Disability, Despotism, Deoxygenation—From Exile to Academy Member: Nikolai Matveevich Kizhner


  • Russia uses the Cyrillic alphabet, and transliterations in this manuscript have been made using the BGN/PCGN romanization system for Russian, as in previous works by this author. For more detail, see: a) D. E. Lewis, Angew. Chem.­ 2011, 123, 6580–6586; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.­ 2011, 50, 6452–6458; b) D. E. Lewis, Early Russian Organic Chemists and Their Legacy, Springer, Heidelberg, 2012.


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More than hydrazones: In 1901, Kizhner became the inaugural Professor of Organic Chemistry at the newly founded Imperial Tomsk Technological Institute in Siberia. In the first decade of his career, Kizhner had built a laboratory; contracted gangrene of the extremities that ultimately led to the amputation of both legs below the knee; fomented revolt and organized student strikes; been dismissed and exiled from Tomsk, then reinstated; and had discovered the reactions that bear his name.