Biophysics

This is a brief summary of my scientific background, career, goals, motivations, and achievements.

Attached are my resume and CV

I was born in Moscow, Soviet Union, in 1972. As a kid, I was interested in mathematics and biology. Confusingly, I ended up at the Chemistry Department of Moscow State University. I spent three years at MSU. I specialized in physical chemistry and I worked in an X-ray crystallography lab. I wrote my first paper in crystal chemistry there. By 1992, it became evident that the original Soviet scientific system was falling apart. New Russia was not particularly interested in supporting scientific research and I moved to the United States.

I was accepted as a junior transfer student to the undergraduate program in Brandeis University and obtained funding. I graduated with honors from Brandeis, with a double major in chemistry and biochemistry. As an undergraduate student I worked for Judy Herzfeld. I analyzed protein aggregation in cytoskeletons by using statistical mechanics methodology. In my junior year, I was awarded a Howard Hughes summer fellowship and I published my results.

During my senior year in Brandeis I hesitated between X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy. Two NMR courses from Al Redfield persuaded me that NMR was more fun. I applied to MIT graduate school with the aim to join Robert Griffin group in biological NMR. I spent the next few years learning NMR spectroscopy and applying it to a variety solid state systems both biological and material science.

Like my lab mates, besides NMR spectroscopy, I learned how to design and built state-of-the-art radio-frequency equipment, write complex computational code, conduct basic organic chemistry synthesis, purify and precipitate proteins, and most importantly conduct independent and efficient research.

I published a few papers, presented my results at a few conferences and, finally, graduated from MIT with a Ph.D. in physical chemistry.

Having left MIT, I was very lucky to join a newly opened New York Structural Biology Center. NYSBC is a user facility created by and for a number of affiliate members. Our members include the major bio medical research centers in NYC, such as Columbia University, NYU, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Rockefeller University and others. NYSBC has six ultra high field and a few high field NMR spectrometers, available for our affiliate institutions’ researcher’s use; it the biggest NMR user facility in the country.

As a staff member, I am responsible for running solid state NMR side of collaborative research with the scientists, investigating new opportunities for research, obtaining funding, training our users, maintaining and upgrading the equipment, conducting seminars and presenting our results. I’ve been working at NYSBC for ten years, from 2003 to 2012. Four years ago, I was promoted to a senior scientist position.

I have been collaborating with many principal investigators on a variety of projects, from metabolomics analysis of VX induced damage in rats to enzyme ligand interaction to vegetable plant analysis to art conservation. I have used primarily solid state NMR (SSNMR) and high resolution magic angle spinning NMR (HRMAS) and, to a smaller degree solution NMR and imaging techniques. By now, there is very little about NMR spectroscopy that I haven’t tried.

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