Originally from Yekaterinburg, Russia, Gleb Akselrod came to the United States with his family at the age of nine and grew up in the small college town of Stillwater, Oklahoma. Gleb got an early exposure to scientific research while still in high school by working in his father's optical physics lab. After only a few months in the lab, Gleb realized that research was exactly what he wanted to do.
As an undergrad, Gleb continued his scientific endeavors while attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), where he studied and conducted research in biophysics and quantum optics. His paper on laser-guided assembly of living bacterial arrays was featured on the cover of Biophysical Journal. He graduated with a degree in physics from UIUC.
In 2012, Gleb received his PhD from MIT developing optoelectronic devices based on organic materials and their strong and nonlinear interactions with light. Gleb worked to combine fundamental studies of light-matter interactions with the engineering of unique optically-active organic materials to create optoelectronic devices such as organic lasers and ultra-low power optical switches. In the future. Gleb envisions that such components could be part of photonic integrated circuits, bringing the dream of optical computers closer to reality. His current research focuses on atomic ion trap systems, a step necessary to quantum computing. Gleb hopes to contribute to quantum computing as it transitions from science fiction to reality. He holds a patent for a technique that detects heavy charged particles and has published a cover article in a prestigious scientific journal about 3D arrays of living bacteria and mammalian cells.
In his time away from the lab, Gleb enjoys cooking, photography, and playing the clarinet.