Well-known Russian virologist found dead in his Moscow apartment

Iosif Atabekov, a well-known Russian virologist, an academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, was found dead in his Moscow apartment on Lomonosovsky Prospekt. He was 86 years old, REN TV reports.

No traces of violent death were found on his body. The cause of death is being investigated.

Iosif Atabekov became a Doctor of Biological Sciences in 1971. He then chaired the Department of Virology, Faculty of Biology of the Moscow State University. He served on the position until the end of his life. He was a member of the academic council of the university, chairman of the expert commission on biology and agriculture of the Presidential Grants Council. He wrote over 300 scientific papers and received multiple awards and decorations, including state awards in the field of science and technology.

  • Atabekov's research on the molecular genetics of plant viruses led to the development of the concept of intercellular transport of viral genetic material in plants as an active function encoded in the viral genome.
  • He was the first scientist to have identified the tobacco mosaic virus gene that encoded a transport protein with a molecular weight of 30 kDa.
  • Using hybrid viruses constructed by genetic engineering methods, he proved that the susceptibility of plants to the virus depends on the properties of transport proteins.

Iosif Atabekov authored Russia's first patent for transgenic plants (plants resistant to potato Y-virus). He also holds 35 copyright certificates and patents for inventions.