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Dr. Vladimir Novitsky: Trying Something Different

Dr. Vladimir Novitsky (right) advises PhD student Raabya Rossenkhan.
Dr. Vladimir Novitsky (right) advises PhD student Raabya Rossenkhan.

By Martha Henry

Like a lot of boys growing up in the Soviet Union in the 1960s, Vladimir Novitsky wanted to be an astronaut. While his counterparts in the U.S. idolized John Glenn, his hero was Yuri Gagarin, the first man to successfully orbit the Earth.

Novitsky comes from a scientific family. His mother was a microbiologist and his father a gynecologist. Perhaps because of parental influence, medicine eventually won out over space exploration and Novitsky enrolled in medical school in the Ukrainian city of Odessa. Continue reading