Murat Abenovich Aitkhozhin,
laureate of the Lenin Prize,
Academician, President of the Kazakh ASSR Academy of Science

… a true scientist does not like to promote his work.

Another thing is when a person reviews the results and evaluates his life path. To a large extent, it allows to promote a science. But this should come from a person who has accumulated a huge experience, who has seen a lot and has a rich biography

M.A. Aitkhozhin

Murat Abenovich Aitkhozhin – distinguished scientist, founder and the first Director of the Institue of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Lenin prize laureate, Academician, President of the Academy of Sciences. Murat Abenovich a man who made a great contribution to the development of biological science and all science of Kazakhstan, the founder of the scientific school of molecular biology, the founder of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, which bears his name at this time.

Murat Aitkhozhin was born on June 29, 1939 in Petropavlovsk city at North Kazakhstan region. In 1962 he graduated the biological soil faculty of S.M. Kirov Kazakh State University. However, almost the entire course of study he took at the M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University. Murat Abenovich began research on nucleic acids under the guidance of Andrey Nikolayevich Belozersky and Alexander Sergeyevich Spirin. His course work “Inhibition of RNase by diamines” won the first prize in 1961 at the IV Central Asian and Kazakhstan’s students scientific conference in Ashgabat. The results of the thesis “On the hidden degradation of ribosomes” were published in the “Biochemistry” journal. The scientific work was continued during postgraduate studies at M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University under the guidance of Doctor of biological sciences, Academician, Lenin prize laureate, Director of the Institute of Protein – Alexander Sergeyevich Spirin.

In 1966, Murat Aitkhozhin defended his thesis for the degree of candidate of biological sciences on “Ribonucleic acids in the early embryogenesis of loach Misgurnus fossilis”. The most important factor established in these studies is the discovery in the cytoplasm of animal cells of a new form of existence of information RNA (mRNA) in the form of ribonucleoprotein particles – informosomes. Later, in Kazakhstan M. Aitkhozhin set by the presence of informosom in plant cells, demonstrating the versatility ribonucleoproteins organizations mRNA.

Since 1966, scientific activities of Murat Abenovich Aitkhozhin was involved with the Academy of Sciences of KazSSR. The necessity to develop of molecular biology direction in the Country allowed him to organize the laboratory of protein and nucleic acids at the Institute of Botany, which he headed until the last days of his life.

In these works for the first time the exhaustive characteristics of physical and chemical properties of various classes of ribonucleoproteins of plants are given, synthesis of informosomes at maturation and germination of wheat germ is studied, original experiments on creation and studying of the hybrid ribosomes possessing functional activity and consisting of their animal and plant cells are carried out.

These studies were of great importance for the theory of evolution and were summarized in the doctoral dissertation “Ribonucleoprotein particles of higher plants”, which Murat Aitkhozhin defended at Moscow State University in 1976 and received the country’s first degree of Doctor of science in “Molecular biology”. In the same year, Murat Abenovich Aitkhozhin together with a group of scientists of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, was awarded the Lenin Prize for his cycle of works “the Opening of informosom – a new class of intracellular particles.”

In the early eighties (80-ies) Murat Aitkhozhin developed a number of new areas of research on the biogenesis of mRNA and regulation of protein biosynthesis in plants. First discovered in plants and fully characterized by all types of low molecular weight nuclear RNA of plants, the work on the study of individual mRNA and informosom, the physical and chemical properties of proteins, members of informosom, especially the transport of mRNA from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, the mechanisms of action of phytohormones on the biosynthesis of protein. Murat Aithkhozhin focused his attention on the problem of plant resistance to various adverse environmental conditions and the development of new technologies for genotype selection and selection based on the results of regulation of higher plant genome expression.

In 1983 for the development of new areas of biology in Kazakhstan the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry was organized by Murat Abenovich Aitkhozhin. The main scientific directions of the Institute were the study of protein biosynthesis and molecular mechanisms of its regulation in plants, the study of plant genome and gene expression, the biochemistry of crops, key enzymes of cell metabolism and physiologically active compounds.

Laboratories of cell engineering, transgenosis and genetic engineering were established at the Institute.

A year after the establishment of the Institute, the International Symposium “Prospects of Bioorganic chemistry and molecular biology” was held on its basis. The Symposium was attended by the world’s leading scientists in the field of molecular biology and bioorganic chemistry, including Nobel prize laureates – Linus Paulling and Dorothy Hodgkin.

From 1986 until the very last day, Murat Abenovich Aitkhozhin headed the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR, with a focus on scientific and organizational work to bring academic science to the modern level of scientific and technological progress.

Murat Abenovich Aitkhozhin successfully combined scientific and pedagogical activity with public work. He was a Member of the Soviet Peace Committee, Chairman of the republican branch of the Soviet Peace Fund, Chairman of the Scientific Council on Physical and Chemical Biology at the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR, Member of the Editorial Board of the “Molecular biology” and “Biopolymers and cell” union journals, Editor-in-chief of the “Bulletin of the Kazakh SSR” journal.

Murat Abenovich was not only a talented scientist, statesman and public figure, but also an honest, kind and open person, an attentive and sympathetic friend, a principled and patient teacher.

Murat Aitkhozhin died on December 19 th in 1987.

By the Decree of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated March 3, 2005, secondary school #1 named after V. I. Lenin in Petropavlovsk was renamed into the Secondary general educational innovative school #1 named after Murat Abenovich Aitkhozhin.

The Institute of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, the organizer and the first Director of which he was, in recognition of his merits bears his name and preserves the traditions laid down by M.A. Aitkhozhin.

The scientific community, grateful students and colleagues treasure Murat Abenovich Aitkhozhin in their memory, continuing his work to preserve kazakh science and increasing its contribution to the scientific and technical progress of the Republic.

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