The body of world-renowned biologist Alexander “Sasha” Kagansky was found by a neighbor Sunday on Zamshin Street with a stab wound under the windows of a 16-story building in the Kalininsky district of St. Petersburg, according to the Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets.
Kagansky, an assistant professor in Vladivostok, had spent 13 years working in Edinburgh, Scotland until 2017. Most recently he was working as director of the Center for Genomic and Regenerative Medicine at Russia’s Far Eastern Federal University.
The scientist, best known for his research on cancer, was working on a COVID-19 vaccine at the time of his death, the New York Post reported.
It’s not clear which COVID-19 vaccine Kagansky was working on. Russia announced its own vaccine, Sputnik-V in August but the treatment was not tested by scientists since it was announced and distributed to Russian citizens.
According to a report by the Interfax news agency, Kagansky was dressed only in his underwear, and police said he appeared to have been was stabbed. It was later determined that he had fallen from the 14th floor of the building the previous day.
Russian police said they are investigating Kagansky’s death as a possible homicide and questioning a 45-year-old man as a potential suspect, e2news.com said.
An unnamed source told the news agency the 45-year-old biologist had been visiting a friend in the building, but what transpired between the two is not clear.