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December 21, 2001 is 100th anniversary of the birth of the late Academician Sergei Evgenievich Severin, outstanding Russian biochemist, brilliant teacher, and extraordinary organizer of national science. Professor Severin was Editor-in-Chief of this journal from 1967 to 1991. Those who were privileged to work as the Editorial Board members under his leadership remember the unique democratic and friendly atmosphere he created in our journal and his high scientific standards in evaluation of submitted manuscripts. He always combined his wisdom and uncompromising evaluation of science with rare humility. During his long life, he had many academic and administrative duties. He was a full member (Academician) of the Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR, foreign member of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Leopoldina German Academy of Natural Sciences. He was President of the All-Union Biochemical Society and Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Academy of Sciences “Animal and Human Biochemistry”. For twelve years Prof. Severin was the Editor-in-Chief of the journal “Voprosy Meditsinskoi Khimii”. He was a member of editorial boards of several national and international biochemical journals. His remarkable contribution to development of national biochemistry was honored by many awards. He was a Hero of Socialist Labor and a Lenin Prize Winner. Perhaps the major contribution of his life was organization and half a century leadership of the Department of Biochemistry at the School of Biology of Moscow State University. Being a bright lecturer, he inspired many talented students to become biochemists. Many of his pupils are now the leaders of independent scientific schools, members of academies, and directors of laboratories and institutes. This is why most of the papers in this issue are written by his students, many of whom are still working at the Department of Biochemistry. The contents of these papers demonstrate the widest research interests of our teacher, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that Prof. Severin is an invisible coauthor of all of them.

As the President of the All-Union Biochemical Society, Prof. Severin was greatly aware of the importance of international cooperation in science. He established many formal and informal contacts between Russian and foreign biochemists and scientific organizations. Many biochemists over the world knew him personally. We are grateful to his friends who have kindly accepted the invitation to submit a paper to this issue dedicated to the memory of this outstanding Russian scientist and great man.

Professor A. D. Vinogradov,
Head of the Department of Biochemistry,
School of Biology, Moscow State University