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UKRAINE AND NOBEL MOVEMENT

Selman Abraham Waksman
Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov
Simon Kuznets
I.Roald Hoffmann
Georges Charpak
Shmuel Yosef Agnon
Isidor Isaac Rabi
Eric R. Kandel
Herbert C. Brown
Boris Leonidovich Pasternak

 


 

WaksmanSelman Abraham Waksman (18881973), an outstanding biochemist and microbiologist, in 1952 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in recognition of his discovery of Streptomycin, the first antibiotic active against tuberculosis. Selman Waksman was born on 22 July 1888 in Priluki, a peasant village near Kiev, Ukraine. Shortly after receiving his matriculation diploma from the Fifth Gymnasium in Odessa he immigrated to the United States in 1910. Professor Waksman was awarded honorary doctoral degrees in medicine, science, agriculture, law and letters from the Universities of Liege, Athens, Pavia, Madrid, Strasbourg, Jerusalem, Gottingen, Perugia, Keio (Japan) and several American universities and colleges. He was a member, a honorary member and a research fellow of a number of scientific societies in the USA, France, Sweden, Mexico, India, Germany, Brazil, Spain, and Israel. The proceeds earned from the licensing of his patents funded a foundation for microbiological research, which established the Waksman Institute of Microbiology located on Rutgers University's Busch Campus in Piscataway, New Jersey (USA).

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MechnikovIlya Ilyich Mechnikov (18451916), an outstanding microbiologist, best remembered for his pioneering research into the immune system, in 1908 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine jointly with Paul Ehrlich (Germany) in recognition of their work on immunity. Mechnikov was born in the village of Ivanovka near Kharkiv, Ukraine. He went to Kharkiv University to study natural sciences, completing his four-year degree in just two years. In 1867 he was appointed as a docent at the new University of Odessa, followed by an appointment at the University of St. Petersburg. In 1870 he returned to Odessa to take up the appointment of Titular Professor of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy. He became interested in the study of microbes, and especially the immune system. In 1882 he resigned his position at Odessa University and set up a private laboratory at Messina to study comparative embryology, where he discovered phagocytosis after experimenting on the larvae of starfish. Mechnikov returned to Odessa as director of an institute set up to carry out Louis Pasteur's vaccine against rabies, but due to some difficulties left in 1888 and went to Paris to seek Pasteur's advice. Pasteur gave him an appointment at the Pasteur Institute, where he remained for the rest of his life.

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KuznetzSimon Kuznets (1901 – 1985), an outstanding economist, in 1971 was awarded the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for his empirically founded interpretation of economic growth which led to new and deepened insight into the economic and social structure and process of development. Simon Kuznets was born in Pinsk, now Belarus and educated in Kharkiv, Ukraine. In 1922 he came to the United States to join his father who had left Russia for the United States before World War

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HoffmanI.Roald Hoffmann (born July 18, 1937), an outstanding theoretical chemist who won the 1981 Nobel Prize in Chemistry jointly with professor Kenichi Fukui (Kyoto University, Japan) for their theories, developed independently, concerning the course of chemical reactions. Roald Hoffman was born in Zloczow, Lviv region, Poland (now Ukraine) on July 18, 1937.

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SharpakGeorges Charpak (born August 1, 1924) is an outstanding physicist and Nobel Prize winner in Physics in 1992 for his invention and development of particle detectors, in particular the multiwire proportional chamber. Charpak was born in the village of Dabrowica in Poland (modern Dubrovytsia, Ukraine). He graduated and in 1948 he earned the Bachelor's degree in mining engineering and started working for the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). He received his doctorate in 1954 from Nuclear Physics at the College de France, Paris, where he worked in the laboratory of Frederic Joliot-Curie. In 1959 he joined the staff of CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Geneva and in 1984 also became Joliot-Curie professor at the School of Advanced Studies in Physics and Chemistry (in French 'Ecole Superieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles', ESPCI), Paris. He was made a member of the French Academy of Sciences in 1985. In France, Charpak is a very strong advocate for nuclear power. Prof. Charpak is a member of the Board of Sponsors of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

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AgnonShmuel Yosef Agnon (1888-1970), a writer and an author of 85 literary works, the Nobel Prize winner in Literature in 1966 for his profound technique and originality of prose with motifs from the life of the Jewish people. He was born in Buczacz, Eastern Galicia. Raised in a mixed cultural atmosphere, in which Yiddish was the language of the home, and Hebrew the language of the Bible and the Talmud which he studied formally until the age of nine, Agnon also acquired a knowledge of German literature from his mother, and of the teachings of Maimonides and of the Hassidim from his father. At an early age, Agnon began writing the stories which form a chronicle of the decline of Jewry in Galicia. In 1907 he left home and made his way to Palestine, where, except for an extended stay in Germany from 1913 to 1924, he remained until his death.

