiology and Experimental Medicine. In 1978-1988, he was the head of the Laboratory of Cell Physiology, Pathology, and Pharmacology of the Institute of Physiology and in 1993-1997 he led the Department of Radial and Interventional Scientific-Research Institute.
In 1962, Vazha Okujava was elected a member of the International Brain Research Organization affiliated to UNESCO, while in 1975 he became the President of the Georgian Physiological Society. He served as the editor of a scientific journal ‘Matsne’ of the Georgian Academy of Sciences (biology series). In 1978-1987, V. Okujava was a deputy chairman of the society ‘Tsodna’ and editorial board member of international journals ‘Нейрофизиология’ (1975-91),  ‘Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology’ (1978-88 ). From 1997, he was editorial board member of international journal ‘Epilepsy Research’ and from 1998 – member of the European Epilepsy Academy.
Vazha Okujava made an excellent contribution to the field of neurobiology with his more than 250 studies. His studies cover fundamental problems of general neurophysiology and at the same time are connected with extremely vital aspects of practical neurology.
In 1981, Vazha Okujava became a Laureate of Ivane Beritashvili Prize and in 1999 – winner of the Khorezm International Scientific Prize.
V. Okujava systematically participated in international conferences and symposiums (Cuba, Japan, Hungary, France, England, USA, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, India, Brazil, Canada, etc.).
On March 12, 1980, V. Okujava was appointed the Rector of the Tbilisi State University. During this period, the scientific-research activities significantly improved at the faculties and departments; many new laboratories were founded.
On September 13, 1985, V. Okujava resigned from the post of the rector. Since 1985, he has been working as the Head of the TSU Scientific-Research Laboratory of Neurobiology. In addition, since 2000, V. Okujava has been serving as the Director of the Scientific-Research Center for Experimental Neurology of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection of Georgia.
Vazha Okujava has received a number of prizes, including the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, as well as various medals and diplomas for his scientific-pedagogic and social activities.