In memoriam of Evgeny Iosifovich Schwartz

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Abstract


E.I. Schwartz stood at the foundation of Russian molecular genetics: he was the first to apply the novel method of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in this country. E.I. Schwartz graduated from the LPMI at 1967. His area of research belonged at first to the realm of the metabolic manifestations of hereditary diseases. Since 1985, he began working at the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, Leningrad Institute of Nuclear Physics (LINP). Shortly thereafter, E.I. Schwartz began to reproduce and implement the PCR, recently proposed by K. Mullis. Coincidentally, the seemingly purely fundamental studies of thermostable polymerase, which turned out to be the key PCR enzyme, had been independently conducted in LINP and contributed to the success of E.I. Schwartz undertaking. He also initiated the development of the first Russian thermocyclers. He implemented PCR in fruitful long-term research projects on the molecular epidemiology of monogenic diseases: phenylketonuria, familial hypercholesterolemia, hereditary disorders of hemostasis, etc. E.I. Schwartz optimized the methods of isolating nucleic acids from dried blood spots and other sources, “suboptimal” for a laboratory specialist, but ideal for screening and forensic practice. Another field of his research was to elucidate the role of polymorphic alleles in multifactorial diseases. E.I. Schwartz enthusiastically propagated the new molecular approaches among clinicians and laboratory geneticists: he established close and fruitful collaborations between specialists of the vastly divergent backgrounds. In 1989 E.I. Schwartz founded the Department of Medical Genetics of LPMI, which was one of the first such departments in U.S.S.R. In 2001, he founded the Department of Molecular Genetic Technologies in I.P. Pavlov`s St. Petersburg State Medical University. In 2003, E.I. Schwartz has passed away, leaving behind him the good memory of numerous students and successors of his work


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About the authors

Victoria N. Gorbunova

St. Petersburg State Pediatric Medical University, Ministry of Healthcare of the Russian Federation

Author for correspondence.
Email: vngor@mail.ru

Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg

PhD, Professor, Department of Medical Genetics

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