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In memory N.N. Makhova

«If you do not stamp your foot while listening to jazz, you will never understand it»Louis Armstrong Nina Makhova, Doctor of Chemical Sciences, Professor, Honored Scientist of the Russian Federation, an outstanding specialist in the chemistry of heterocyclic compounds, biologically active substances and high-energy materials, passed away on June 22, 2021. 

 Nina N. Makhova was born in 1938 in Chita. In 1960, she successfully graduated from the D. I. Mendeleev Moscow Institute of Chemical Technology (now the D.I. Mendeleev Russian University of Chemical Technology). After graduating from the Institute, she worked at the Dorogomilovsky Chemical Plant, then at the I.V. Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy. (now the National Research Center "Kurchatov Institute"). In 1967, she entered the postgraduate course of the N. D. Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry of the USSR Academy of Sciences (now the N. D. Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences), where she worked continuously until the end of her days. In 1971, under the guidance of Professor S.I. Zavyalov, scientist Nina Makhova defended her PhD thesis on the study of the reactivity of amino acids in the Dakin-West reaction for the synthesis of biologically active substances. Then N.N. Makhova moved to the laboratory of nitrogen-containing compounds, headed at that time by Professor L. I. Khmelnitsky, and in 1989 defended her doctoral dissertation on the synthesis of high-energy derivatives in a series of diaziridines and furoxans. After the death of Professor L. I. Khmelnitsky in 1995, N. N. Makhova headed the laboratory of nitrogen-containing compounds and led it for more than 25 years.

Main area of research of N.N. Makhova was development synthetic methods and conducted a comprehensive study of the structure, reactivity, stereochemistry and chemical transformation of a whole seria of nitrogen-containing heterocycles: diaziridines, azetidines, 2,4,6,8-tetraazabicyclo[3.3.0]octane-3,7-diones (bicyclic bisureas), their tia- and heteroanalogs, imidazotriazines, 1,2,5-oxadiazoles (furazans) and their N-oxides (furoxans), and a number of other related heterocyclic systems. Nina N. Makhova has always paid great attention in her research to the practical orientation of the work carried out and their significance. Makhova conducted a search for new biologically active compounds (neuro- and cardiotropic, nitric oxide donors, structures with cytotoxic, antimicrobial and antifungal activity) based on the above-mentioned nitrogenous heterocycles for the creation of drugs. In addition, N. N. Makhova's research was aimed at creating new high-energy compounds - components of pyrotechnic compositions for various purposes (including compositions for car safety bags), gunpowders, rocket fuels, explosives and other new high-energy materials. She was a true scientist, developed a scientific school of chemistry of nitrogen-containing heterocyclic dual-use systems, and also trained 20 candidates and 3 doctors of sciences. Thanks to her efforts, the scientific work of the laboratory has reached a new level and received worldwide recognition. She can rightfully be called a real lady of organic chemistry!

 Professor Makhova made a huge contribution to the development of nitrogen-containing heterocyclic systems, including the chemistry of special-purpose substances, and, consequently, to strengthening the country's defense capability. Scientific achievements of N. N. Makhova (co-authored) were awarded the N. D. Zelinsky Prize of the Russian Academy of Sciences (2014). Nina Makhova was a kind and sympathetic person, always ready to help and support in a difficult situation. She has nurtured a galaxy of remarkable organic chemists, having written her name in history not only as a highly professional specialist, but also as a talented teacher. Friendly attitude towards people and the desire to pass on his experience attracted the younger generation: she was always surrounded by a large number of undergraduates, graduate students and aspiring young researchers. The bright memory of Nina N. Makhova will forever remain in the hearts of her students, friends and colleagues.