Nikita Bashnin, winner of the 2017 Presidential Prize in Science and Innovation for Young Scientists, received the award for his contribution to studying the relations between the church and the state, the development of monasteries and publication of primary sources dating back to the 15th–19th centuries
Nikita Bashnin was born on November 14, 1984 in Cherepovets. PhD in history, he is a research fellow at the Scientific and Historical Archive of the St Petersburg Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Mr Bashnin has published a monograph, three compilations of historical sources and dozens of articles. His research is a major step forward for Russian archaeography, source studies and archivistics. It contributed in significant ways to research on the history of Russia and the Russian church, the social and economic development of the Russian northern territories, the history of Russian peasantry, and the relations between the state and the church, primarily in the Middle Ages.
In his research, Mr Bashnin focuses on the history of monasteries in Russian northern territories, which for many centuries served as the key outposts in the economic development of this region, while also acting as cultural centres, as well as providing the social and to some extent administrative support to the state. Monastic colonisation, the role played in the process by archbishops, the economic activity of the monasteries, monastic land ownership, and relations with peasants – none of these subjects are new for Russian history research. In his works, Mr Bashnin builds on the traditions laid by Russian historians, but also makes significant progress in developing their ideas. Biography as a historical genre is important for Mr Bashnin, who wrote a biography of Saint Dionysius of Glushitsa.
Mr Bashnin also contributed greatly to the study of the dual belief system among peasants, whose worldview consisted of a mix of pagan and Christian principles. He also studied the conversion to Christianity in remote regions of Russia, as well as carried out the inventory of archives held by monasteries, systemised them and introduced a number of important sources into the academic discourse. His research greatly contributes to the preservation of Russia’s cultural heritage.
Konstantin Kokh, winner of the 2017 Presidential Prize in Science and Innovation for Young Scientists, received the award for developing methods to obtain chalcogenide compounds and create functional crystals for high-technology devices
Konstantin Kokh was born on October 31, 1982 in Novosibirsk. PhD in geology and mineralogy, he is a senior research fellow at the crystal growth laboratory of the Sobolev Institute of Geology and Mineralogy of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Mr Kokh’s research deals with condensed matter physics, crystallography, optics, chemistry of solids and mineralogy. He developed innovative approaches to synthesizing and growing crystals, helping structure, strengthen convection and streamline the overall process.
The researcher modified the gallium selenide synthesis technology, making this crystal a very promising material for achieving breakthroughs in science and technology. The spectral uniqueness of the THz-band makes these devices essential for various high-technology areas, including biomedicine and nanotechnology.
Materials obtained by Mr Kokh in his research on tetradymite structure are also important in the light of the discovery of topological insulator properties, pitching these materials against graphene in the race for creating new generation super-fast transistors.
These insulators can be used in optical chips, communication lines and quantum computers. Mr Kokh conducted successful experiments in growing oxidation-resistant defect-free crystals, which testifies to the possibility of creating devices that can run without oxygen or vapour cushion.
Mr Kokh also obtained important data in experimental mineralogy of precious metals’ chalcogenides and ferric sulphides. Research on chalcogenides as gold pathfinder elements makes a substantial contribution to understanding the natural formation of minerals. Accounting for gold chalcogenides may lead to the re-evaluation of golden ore reserves, although this would require adjusting and improving extraction technologies for precious metals.
Maxim Nikitin, winner of the 2017 Presidential Prize in Science and Innovation for Young Scientists, received the award for developing a new generation of smart nanomaterials for biomedical applications and fundamentals for autonomous biomolecular computer systems used in theranostics
Maxim Nikitin was born in Moscow on August 23, 1986. PhD in physics and mathematics, he heads a nanobiotechnology laboratory at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.
The work of Mr Nikitin is devoted to developing innovative methods and materials for theranostics – a new comprehensive approach to therapy where a medical preparation is created in parallel with early diagnostics of a particular disease (the term ”theranostcis“ is an acronym combining ”therapy“ and ”diagnostics“). Currently, this is one of the main approaches to future personalised healthcare.
The operational principle is based on the creation of supramolecular protein complexes that combine a ”diagnostic“ component, most often an antibody or a specific fragment thereof that is capable of binding to a particular disease marker (usually oncological) on the surface of an affected cell, and a ”therapeutic“ component that can kill such cell.
Different kinds of toxins can act as therapeutic agents. This principle is not new, but Mr Nikitin managed to create reagents, which, once inside the body, are capable of autonomously analysing various parameters of their microenvironment and perform a programmed action only when all analysed parameters satisfy specified conditions.
The work uses the latest approaches that combine protein modules with nanoparticles of various nature, which made it possible to develop new imaging methods, and then create experimental diagnostics devices.