Ovchinnikov, Iurii Anatol’evich
Born Aug. 2, 1934, in Moscow. Soviet chemist and biochemist. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1970; corresponding member, 1968). Member of the CPSU since 1962.
Ovchinnikov graduated from Moscow State University in 1957 and has been working at the Institute of the Chemistry of Natural Compounds (now the M. M. Shemiakin Institute of Bio-organic Chemistry) of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, becoming the institute’s director in 1970. He was made a member of the academy’s presidium in 1973 and its vice-president in 1974.
Ovchinnikov’s main works are devoted to bio-organic chemistry. He has elucidated the structure and synthesis, the relation between structure and function, and the molecular mechanisms involved in the biological activity of several physiologically active compounds. He has also determined the structure and carried out the synthesis of many natural depsipeptides and developed a method of synthesizing polypeptides on a polymer carrier in solution. In addition, he has established general principles of preferred peptide conformation in solution and explained the general conformations of several biologically important substances, including valinomycin, enniatin, antamanide, and gramicidin S. Ovchinnikov has developed a mass-spectrometric method for determining the amino-acid sequence of peptides and has ascertained the primary structure of the enzyme aspartate aminotransferase, which contains 412 amino-acid radicals. He has also carried out many studies on the physicochemical principles of biological membrane activity and discovered a new class of membrane-active complexes, a discovery that has furthered the study of the ionic permeability of membranes.
WORKSSovremennye problemy khimii peptidov i belkov. Moscow, 1969.
Membrano-aktivnye kompleksony. Moscow, 1974. (Co-authored by V. T. Ivanov and A. M. Shkrob.)