I was born in Chelyabinsk, Russia, a major industrial city famous for its nuclear weapons complex and secret military installations. The city is situated in the Ural Mountains, a forest, lake, and mountain area not unlike the Rocky Mountains. I obtained my B.Sc. (Honors) in 1990 from Chelyabinsk State University, where I worked on substituent effects in tetrahydroquinolines.
In 1990 my family moved to Israel, where starting in 1991 I attended Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. In 1994 I obtained there my M.Sc. degree. My research under the supervision of Professor Yitzhak Apeloig focused on Si=C and Ge=C double bond formation and on other aspects of organosilicon chemistry. I served in the IDF after completing my degree, and I often visit Israel where a large part of my family and many friends live.
In 1995 I joined the group of Professor Josef Michl at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where I worked on the preparation and properties of Group 14 cations in non-polar solvents, on weakly nucleophilic carboranyl anions, on neutral carboranes, on lithium conducting polymers and on photoresist materials. I obtained my Ph.D. in June 2000 and was a recipient of several graduate fellowships including the national Link Foundation Fellowship. In August 2000 I joined the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as a Beckman Fellow. I worked with Professor Steven C. Zimmerman at the Chemistry Department of UIUC on the preparation of dendrimers and hyperbranched polymers for molecular recognition, and also on computer modeling of dendrimers and carbon nanotubes.
I came to Utah to start my independent research career in 2003. Since that time, my group published over 100 papers in the areas of mesoporous materials and materials for theranostics. Our work was reported in over 220 contributed and invited presentations. I received the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation New Faculty Award and NSF CAREER Award was named an Emerging Investigator by the Royal Society of Chemistry, was a winner of IUPAC Young Observer Award and spent time at the Weizmann Institute in Israel as a Feinberg Foundation Visiting Faculty. In 2009 I have been promoted to the rank of an Associate Professor with tenure. In 2018 I received the Robert W. Parry Teaching Award. I am currently a Full Professor in the Chemistry Department.
My professional career was greatly influenced by several outstanding scientists. Click here to read about my mentors.
I love classical, jazz and rock music, classical and modern ballet, art cinema, Russian poetry, magical realism, psychology, philosophy, history, and British comedy. I enjoy a variety of sports, including tennis, swimming, cross-country skiing, and weightlifting. I play with computer graphics, web design, 3D animation, and digital photography. I try to spend as much time as I can with my wife, son, and daughter, and that is the most enjoyable time for me outside work.