Alexander Spirin

Russian Academy of Sciences

September 4, 1931 - December 30, 2020


Election Year: 2019
Scientific Discipline: Biochemistry
Membership Type: International Member

Alexander Spirin was a biochemist and molecular biologist recognized for his work on gene expression and protein biosynthesis. His main achievements included the first experimental evidence of the existence of messenger RNAs and the discovery of their complexes with proteins (informosomes), demonstration of the ability of RNA to fold into compact secondary and tertiary structures, structural studies of the ribosomes including their assembly from pure RNA and proteins, and concept of the inter-subunit mobility and Brownian ratchet model of the translating ribosome. He was born in Moscow, Russia,  on September 4, 1931, and graduated from the Lomonosov Moscow State University, Department of Plant Biochemistry (1954). He received his Ph.D. (1957) and D.Sc. (1962) degrees in Biochemistry from the Bakh Institute of Biochemistry (Moscow). Dr. Spirin was elected Corresponding member (1966) and Full member (1970) of the U.S.S.R.(now Russian) Academy of Scineces. In 1967, he founded the Institute of Protein Research in Pushchino and directed it till 2001. From 1973 to 2012 he was the Chair of the Department of Molecular Biology of the Moscow State University. In April, 2019, he was elected Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

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