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Dr. Julia Laskin

Dr. Julia Laskin

Our research is focused on obtaining a fundamental understanding of the physical and chemical phenomena underlying chemical analysis of complex molecules in complex mixtures. One area of research is focused on understanding interactions between ions and surfaces for controlling activation, dissociation and deposition of complex ions following collisions with specially prepared surfaces. To achieve this goal, we have developed unique mass spectrometry instrumentation for studying physical and chemical phenomena underlying ion-surface collisions. Our studies provide important information for understanding molecular recognition, charge transfer, nucleation, and self-assembly in complex systems. Soft and reactive landing are promising approaches for highly selective surface modification, preparation of novel catalysts, supercapacitors, and biomaterials.

Another area of research is focused on the development of new approaches for chemical analysis in complex heterogeneous environments. Specifically, we are developing nanospray desorption electrospray ionization (nano-DESI) – a new ambient surface ionization technique for chemical imaging of biological systems in their native state and quantitative analysis of complex mixtures such as organic aerosols, petroleum, and biofuels directly from solid substrates.

We have also developed new tools for the analysis of complex spectra obtained using high-resolution mass spectrometry. These tools have been used for understanding chemical transformations in organic aerosols providing insights on the relationship between the chemical composition of these complex systems and their possible effect on climate and human health. Finally, nano-DESI imaging has been established as a robust analytical tool for the simultaneous detection and spatial localization of hundreds of lipids and metabolites thereby providing detailed molecular snapshots of the biological processes in tissues and imaging of living microbial and yeast colonies.


  • M.S., Leningrad Polytechnic Institute, 1990
  • Ph.D., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1998


  • PNNL Director's Science and Engineering Achievement Award, 2014
  • Inaugural Rising Star Award of the ACS Women Chemists Committee, 2011
  • Biemann Medal - American Society for Mass Spectrometry, 2008
  • DOE's Office of Science outstanding mentor award, 2008
  • Presidential Early Career Award (PECASE),, 2007
  • DOE's Office of Science Early Career Scientist and Engineer Award, 2007
  • M.T. Thomas award for outstanding postdoctoral achievement, 2002
  • Excellence Award of the Israel Chemical Society, 1996
  • Sara Wolf Foundation Award in Physical Chemistry, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1995


List of publications