Alexander “Sasha” Kagansky Dead: Scientist Working on COVID-19 Vaccine Dies

Alexander Sasha Kagansky Dead

Global Young Academy Alexander "Sasha" Kagansky

Alexander “Sasha” Kagansky was a prominent Russian scientist who was working on a COVID-19 vaccine when he was found dead with a stab wound. The New York Post reported his body was found on the street outside his bedroom window in Russia.

Kagansky, 45, was an assistant professor in Vladivostok, according to his online profile. He had spent 13 years working in Edinburgh, Scotland, which concluded in 2017. He was most recently  working as director of the Center for Genomic and Regenerative Medicine at Russia’s Far Eastern Federal University.

Here’s what you need to know:


Russian Police Are Investigating Kagansky’s Death as a Possible Homicide & Questioning a Person of Interest

Russian police are questioning a 45-year-old man as a possible suspect in Kagansky’s death. His death is being investigated as a possible homicide, The New York Post reported. Police believe there may have been a scuffle before Kagansky fell from his bedroom window.

An unidentified source told e2news.com that a 45-year-old biologist had been visiting a friend in the building.

A neighbor found Kagansky’s body, clad only in underwear, according to the Jewish Press. Kagansky lived in a 16-story building in the Kalininsky district of St. Petersburg. His body was found on Zamshin Street. Police learned he fell from the 14th-story window the day before.


Kagansky’s Research Was Focused on Understanding Diseases on the Molecular Level

Kagansky was a Director of a Center for Genomic and Regenerative Medicine, School of Biomedicine at the Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, Russia, according to his profile on the Global Young Academy website. His research was focused on understanding diseases on the molecular level and cancer research. His work was described as “crucial for the future of molecular medicine.”

His profile says:

Alexander (Sasha) Kagansky is a Director of a Center for Genomic and Regenerative Medicine, School of Biomedicine at the Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, Russia. Research in his centre is aimed at the understanding of the molecular basis of the cell fate in normal cells and disease, drug discovery and at finding ways to cure cancer and regenerate tissues, which will be crucial for the future of molecular medicine. In his studies he combines genetics, synthetic biology, biochemistry and proteomics. Before he was a Chancelor’s Fellow at the MRC Human Genetics Unit, Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, University of Edinburgh, and led the research at the Synthetic Epigenetics Lab. In 2005 – 2012 Sasha worked at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, University of Edinburgh, as a postdoctoral research associate (Robin Allshire lab, until 2010) and then as senior research associate (Bill Earnshaw lab). He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology in 2004 after spending 3 years in National Institutes of Health in USA. In 1998 he got his MS in Biophysics from from St.Petersburg State Polytechnical University in Russia. Apart from the research in the lab, Sasha Kagansky is regularly organizing public engagement of science activities for different target group: artists, primary school kids, and general public, in different parts of the world, which result in new collaborations between scientists and artists. In 1991 he was a first Russian delegate to the European Youth Parliament. He is also a member of Young Academy of Scotland.

Gio Rodriguez Blanco, a scientist in Edinburgh, Scotland, according to his Twitter profile, wrote a tribute to Kagansky.

“RIP Alexander ‘Sasha’ Kagansky,” he wrote on Twitter. “A different mind, a unique scientist. Forever grateful!”

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