1022-7954/05/4112- © 2005 Pleiades Publishing, Inc.
Russian Journal of Genetics, Vol. 41, No. 12, 2005, pp. 1437–1438. Translated from Genetika, Vol. 41, No. 12, 2005, p. 1728.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2005 by the Editorial Board.
On July 29, 2005, after a severe illness, passed away
Doctor of Biological Sciences, Professor Vladimir
A. Shevchenko, a prominent specialist in radiation
genetics, a long-term associate of the Vavilov Institute
of General Genetics, the head of the Laboratory of
Vladimir Shevchenko has worked as a researcher in
genetics ﬁrst in the Laboratory of Radiation Genetics of
the Institute of Biophysics, Russian Academy of Sci-
ences, headed by N.P. Dubinin (1960–1966), and then
in the Vavilov Institute of General Genetics since the
time of its founding in 1966.
The scientiﬁc interest of Shevchenko was focused
on the problem of genetic consequences of ionizing
radiation on animals, plants, and humans on radioac-
tively polluted territories. For 40 years since 1962, he
has organized annual scientiﬁc expeditions to the area
of the East Urals radioactive fallout. These expeditions
yielded unique evidence on the dynamics of mutational
process in natural populations of microorganisms,
plants, and animals. In their framework, a phenomenon
of population radioadaptation was discovered and
microevolutionary processes operating in irradiated
populations over generations were examined.
Shevchenko always was on the frontiers of genetic
research, investigating hazards of radiation on the plant
and animal worlds. Soon after the Chernobyl accident
in 1986, he organized an expedition for cytogenetic
examination of liquidators of the accident conse-
quences, which allowed timely assessment of radiation
damage in occupational groups during the ﬁrst months
after the accident. To conduct a long-term cytogenetic
monitoring of Chernobyl workers, a stationary labora-
tory was organized. Using novel cytogenetic methods
of biological dosimetry, Shevchenko and his coworkers
have evaluated the genetic risk and made prognoses for
the effect of radiation on humans. In parallel, a long-
term combined survey of radiation genetic effects on
the populations of plants and animals in the 30-km acci-
dent zone was conducted.
The results of these studies were used by the Gov-
ernmental Commission in Chernobyl for evaluating
possible cytogenetic consequences of the accident for
humans, the ﬂora, and the fauna of the region. These
results were summarized in the monograph
quences of the Chernobyl Meltdown for Human Health,
published in 1999 in New York. For his work in Cher-
nobyl, Shevchenko was awarded with the Order of the
Red Banner of Labor.
The list of the examined territories, which is far
from complete, includes Altaiskii krai, Bryansk region,
and Three-Mile Island.
During the last ﬁve years, the team headed by
Shevchenko has participated in two international
projects, devoted to genetic examination of profes-
sional nuclear physicists in the town of Arzamas-16 and
of astronauts. Based on the results of these studies, pub-
lished by leading scientiﬁc journals, the RF Ministry of
Health in 1999 and 2000 issued methodical recommen-
dations on using cytogenetic methods for assessing
genetic consequences of radiation in humans.
In their signiﬁcance and scale, the data obtained by
Shevchenko and his laboratory are unprecedented.
They have been highly appreciated by both Russian and
international scientiﬁc communities and presented to
the Scientiﬁc Commission of the United Nations Orga-
nization on the effects of nuclear radiation, in which
Shevchenko served as an expert in radiation genetics.
Vladimir Shevchenko authored and coauthored
more than 400 scientiﬁc publications, seven mono-
graphs, eight patents in the ﬁeld of radiation genetics
and radioecology. His works won numerous govern-
mental and scientiﬁc awards.
Vladimir Andreevich Shevchenko