Dr. Kovalevsky is a macromolecular crystallographer, biochemist and instrument scientist on the ORNL IMAGINE neutron crystallographic instrument, HFIR beam line CG-4D. His current research focuses on the atomic level understanding of enzyme function, drug binding, and drug resistance, including the effects of molecular dynamics, utilizing macromolecular X-ray and neutron crystallography, X-ray and neutron scattering, and other biophysical methods in combination with QM/MM and MD simulations. Kovalevsky studied organic chemistry and crystallography at Kharkov State University, Kharkov, Ukraine, receiving his M.Sc. degree with Honors, and worked as a Research Assistant at Nesmeyanov Institute of Organoelement Compounds, Moscow, Russia. He received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. He studied macromolecular crystallography, biochemistry and molecular biology while working as a Postdoctoral Associate at Georgia State University. He held a Director’s Postdoctoral Fellowship while at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), where he was awarded the Postdoctoral Distinguished Performance Award. He also held a position as a Staff Scientist at LANL working on the Protein Crystallography Station.
Dr. Kovalevsky is using macromolecular neutron crystallography to study enzyme mechanisms uncovering atomic-level details about enzymatic reactions not recognized previously; he was the first to observe a hydronium ion and proton complexation in a protein, and to detect proton transfer in an enzyme active site. His neutron structures of protein-drug complexes provide an exact picture, virtually impossible to achieve with any other technique, of how inhibitors bind to their targets, aiding structure-based drug design.