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Physcial Sciences Division
Staff Awards & Honors

July 2011

Julia Laskin Named Laboratory Fellow

Congratulations to Dr. Julia Laskin on being selected as a Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Fellow, a top honor given at the national laboratory. Laskin advances the frontiers of fundamental chemical and materials sciences. Her studies provide a fundamental understanding of physical and chemical phenomena of interest in catalysis, materials science, bioremediation and environmental sciences. She also makes strong contributions to the scientific community, including mentoring students and early career scientists.

Winner of the 2007 Presidential Early Career Award and 2008 Biemann Medal for Achievements in Mass Spectrometry, she studies activation, fragmentation and deposition of large, complex molecules using mass spectrometry. Her fundamental understanding of collisions of complex ions with well-characterized surfaces established a path for precise experimental control of ion activation and dissociation in collisions. Her innovative work on soft-landing of mass-selected ions on surfaces is being used to create novel materials and obtain a molecular-level understanding of biomolecular interactions.  

Her research on high-resolution mass spectrometry of organic particles in the atmosphere provided the first insights on the relationship between the chemical composition of these complex systems and their possible effect on climate and human health. A new direction in her research is developing approaches for detailed chemical imaging of biofilms in their native environments using mass spectrometry. This work is part of PNNL's Chemical Imaging Initiative.

In the scientific arena, Laskin is a well-respected mentor and author. She guides postdoctoral fellows, visiting scientists, and undergraduate students. In 2007, she won the Outstanding Mentor Award from DOE's Office of Science. Her writing credits include 105 peer-reviewed articles, which have been cited nearly 1000 times. Six of her articles grace journal covers. She is frequently invited to give talks at professional meetings.

"Through her intellect, drive and innovation, Julia has changed the definition of what's possible," said Dr. Jean Futrell, Battelle Fellow, who has worked with Laskin since she joined his research group as postdoctoral fellow in 1998. "It has been a pleasure to witness and encourage her spectacular growth as a scientist. I can't wait to see what she'll do next."

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