Don’t mess with the money? A top scientist who was working on a Covid-19 vaccine has been found dead in suspicious circumstances. Biologist Alexander Sasha Kagansky, who had close links with Edinburgh University, was reported to have fallen in his underwear from a 14th floor window of a high rise residential building in St Petersburg, Russia.
The 45-year-old, best known for his work on fighting cancer, had a stab wound on his body, according to Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets. The Russian Investigative Committee has opened a murder probe and a 45-year-old male suspect has been detained. Dr Kagansky, an assistant professor in Vladivostok, had been working in Edinburgh for 13 years until at least 2017.
He was Director of the Centre for Genomic and Regenerative Medicine at Russia’s Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, where he continued research collaboration with the Scottish university. MK reported that the academic had been developing a vaccine against coronavirus and that he died ‘under strange circumstances’.
The report gave no further details about which of a number of international Covid-19 vaccines he was reported to have been working on. He had gone to St Petersburg to visit the graves of his relatives, and had gone to see an old school friend, said one account. His body was found by a woman resident under a block on Saturday afternoon. Law enforcement are investigating the circumstances of his death, say reports.
The committee said today a St Petersburg resident, aged 45, had been detained as a suspect, and a criminal case for murder had been opened following the discovery of the body ‘with signs of a violent death’.
Between 2005 and 2012, he worked at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, University of Edinburgh, as a postdoctoral research associate then a senior research associate. He had recently received a Russian grant to study new ways of diagnosing and treating malignant brain tumours.
He was an advocate of research into the uses of herbs and mushrooms as potentially offering solutions in treating cancers. Earlier he had studied and worked in the US. In 1991 as the USSR collapsed he was the first Russian delegate to the European Youth Parliament. He was also a member of Young Academy of Scotland. Source
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