Lomonosov Scholar Award

 

Established in 1944 this award got its name after one of the founders of Moscow University Mikhail Lomonosov, who was the key contributor to the very idea of a University in Russia. Since 1944 this awards has been given to nearly 500 members of the faculty.

Lomonosov Scholar Award is granted annually to individuals as well as research teams for promising research in various fields. Scholars and scientists of the University are honored for their exceptional scholarly accomplishments based on their monographs, books or series of papers. This award is given to those who "have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of science".

 
Laureates of Lomonosov Scholar Award (2016)
 
 First-Order Prize:
 
Sergey VyatchaninValery MitrophanovFarit  Khalili (Faculty of Physics) 
 
for a series of publications “A way to discovering gravitational waves”

Lomonosov Scholar Award (2016) was given to Sergey Vyatchanin, Valery Mitrophanov and Farit Khalili to recognize their contribution to a breakthrough discovery of gravitational waves. 

Anticipated nearly a century ago by Albert Einstein this discovery has been made possible by LIGO collaboration including a team of 8 physicists from Moscow University. Professor V. Braginsky (Faculty of Physics) was among the key contributors to establish the collaboration with LIGO (Laser Interferometric Gravitational Observatory) already in 1992, since he was on the forefront of investigating the gravitational waves in Russia. 

During a press-conference on 11th February 2016 professor Igor Bilenko tells about the importance of gravitational waves to contemporary physics and the contribution made by the team from Faculty of Physics. 

The observation is incredible for it is the first detected collision of black holes, leading to gravitational waves. Moreover, it brings about a new gravitational-wave astronomy proving that our universe is still holding up new mysteries to be unraveled by the unsettled and inquisitive mind of scientists. Moscow research team is now working on ways to maximize the scientific potential of gravitational-wave astronomy and improve the second-generation of gravitational-wave detectors.

 
Second-Order Prize:
 
Rustam Shukurov (Faculty of History) 
 
for a series of publications “Byzantium and East: the paradigms of ethno cultural interaction”
Throughout most of its history, Byzantium was in a state of permanent struggle with its eastern neighbors for political and cultural supremacy, for the control of the flow of money and goods in the eastern Mediterranean; on occasion this
struggle turned into large-scale armed conflict, comparable to the “world wars” of recent history. For many centuries the most dangerous and skilled enemy, in the Byzantine mentality, was located in the East. However, as it sometimes happens, the most tight relations and profound understanding arises where there is discord and not harmony.
 
The Empire had the periods of ups and downs, the periods of the strengthened confrontation and peace. In the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries, however, confrontation with the Turkish peoples entered a new phase. By the second half of the fourteenth century, the Byzantines had essentially lost the struggle. One  of the causes was the Turkish minority, that seemed to be assimilated within Byzantium. One way or another, they still influenced the mentality and life of the people in the Empire, that soon ended with its defeat at the hands of the Turkish invaders.

 


 

Sci-spots

In 2009 Lomonosov Scholar Award was given to Alexander Boldirev for his cycle of works “Protecting the brain from oxidative stress in human neurodegenerative diseases”.
Since time immemorial the presumable causes of neurodegenerative diseases have been one of the major concerns of science. At last, in the 20th century, following decades of basic research, the veil has been lifted. It turned out that oxidative stress, which occurs in internal organs and tissues as a result of age-related and neurodegenerative changes, lies at the root of quite a number of human diseases and triggers dozens of human disorders. Thus, the quest for the ways to cope with the detrimental phenomenon began.
The first step to take was to examine molecular mechanisms of the process in order to create certain approaches to prevent the disease and the treatment of many contemporary diseases, such as a stroke. Investigations along these lines were carried out by the professors of Moscow University Vladimir Gulevich and his student Sergey Severin. Interestingly, Severin also was the one to be recognized by Lomonosov Scholar Award in 1984. Their study turned out to be a great success: neuropeptides, belonging to the carnosine family, were discovered. The finding, very important in itself, was appreciated even higher later, as further investigations revealed several antioxidant properties of carnosine and its derivatives. It seemed to be an ideal weapon against oxidative stress. 
First a laboratory and later a new department of biochemistry was established at Moscow University giving opportunity to develop and widened this research topic.
The achievements of the chemists are continued in the cycle of works by A. Boldyrev. They describe how carnosine works at the molecular lever and prove its defensive effect on the brain and myocard in case of ischemia.
Due to a growing interest to the discovered component, another series of investigations were carried out. This time experimental models of the animal brain having ischemia injuries were used. The obtained data showed that carnosine is able to hamper the development of a stroke and to promote recollection, behavioral reactions and biochemical metabolic markers. The achieved results seemed to be fairly encouraging and were followed by a preclinical study. On conducting the investigation at this stage, a drug therapy license was received with a commercial name ‘Sevitin’.
The efficiency of the medicine was supported in clinical trials (2004-2008). 85 patients with neurodegenerative disorders and 25 people with obliterating endarteritis were successfully cured in the course of the investigation. What is more, no negative side effects were revealed in applying the natural component in question. Finally, a Russian patent on using carnosine was obtained to treat patients with oxidative metabolism imbalance and now it is used in practice. So, the work of Boldirev finished successfully the line of investigation from a very idea to a product, saving lives and improving life quality.
 
 

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