On the Day of Youth of Russia, the 16th annual ceremony of honouring the best graduates of the universities of St Petersburg took place. Pavel Melentiev, a master's student of St Petersburg University, was among sixty students who achieved the highest results in studies, science and creativity.

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In the atrium of the Commandant's House of the Peter and Paul Fortress, the most successful graduates of the city's higher educational institutions were awarded honorary insignia and letters of appreciation from the Governor of St Petersburg. Opening the formal event, the vice-governor of the city Vladimir Kirillov congratulated the graduates with the end of their training. He noted that it is they who will develop the future economy and production of the country.

"You are the colour of St Petersburg youth, people who have gained authority with their knowledge, skills and abilities and have proved that you are the best. We are waiting for new achievements from you. Increase the wise beginnings of previous generations, make our city and other regions of Russia even better. And wherever you are, do not forget St Petersburg - the most beautiful and wonderful city in the world." said Vladimir Kirillov, the vice-governor of the city. He also wished the 2018 graduates further development and self-determination.

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Pavel Melentiev has been recognised as the most outstanding graduate of St Petersburg University in 2018. He is a second-year master's degree student in "Biology"; and will receive a diploma with honours with an average grade of "excellent" during his period of study at SPbU.  Pavel is the co-author of 20 publications in the field of the use of fruit fly as a model object for the study of pathologies in neurodegenerative disorders, as well as the executor of four RFFR grants. He completed the Bachelor's and Master's graduate qualification work at the Laboratory of Experimental and Applied Genetics of the Petersburg Institute of Nuclear Physics named after B. P. Konstantinov, Research Center "Kurchatov Institute". While studying at the University, Pavel took part in various scientific schools, delivered oral and poster presentations at international and all-Russian conferences of geneticists, and also conducted lectures in biology in gymnasiums and lyceums in St Petersburg and the Leningrad region.

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Photo from the archives of P. Melentyev

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Pavel Melentiev not only showed himself as a talented scientist, ready to share experience and knowledge with others, but also participated actively in the extracurricular life of the University. He has taken part in the work of the Student Council for four years. Since 2012, Paul has been the head and teacher of the Dance Studio of St Petersburg University, as well as the main director and host of the annual Winter Ball of St Petersburg University. In addition, the university student has won more than 100 awards and prizes at competitions of national and international level for dancing in both duet and ensemble.