Meisel, Maksim Nikolaevich

Meisel’, Maksim Nikolaevich


Born Sept. 28 (Oct. 11), 1901, in St. Petersburg. Soviet microbiologist and cytologist; corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (I960). Member of the CPSU since 1961.

Meisel’ graduated from the First Leningrad Medical Institute in 1926. He was one of the organizers of the Far Eastern Division of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1932). In 1934 he began working at the Institute of Microbiology of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR; he became a section head there in 1952. He has simultaneously been director of the laboratory of the Institute of Molecular Biology of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (since 1959) and a staff member of Moscow State University (since 1946; since 1953, as professor). He has also been president of the All-Union Microbiological Society since 1971.

The principal works of Meisel’ deal with the functional morphology and physiological cytology of microorganisms. He has investigated in detail the cytophysiology of respiration and alcoholic fermentation, hypervitaminosis and avitaminosis, and the supersynthesis of vitamins in microbes. He has also proposed methods of intensifying the biosynthesis of a number of vitamins. In 1928 he discovered the phenomenon of chemical mutagenesis in microorganisms. He was an initiator of the physiologicocyto-logical school of microbiology and of the development of fluorescent microscopy in the USSR. He is the author of a number of works on radiobiology.

Meisel’ was awarded the State Prize of the USSR in 1971 for his work on the microbiological synthesis of protein from petroleum hydrocarbons. He has been awarded five orders and a number of medals.


“Vliianie khloroforma na razvitie drozhzhei.” Mikrobiologicheskii zhurnal, 1928, vol. 6.
Funktsionalanaia morfologiia drozhzhevykh organizmov. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950.
O biologicheskom deistvii ioniziruiushchikh izluchenii na mikroorganizmy. Moscow, 1955.
“Fluorestsentnaia mikroskopiia i tsitokhimiia v obshchei mikrobiologii.” In the collection Uspekhi mikrobiologii, vol. 7. Moscow, 1971.