Svitlana was born in Zhytomir, Ukraine, a town with over 1100 years of history and more recently highlighted as a birthplace of Sergei Korolyov, a leading figure of the early Soviet space program and chief designer of Sputnik and Voshod. It's no wonder then that Svitlana's first dream job was to become an astronaut and study the Universe. Svitlana's interest in the most universal subject of chemistry has emerged during chemistry classes and while competing in regional and national Chemistry Olympiads. While working on her bachelor degree at Kiev Taras Shevchenko University she was a part time student employee at Enamine and later at Princeton Biomolecular Research Lab, where she conducted research in the area of heterocyclic chemistry. In 2007, Svitlana moved to the US and started her graduate studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA (thus reaching a point of no return for her astronaut career, with Mars One losing a potential Red Planet colonizer). At Temple, she worked in Scott Sieburth's lab on incorporating the [4+4] photocycloaddition reaction in the total synthesis of natural products and on the development of new methods for the preparation of cyclic allenes. After obtaining her Ph.D., following the lead of the Sun, Svitlana continued her move to the west to work on exploring the synthesis of natural products at UC Berkeley. In the Sarpong group, she is currently investigating the preparation of diterpenoid alkaloids and their derivatives. In her free time, Svitlana likes gazing at the stars (sigh...), enjoys California weather and scenery, and helps find new homes for rescue dogs.
Email: skulyk at berkeley dot edu