Shemiakin, Mikhail Mikhailovich
Born July 13 (26), 1908, in Moscow; died June 26, 1970, in Riga. Soviet organic chemist. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1958; corresponding member, 1953). Member of the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1963). Hero of Socialist Labor (1969). Member of the CPSU from 1951.
Shemiakin graduated from Moscow State University in 1930. From 1930 to 1935 he worked at the Scientific Research Institute of Organic Semiproducts and Dyes, and from 1935 to 1945, at the All-Union Institute of Experimental Medicine. Between 1945 and 1961 he worked at the Institute of Biological and Medical Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR; at the same time, from 1957 to 1960, he worked at the Institute of Organic Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. From 1959 to 1970 he was director of the Institute of the Chemistry of Natural Compounds of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (now the M. M. Shemiakin Institute of Bio-organic Chemistry).
Shemiakin’s main works dealt with theoretical organic chemistry and the chemistry of natural compounds. Shemiakin explained the mechanisms of many reactions, such as the pyrolysis of carboxylic acid salts and azoxy coupling. Together with A. E. Braunshtein, he developed (1952) the general theory of pyridoxal enzyme activity. He also synthesized the antibiotic tetracycline.
Shemiakin was a member of the Leopoldina German Academy of Naturalists (1968), the Chemical Society of France (1958), and the European Committee on Peptide Chemistry (1958). Shemiakin was awarded two Orders of Lenin and several medals.
WORKSKhimiia antibiotikov, 3rd ed., vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1961. (Coauthor.)
“The Chemistry of Natural Depsipeptides.” In Recent Developments in the Chemistry of Natural Carbon Compounds, vol. 2. Budapest, 1967. (With J. Ovchinnikov.)
IU. B. SHVETSOV