Krasnovskii, Aleksandr Abramovich
Born Aug. 13 (26), 1913, in Odessa. Soviet biochemist and biophysicist; corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1962). Graduated from the Moscow Chemical Engineering Institute in 1937. Since 1944 he has worked at the Institute of Biochemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR; since 1959 he has headed the Photobiochemistry Laboratory. He has been a professor in the subdepartment of biophysics at Moscow State University since 1954.
Krasnovskii’s major works have been on the initial stages of photosynthesis, the photochemistry of chlorophyll, and the state and formation of pigments in organisms. He discovered the reversible photochemical reduction reaction of chlorophyll and its analogues and products (the Krasnovskii reaction). He clarified the mechanism of the photosensitizing action of chlorophyll in the oxidation-reduction conversions of pyridine nucleotides, cytochromes, quinones, and other components of the electron transfer chain. He discovered the monomeric and aggregate forms of chlorophyll, bacteriochlorophyll, and their analogues, which have differing spectral and photochemical properties, and separated the protochlorophyll protein complex from leaves. He proposed a series of models for the chemical evolution of photosynthesis. In 1950 he received the A. N. Bakh Prize (with A. N. Terenin).