2024 EAS Award for Outstanding Achievements in Vibrational Spectroscopy

Igor K. Lednev is Williams-Raycheff Professor in Chemistry and SUNY Distinguished Professor at the University at Albany, State University of New York. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and a faculty Member of the RNA Institute. Lednev is a cofounder and CTO of SupreMEtric LLC (www.supremetric.com) commercializing a universal method for the identification body fluid traces for forensic purposes, and Early Diagnostics LLC, developing saliva and blood tests for the early diagnostics of Alzheimer’s disease.

Lednev’s research is focused on the development and application of novel vibrational spectroscopy for forensic purposes, biomedical applications, and fundamental biochemistry. Based on his work, a new field of Raman spectroscopy for the forensic analysis of biological stains was established. In addition, Lednev developed new approaches for the analysis of gunshot residue, hair and other trace evidence recovered at a crime scene. Lednev developed and patented a novel noninvasive screening tests for Alzheimer’s diseases and Sjogren syndrome. A novel in situ test for the stability of mRNA vaccine using deep UV Raman spectroscopy and a new approach for drug discovery based on a single-molecule surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) were invented.

The fundamental research has been focused on understanding the structure and formation mechanism of amyloid fibrils, which are protein aggregates related to neurodegenerative diseases. Lednev introduced several vibrational spectroscopic methods to the field including deep UV Raman spectroscopy, polarized Raman spectroscopy, 2D correlation Raman spectroscopy, tip enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS) and vibrational circular dichroism (VCD). Several fundamental discoveries were made including a new protein folding-aggregation phenomenon of spontaneous rearrangement of amyloid fibrils from one polymorph to another. According to Future Medicinal Chemistry magazine, this discovery opens the opportunity for a new therapeutic approach for neurodegenerative diseases.

Lednev served as an advisory member on the White House Subcommittee for Forensic Science. He has co-authored over 270 publications in peer-reviewed journals and 10 patents reaching h-index of 74 (https://scholar.google.ca/citations?user=B-fwZwMAAAAJ&hl=en). His work has been covered by media more than 90 times including 18 TV interviews, and publications in the Wall Street Journal, Chemical & Engineering News, Forensic Magazine, etc. Canada Discovery Channel featured his work using Raman spectroscopy for gunshot residue analysis. 736 people registered for Lednev’s recent keynote podcast on Raman spectroscopy and machine learning for medical diagnostics organized by BioPhotonics magazene.

Lednev is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, U.K and the Society for Applied Spectroscopy. He received several prestigious awards including the 2022 Charles Mann Award for Applied Raman Spectroscopy, Gold Medal Award from the NY/NJ Chapter of Society for Applied Spectroscopy, Guest Professor Fellowship from the Friedrich-Schiller-University, Jena, Germany. U.S. Congressman Paul Tonko acknowledged Lednev’s research accomplishments at the U.S. House of Representatives Hearing on Advancements in Forensic Science in the U.S. in September 2019.  Dr. Lednev was recruited by the United Nations to give a week-long “National Training Course on using vibrational techniques to enhance the forensic analysis” to the Central Crime Laboratory in Santiago, Chile, in January 2020. Together with the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) he organized the 1st NIJ Forensic Science Symposium at Pittcon in 2018 which became an annual event since then consisting of 34 invited talks and a poster session.