(Polenov Research Neurosurgical Institute, Saint Petersburg, Russia)
Yuri Zubkov, a gifted Russian neurosurgeon, talented outstanding scientist and distinctively original personality could have been 60 on October 5, 2000. He was well known and beloved by his colleagues in the USSR, Russia and abroad as well. His optimism, sympathy, reliability and faithfulness gained him great respect and love both of his colleagues and people of different professions. The popularity of Professor Zubkov was so great that he was always the center of attraction in any society.
Professor Zubkov belonged to those people who achieved success due to their personal qualities: talent, great capacity for work, devotion to his profession, often self-sacrifice and also the ability to seek and find the new in theory and practice of neurosurgery. A famous motto “To fight and seek, to find and never give up” was Zubkov’s life creed.
Born in a remote village of Stavropolsky region to a peasant family he became a Doctor of Medical Science, Professor, the head of Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery Department in the Russian Polenov Neurosurgical Institute and a member of the American Cushing Neurosurgical Society as well. He was one of the founders of endovascular neurosurgery in Russia.
He is the author of 146 bright scientific papers dedicated to combined treatment of patients at a hemorrhagic period of cerebral aneurysm rupture, including papers on vasospasm and vasodilation which are known all over the world. Zubkov is the co-author of the monograph entitled “Endovascular Surgery” which was translated into Japanese and Korean and became a handbook for neurosurgical hospitals of these countries. Zubkov’s work in the Medical Center of the Mississippi State University resulted in publishing the paper on treatment of patients at an acute period of aneurysm rupture. This book, published in English, is generally acknowledged as a manual on this problem and used in leading hospitals of the world.
Professor Zubkov was a perfect teacher. Theses on urgent neurosurgical problems for doctor (3) and master (13) degrees were submitted and defended successfully under his guidance. Zubkov’s scientific school trained a group of neurosurgeons both for Russia and countries of the former USSR. They continue to develop their teacher’s ideas.
To a great sorrow of those who loved and respected him Yuri Zubkov will never be 60. Two years and a half have passed since a dreg, who still remains unknown, took the life of this remarkable and outstanding man. The feeling of bitterness and deep grief after the tragic death of Yuri Zubkov never subside. The more time passes the greater is realization of the irreplaceable loss suffered not only by his relatives and people who knew him, but also by Russian and world neurosurgery.
Unfortunately, and it is typical of Russia, a man is given his due only after his death, and even then not completely. Unlike us, American neurosurgeons, having been deeply impressed by the personality of Zubkov and their collaboration, managed to appreciate his great contribution to surgery of brain vessels. Hardly had 6 months after his death passed when there appeared the Center of Endovascular Neurosurgery named after him at the Mississippi State University. We are proud that there is the memorial tablet made of dark metal and fixed to the snowy wall of the Center in honor of our outstanding compatriot and skillful neurosurgeon who looks from it silently at American patients craving for treatment in the Clinic which bears his name.
We would like to hope, that sooner or later memory of Prof. Zubkov Yu.N., this talented, original and unforgettable person, will be appropriately perpetuated in our country or, at least, at the Polenov Research Neurosurgical Institute.