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Vasily Goncharov

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Professional Employment

  • Manager, Mechanical and Optical Engineering, Instrument Design and Fabrication Department, Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, VA, 2016-current.
  • Engineering Specialist in Laser and Optical Systems, Instrument Design and Fabrication Department, Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, VA, 2013 - 2016.
  • Goldhaber Fellow, Laser & Optical Scientist, Chemistry Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, 2010 - 2013.
  • Research Associate, Laser & Optical Systems, Chemistry Department, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, 2006-2009.

Summary of Past R&D Projects

  • My PhD research efforts were aimed at probing the nature of actinide bonding. I’ve built a mass-spectrometer, tailored to the specific needs of the gas-phase actinide spectrometry and employed the following spectroscopic tools to study the electronic structure of 5f elements: Resonantly Enhanced Multi-Photon Ionization (REMPI), Mass-Analyzed Threshold Ionization (MATI), Fluorescence, and Pulsed Field Ionization-Zero Kinetic Energy (PFI-ZEKE) techniques.
  • During my postdoctoral work, I led two separate research initiatives. The first project focused on the development of the tandem mass spectrometer, based on an innovative idea of the coupled electrostatic ion trap technology, for studies of non-ergodic dissociation mechanisms in proteins. Additional research efforts were centered on studying chemical reaction dynamics with quantum-state resolved velocity-map ion-imaging techniques. The main focus here was probing new reaction mechanisms outside of the scope of the conventional transition state theory, such as roaming dynamics in formaldehyde and acetone molecules.
  • As a Goldhaber Fellow at the Brookhaven National Laboratory I conducted research with emphasis on the development of innovative spectroscopic tools that utilize fiber frequency comb technology for interdisciplinary applications pertinent to the DOE mission.


  • Ph.D., Chemical Physics, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, 2002-2006.
  • M.S. Degree, Higher Chemical College of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, 1997-2002.
  • Visiting scientist: National Institute of Science and Technology, Boulder, Colorado. Spring 2010. Host: Ian Coddington.
  • Visiting researcher: ETH, Zurich, Switzerland. Winter 2004. Host: Frederic Merkt.
  • Visiting scholar: Emory University, Atlanta, GA. Summer 2000, 2001-2002. Host: Michael Heaven.
  • Research assistant: Kurnakov Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry, Moscow, Russia, 1997-2001.


Honors and Awards

  • Goldhaber Distinguished Fellowship, Brookhaven National Lab, 2010-2013.
  • The BNL instrument development start-up grant.
  • Invited Speaker at the Gordon Research Conference (Photoions, Photoionization and Photodetachment, 2006), “Hot Topic” talk: Probing Actinide Bonding Character with PFI-ZEKE Spectroscopy.
  • Osborne R. Quayle Fellowship for excellence in graduate studies, Chemistry Department, Emory University, 2005.
  • Graduated with Honors from the Higher Chemical College of Russian Academy of Sciences, 2002.
  • Moscow Government stipend for outstanding achievements in studying, 1998-2000.
  • International Soros Science Education Program, Undergraduate Scholar, 1997-1998.
  • Third degree diploma in the All-Russia Chemistry Olympiad among high school students, 1997.



  • Instructor, “CHM 5550: Physical Chemistry Laboratory”, Winter 2009. Wayne State University, Detroit, MI.