Murat Aitkhozhin: He lived a little, but did a lot

The publishing house of al-Farabi Kazakh National University published a remarkable book from the “Onegeli omir” (wonderful people’s life) series, dedicated to the life and work of a major specialist in the field of molecular biology and biochemistry, Academician of the Academy of Sciences of Kazakhstan Murat Abenovich Aithozhin. He graduated from the biology faculty of Kazakh State University in 1962 and throughout his life strove to discover new secret structures of the microworlds of the Universe.

“Life and activity of M.A. Aithozhina, a selfless worker and a real educator, can serve as an example of a true scientist, who was able to use his knowledge, work in the name of serving the Motherland, his beloved science and raising new generations of scientists, ready for new great discoveries in the name of the prosperity of our country. This word is from the preface to the book, it belongs to Dr. Mutanov, rector of al-Farabi Kazakh National University.

Murat Aithozhin is rightfully considered the founder of molecular biology and biotechnology in Kazakhstan, whose success was recognized by holding an international symposium in Alma-Ata with dozens of Nobel Prize laureates participation in 1984. At this forum, Murat Aitkhozhin gave a speech.

Postgraduate student, head of the laboratory, director of the Institute of Botany of the Academy of Sciences of Kazakhstan, director of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry of the Republican Academy of Sciences, president of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR… This was the path of this humble, talented scientist and organizer of science to professional and public recognition.

At the same time, he managed to introduce innovative special courses for students of biosciences, to attract young people to the prospects of cellular and genetic engineering of plants! Proved that the genius is simply… you only need to be able to see Nature. The life of Murat Abenovich contained as many completed projects as several teams could not afford. Perhaps, this undermined his health – he passed away when he was only 48…

Today Aithozhin would be called a talented project manager (expressed in modern terminology) from science. One example. In Soviet times, it was very difficult to receive the Lenin Prize for national research institutes – the highest prize in the country – for scientific research. Aitkhozhin managed to do it …

His wife Galina Temirovna Darkanbayeva gratefully writes in the foreword to the publication that this is the first and only book of memoirs about the scientist. It contains photographs, other archival materials, reviews of Murat Abenovich’s students, friends, relatives and associates, indexes of his works, etc.

A wonderful family, parents of Murat Abenovich, his brothers and sisters are remembered in his small homeland, in the North Kazakhstan region. The name of the scientist is included in the “Encyclopedia of North Kazakhstan”. The name of Murat Aitkhozhin is given to the Secondary Innovative School  No1 in Petropavlovsk city, which he brilliantly graduated from.

In Almaty, the name of the scientist was given to the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan. A commemorative plaque adorns the building where he lived. Murat Aitkhozhin brought up two beautiful daughters, raised worthy students, founded the national scientific school of microbiology. All this is his main legacy.


Gulnar Mukanova, associate professor of al-Farabi Kazakh National University

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