Aleksandr Porfirevich Borodin (12.11.1833-15.2.1877] Aleksandr Porfireviè Borodin (1833-1887). Born in St Petersburg, the illegitimate son of a prince, a curious link with another pioneer of condensation chemistry, Edward Frankland, who was also illegitimate. He studied chemistry under Nikolai Nikolaevie Zinin (1812-1880) and succeeded him as Professor of Chemistry at the St Petersburg Academy of Medicine and Surgery in 1864. He prepared methyl bromide from silver acetate in 1861, but another eighty years elapsed before Heinz and Cläre Hundiecker converted Borodin's synthesis into a general method, the Hunsdiecker or Hunsdiecker-Borodin reaction (1942). Borodin deserves to have more reactions named after him, as he developed general methods of condensing aldehydes and fluoridating organic compounds, a synthesis of fatty acids, and the well-known estimation of urea with hypobromite. He also pioneered the medical and chemical education of women, until the government stopped the teaching of women medical students in 1887. Borodin composed music as a hobby and kept a piano outside his laboratory.