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RabiIsidor Isaac Rabi (1898-1988), an outstanding physicist, the Nobel Prize winner in Physics in 1944 for his resonance method for recording the magnetic properties of atomic nuclei. He was born in Raymanov, Austria (now Galicia, Weasten Ukraine). He was brought to the United States by his family, in 1899, and his early education was in New York City (Manhattan and Brooklyn). In 1927 he received his Ph.D. degree for work on the magnetic properties of crystals. Aided by fellowships, he spent two years in Europe, working at different times with Sommerfeld, Borh, Pauli, Stern, and Heisenberg. In 1929 he was appointed lecturer in Theoretical Physics at Columbia University, and after promotion through the various grades became professor in 1937. He is an honorary D. Sc. of Princeton, Harvard, and Birmingham Universities. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (was its President in 1950) and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1959 he was appointed a member of the Board of Governors of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovoth, Israel. He holds foreign memberships of the Japanese and Brazilian Academies, and is a member of the General Advisory Committee to the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and of the United States National Commission for UNESCO. At the International Conference on Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy (Geneva, 1955) he was the United States delegate and Vice-President. He is also a member of the Science Advisory Committee of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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KendelEric R. Kandel (born on 7 November, 1929), an outstanding neurophysiologist, the Noble Prize winner in Physiology and Medicine in 2000 for his discoveries concerning signal transduction in the nervous system. His parents were born and lived in Kolomyya, Ukraine. He began his academic career at the Harvard Medical School, where from 1963 to 1965, he was an instructor in the Department of Psychiatry. In 1965, he moved to New York University as associate professor where, together with Alden Spencer and James Schwartz, they developed the first group in the country devoted to both cellular neurobiology and behavior. In 1974, Harry Grundfest retired and Eric C. Kandel was recruited to Columbia to replace him. At Columbia he was the founding director of the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior. In 1983, he became a University Professor at Columbia. In 1984, he resigned as director of the Center to become a senior investigator at the newly formed Howard Hughes Medical Research Institute at Columbia.

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BrownHerbert C. Brown (22 May, 1912 – 19 December, 2004), an outstanding chemist, the Noble Prize winner in Chemistry (1979) for his development of the use of boron- and phosphorus-containing compounds, respectively, into important reagents in organic synthesis. His parents were born in Zhitomir in Ukraine and came to London in 1908 as part of the vast Jewish immigration in the early part of this century. They were married in London. Professor Brown was the Harrison Howe Lecturer in 1953, the Centenary Lecturer of The Chemical Society (London) in 1955, and the Baker Lecturer in 1968. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1957, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1966, received an honorary Doctorate of Science degree from the University of Chicago in 1968 and was elected Honorary Fellow of The Chemical Society and Foreign Member of the Indian National Academy of Sciences in 1978. Finally, he was the recipient of the Nichols Medal for 1959, the ACS Award for Creative Research in Synthetic Organic Chemistry for 1960, the Linus Pauling Medal for 1968, the National Medal of Science for 1969, the Roger Adams Medal for 1971, the Charles Frederick Chandler Medal for 1973, the Madison Marshall Award for 1975, the CCNY Scientific Achievement Award Medal for 1976, the Allied Award for 1978, the Ingold Memorial Lecturer and Medal for 1978, the Elliott Cresson Medal for 1978, and the Nobel Prize for 1979.

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PasternakBoris Leonidovich Pasternak (1890-1960), an outstanding poet, the Nobel Prize award in Literature (1958) for his important achievments both in contemporary lyrical poetry and in the field of the great Russian epic tradition. He was born in Moscow, was the son of talented artists: his father a painter and illustrator of Tolstoy's works, his mother a well-known concert pianist. His parents were born and lived in Odesa. Pasternak's first books of verse went unnoticed. With Sestra moya zhizn (My Sister Life), 1922, and Temy i variatsii (Themes and Variations), 1923, the latter marked by an extreme, though sober style, Pasternak first gained a place as a leading poet among his Russian contemporaries. In 1957 Doktor Zhivago, Pasternak's only novel – except for the earlier "novel in verse", Spektorsky (1926) – first appeared in an Italian translation and has been acclaimed by some critics as a successful attempt at combining lyrical-descriptive and epic-dramatic styles.

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