Ukr.Biochem.J. 2019; Volume 91, Issue 3, May-Jun, pp. 127-137


Born in Ukraine: Nobel prize Winners Ilya Mechnikov, Selman Waksman, Roald Hoffmann AND Georges Charpak

T. V. Danylova1, S. V. Komisarenko2

1National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv;
2Palladin Institute of Biochemistry, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv;

Received: 18 February 2019; Accepted: 14 March 2019

Our country has not yet gained recognition from a Nobel Committee, however, some Nobel Prize winners were born in the territory, which belongs to present-day Ukraine. Among them are the father of innate cellular immunity Ilya Mechnikov; the famous microbiologist and biochemist Selman Waksman, whose studies had led to the discovery of streptomycin; the outstanding chemist, poet and playwright Roald Hoffmann, and the prominent physicist Georges Charpak who invented and developed particle detectors, in particular, the multiwire proportional chamber. This paper aims to outline briefly the main stages of their scientific activity.

Keywords: , , , , , ,


  1. Danilova VM, Vinogradova RP, Komisarenko SV. Alfred Bernhard Nobel and the Nobel Prize. Ukr Biochem J. 2018; 90(4): 121-134. CrossRef
  2. Danylova TV, Komisarenko SV. Scientific Investigations of the Nobel Prize Winner Emil Fischer as a Launching Pad for the Development of Biochemistry: A Brief Overview. Ukr Biochem J. 2018; 90(4): 135-142. CrossRef
  3. Nobel Prize facts. The Nobel Prize. Regime of access:
  4. Gilbert F. (Ed.). A Conceptual History of Modern Embryology. The John Hopkins University Press, 1994. 280 p.
  5. Racine V. Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov (Élie Metchnikoff) (1845 – 1916). The Embryo Project Encyclopaedia. Regime of access:
  6. Ezepchuk YV, Kolybo DV. Nobel laureate Ilya I. Metchnikoff (1845-1916). Life story and scientific heritage. Ukr Biochem J. 2016 Nov-Dec;88(6):98-109. PubMed, CrossRef
  7. Ilya Mechnikov. Facts. The Nobel Prize. Regime of access:
  8. Kresge N, Simoni RD, Hill RL. Selman Waksman: the father of Antibiotics. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2004. Regime of access:
  9. Selman Waksman and Antibiotics. National Historic Chemical Landmark. American Chemical Society. Regime of access:
  10. Selman Waksman (1888–1973). Jewish Virtual Library. Regime of access:
  11. Waksman SA, Starkey RL. Partial Sterilization of Soil, Microbiological Activities and Soil Fertility. Soil Science. 1923; 16(4): 247-268.
  12. Selman Waksman. Famous Scientists. The Art of Genius. Regime of access:
  13. Hotchkiss RD. Biographical memoir of Selman Abraham Waksman.  Biographical memoirs. Vol. 83, National Academy Press, Washington, D. C., 2003. Regime of access:
  14. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1952. The Nobel Prize. Regime of access:
  15. Saved by A Ukrainian Family, Jewish Boy Lived to Become a Nobel Laureate. YouTube. Regime of access:
  16. KRESY PL. Regime of access:
  17. Dyuk Family. The Righteous Among the Nations. YAD VASHEM. Regime of access:
  18. Roald Hoffmann. Long Biography. Roald Hoffmann. Regime of access:
  19. Roald Hoffman. (1937 – ). Jewish Virtual Library. Regime of access:
  20. Roald Hoffmann. American Chemist. Encyclopaedia Britannica. Regime of access:
  21. Roald Hoffmann. Facts. The Nobel Prize. 1981. Regime of access:
  22. Roald Hoffmann. Biographical. The Nobel Prize. 1981. Regime of access:
  23. Roald Hoffmann (Safran), Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1981. GENi. 2018. Regime of access:
  24. Ndlovu YL. Ukrainian hometown celebrates Nobel prize-winning professor. The Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology. Cornell University. 2017. Regime of access:
  25. Hoffmann R, Whyte IB. Beyond the Finite: The Sublime in Art and science. Oxford University Press, 2011. 208 p.
  26. Kovac J, Weisberg M. Roald Hoffmann on the Philosophy, Art, and Science of Chemistry. Oxford University Press, 2012. 400 p.
  27. Roald Hoffmann. Poetry Books. Roald Hoffmann. Regime of access:
  28. Romanska M. Between Art and Science: A Conversation with Roald Hoffmann. Cosmopolitan Review. 2014. Vol. 6. N. 2. Regime of access:
  29. Georges Charpak. Lycée Joffre. Regime f access:
  30. Charpak G, Suzor F.  An experimental study of the electrons of the residual atom ejected from their orbits during the disintegration of 32P. J Phys Radium. 1954;15(5): 378-380.  CrossRef
  31. CNRS pays tribute to Nobel Prize Georges Charpak. Press Release. CNRS. 2010. Regime of access:
  32. Archives of Georges Charpak. CERN Scientific Information Service. 2011. Regime of access:
  33. Georges Charpak (1924–2010). Jewish Virtual Library. Regime of access:
  34. Georges Charpak. French Physicist. Encyclopaedia Britannica. Regime of access:
  35. CERN Library. Facebook. 2018. Regime of access:
  36. Georges Charpak. Facts. The Nobel Prize. 1992. Regime of access:
  37. George Charpak. Nobel Lecture. December 8, 1992. The Nobel Prize. 1992. Regime of access:
  38. Maugh II, T.H. Georges Charpak dies at 86; French physicist won Nobel Prize. Los Angeles Times. October 8, 2010. Regime of access:
  39. Oakes EH. Encyclopaedia of World Scientists. Infobase Publishing, 2007. 852 p.
  40. Garwin RL, Charpak G. Megawatts and Megatons: A Turning Point in the Nuclear Age? Alfred A. Knopf, 2001. 412 p.
  41. Close F. Georges Charpak Obituary. The Guardian. October 7, 2010. Regime of access:

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.