Experimental nuclear physicist Haiyan Gao has been appointed associate laboratory director for nuclear and particle physics at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), beginning 1 June. Gao, whose research interests include the structure of the nucleon, searches for exotic QCD states and searches for new physics in electroweak interactions, is currently a professor of physics at Duke University, and has previously held positions at Argonne National Laboratory and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) . At BNL she replaces Dmitri Denisov, who has held the position on an interim basis after Berndt Mueller’s departure last year.
While at Duke, Gao was the founding vice chancellor for academic affairs at the new Duke Kunshan University, based in Kushan, China — a Chinese-American academic partnership between Duke University and Wuhan University established in 2013.
I am very excited by the opportunity and the impact I will be able to make in collaboration with many people at the lab
The appointment comes at a vital time for BNL, with preparations taking place for the Electron-Ion Collider, which expects first physics in the next decade. The unique facility will, for the first time, be able to systematically explore and map out the dynamical system that is the ordinary QCD bound state. On the appointment, Gao states: “The nuclear & particle physics directorate is well-known internationally in accelerator science, high-energy physics, and nuclear physics. I am very excited by the opportunity and the impact I will be able to make in collaboration with many people at the Lab.”