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I am a biophysicist with a strong expertise in optical spectroscopy, photosynthesis, and structural biology. I am fascinated by the protein structures and broad variety of photoadaptation strategies you can find in photosynthesis upon abiotic changes. After obtaining an MSc degree in physics from the Belarusian State University, Minsk, I moved to The Netherlands to pursue a PhD in biophysics. As a PhD student, I participated in the FP7 Marie Curie network “HARVEST”, and worked at the Laboratory of Biophysics, Wageningen University. My focus was with describing photoprotection and photoadaptation strategies of marine algae and cyanobacteria in vivo: I used “ultrafast” time-resolved spectroscopy that allowed me to follow these processes on the picosecond timescale. Then I desired to acquire more advanced knowledge on spectroscopic techniques applied to photosynthesis: During my first postdoc in the group of Prof. Roberta Croce, I have built a unique spectroscopic setup capable of non-invasive picosecond spectroscopy of photosynthetic non-fluid samples with complicated morphology. This setup gave an opportunity to study primary photosynthesis kinetics in intact leaves in artifact-free conditions for the first time. As a next step in my research career I moved into the field of structural biology, molecular biology and X-ray (conventional and serial) crystallography. For that I was awarded an EMBO Long-Term and Marie Curie Individual Fellowships to work with Prof. Jasper van Thor from February 2018 till October 2020. There I have managed to establish my independent research line, namely studying OCP light activation using serial crystallography and advanced spectroscopic methods. From November 2020 I started my Assistant Professor position in VU Amsterdam in the department of Physics and Astronomy. My research line is part of Biophysics of Photosynthesis / Energy research domain.


Research Interests

time-resolved spectroscopy, photosynthesis, photoreceptors, molecular photochemistry, structural biology, SX, TR-SFX, XFEL

Research Description

We describe the biodiversity of photosynthetic responses to light/cold stress or other abiotic changes.  The responses are studied on the whole organism level as well as on the level of single proteins or complexes. To resolve the phenomena a combined approach including conventional structural biology, molecular biology and spectroscopic techniques are used with a key focus on revolutionary serial X-ray crystallography. The field of serial crystallography is currently under rise, revolutionizing various research fields of biology, from resolving the first steps of human vision (Kang et al, Science, 2015) to the origin of photoswitching of various photosensitive proteins used in imaging (Tenboer, Science, 2014; Coquelle, Nat Chemistry, 2018). Serial crystallography is a proven technique to unravel the molecular dynamics during protein activation: instead of taking a static image of a protein, it collects snapshots of the protein during structural changes, therefore creating a movie of the protein movement.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Academic qualification

Biophysics, PhD, Light harvesting, light adaptation and photoprotection in aquatic photosynthesis studied by time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy, Wageningen University

13 Sept 201012 Sept 2014

Award Date: 25 Feb 2015


  • QD Chemistry
  • QC Physics

User created Keywords

  • photosynthesis, structural biology, spectroscopy


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