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Prof. Dr. Igor V. Magedov (1964-2013)

New Mexico Tech chemistry professor Dr. Igor Magedov passed away during the summer break. Several of his colleagues on campus put together the following memorial obituary to commemorate a man much beloved on campus.

Igor Magedov passed away on June 14, 2013, at a young age of 49 years after a courageous battle with colon cancer.

Dr. Magedov was born in Moscow, Russia, on May 4, 1964. 

magedov-DSC 0643He graduated from Mendeleev University in 1990 with a specialty in Chemistry and Technology of Organic Synthesis, and two years later obtained a Ph.D., discovering novel [3,3]- and [3,5]-dienolate sigmatropic rearrangements and a new reaction leading to 3-pyrazolones. The latter was adopted by Procter and Gamble Pharmaceuticals for the synthesis of novel anti-inflammatory agents.

In 1991 Dr. Magedov joined the Moscow Timiryazev Agriculture Academy and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1997. His scientific contributions continued to focus on the discovery of novel reactions and synthetic methods with the particular emphasis on sulfur-containing heterocycles. In addition, Dr. Magedov was a highly insightful lecturer, teaching organic chemistry both at Timiryazev Academy and Moscow State University, where he was appointed as Adjunct Professor. In 2007, Dr. Magedov moved to the United States and accepted a position of Research Professor at New Mexico Tech. At Tech he pursued a highly productive drug discovery research program focusing on development of novel synthetic methods for the preparation of libraries of compounds based on privileged medicinal scaffolds.

Dr. Magedov had a unique talent of conceiving and then implementing new multicomponent reactions leading to heterocyclic scaffolds, which would invariably have interesting biological activities. He referred to this exercise as a “mind game.”

His work over the years beautifully embodied such theoretical creativity. Some wonderful examples of his scientific achievements involve the discoveries of 3- and 4-component reactions utilizing commercially available reactants that lead to nanomolar tubulin-targeting anticancer agents in one step.

Igor Magedov’s exuberance and passion for chemistry were infectious. He delighted in bringing family and friends together on shish kebab picnics, which he planned and prepared to utmost perfection. He will be immensely missed by family, friends and colleagues around the globe. He is survived by his loving wife Liliya, his son Sergey and daughter Katya.

– NMT –