I was born in Leningrad, U.S.S.R. but grew up in Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation. I graduated from Saint Petersburg State University with a M.S. in Chemistry, followed by a Ph.D. in Photochemistry earned from Bowling Green State University, Ohio. In addition to my doctoral degree, received in 2008, I also obtained a Graduate Certificate in Bioinformatics, Proteomics/Genomics from a joint program between Bowling Green State University, Medical University of Ohio, and University of Toledo, Ohio. In the following three years, I completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Chemistry and Biochemistry in Luc Jaeger’s lab at the University of California Santa Barbara. In 2011, I was invited as a Research Fellow to join the group of Bruce Shapiro at the National Cancer Institute, NIH where I established and managed an experimental branch within the Computational RNA Structure Group. I started my tenure-track appointment as an Assistant Professor at UNC Charlotte in 2015 and was promoted to the Associate Professor in 2019.
Starting with my doctoral research, under supervision of Neocles Leontis, I focused my efforts on studying RNA biology and nanotechnology with potential diagnostic and therapeutic applications to biomedicine. My interdisciplinary research experience includes extensive use of both computational and experimental techniques for modeling, prediction, engineering, and characterization in vitro and in vivo of natural and artificial nucleic acid-based structures.