If you didn’t know, Dr. Nikolay Gerasimchuk is native to the country of Ukraine. Before his immigration to the U.S., Gerasimchuk received his first PhD in inorganic chemistry and was a tenured associate professor of chemistry at Kiev State University in Ukraine. Gerasimchuk left his stable academic position and two research laboratories to teach and conduct his own research in the United States.
“Upon coming to the U.S., I decided to pursue my second PhD in a different field because in order to become a good teacher in a new country one has to understand how the academic system of the host works,” said Gerasimchuk. “Of course, the best way of learning the system is to complete a degree program, which I did.”
Gerasimchuk possesses two PhD degrees from two countries, a rarity in academia. Gerasimchuk completed his second PhD in bioinorganic chemistry at Kansas University.
When the opportunity arose to teach at Missouri State, Gerasimchuk jumped at the opportunity to teach again, even though it came with a decrease in pay.
“Not many scientists from the former Soviet Union land academic positions in the United States,” said Gerasimchuk. “They mostly go for private sector, which pays better.”
After working in the private sector for three years with Pharmacylics, a pharmaceutical company, Gerasimchuk began his journey at Missouri State in 2001.
“I saw the opportunity to build my own curriculum, research lab and mentoring of graduate MS students,” said Gerasimchuk. “I missed teaching, mentoring students and conducting my own independent research.”
In the chemistry department, Gerasimchuk continues his research and shares his excitement of learning and understanding of the world with this generation of young chemists.
Gerasimchuk’s research focus is in the area of oxime-based small organic ligands and their metal complexes. Currently, he is working on three projects. One project aims at finding less toxic and less soluble analogs of the anticancer drug Cisplatin.
His other projects focus on research that have intended, practical applications in molecular electronics and in preparation and testing of new antimicrobial, water insoluble and hear/light resistant metal compounds as additives to polymeric glues are that used for introduction of indwelling and medical devices such as prosthetic joints and implants.