Oleg Krishtal MAE at 75: the literary work of a famous neuroscientist has been published in English

Oleg Krishtal MAE at 75: the literary work of a famous neuroscientist has been published in English

Image from an interview with Krishtal published in Nature 424, 728, 2003

Professor Oleg Krishtal MAE, Director of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences’ Bogomoletz Institute of Physiology in Kiev, recently turned 75. Throughout a long career, Krishtal has been ‘fishing for knowledge’ with great success.

Krishtal is particularly well known for his momentous discovery in 1980 of proton-activated ion channels, which play a crucial role in pain perception. Now it is clear that acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are expressed in almost any mammalian brain neuron and participate in many important functions. He is, however, not only a very creative scientist, but also – and unusually – an author of several literary works that have won awards in Russia.

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One of these was translated and published in France in 2000 under the title ‘Moi et mon double’. Now, the work that many regard as his supreme achievement, has been translated into English with the title ‘To the Singing of Birds’ and the under-title ‘A Private Journey to Myself‘.

The book is not easy to classify, but may be described as a novel-essay with chapters that are thematically related, but nevertheless can also be read separately.

Ole Petersen, Vice President of Academia Europaea and Academic Director of the AE Cardiff Knowledge Hub, said:

“Oleg Krishtal is a ‘thinking man’ of which there are very few! Some parts of his latest work are a bit Kafkaesque and I mean this as a great compliment as Kafka for me is the greatest literary genius of the 20th century. Many chapters are simply brilliant, with astonishing originality and insights, for example “I know where the devil is hiding”. I read the book slowly, in order not to miss anything.

‘Singing of Birds’ is a wonderful gift. So many original perspectives, very entertaining too, but with such deep thoughts and much mystery. I’ll return to many of the individual chapters from time to time, to refresh my thinking and try to penetrate deeper into something that cannot easily be grasped, but which Krishtal nevertheless magically has opened an intriguing path to.”

About Oleg Krishtal MAE

Oleg Krishtal is Director at the Bogomoletz Institute of Physiology in Kiev, Ukraine. His areas of scholarship are molecular physics and cellular membranology. He became a member of the National Academy of Ukraine in 1997 and a corresponding member of the Ukrainian and Russian Academies of Sciences in 1985 and 1987 respectively. He was elected to the Academia Europaea in 1990.

16th July 2020. For further information please contact AECardiffHub@cardiff.ac.uk

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