Igor Lerner obtained his PhD in Moscow, from Levedev’s Institute of Physics, USSR Academy of Sciences, in 1981, on physics of two-dimensional electron systems in strong magnetic fields – with results published over 1977-81 in more than a dozen papers in leading scientific journals (which are still widely cited). Although this subject became extremely topical after a celebrated discovery of the Quantum Hall Effect in 1980 (too late to bear any impact on Igor’s PhD), Igor’s research interests shifted to another newly emerged area – physics of electrons in mesoscopic (and later nanoscale) systems.
After enjoying 14 fruitful years as a research fellow at the Institute of Spectroscopy (USSR Academy of Sciences) and a year-long spell as a Humboldt fellow at the Max-Planck Institute in Heidelberg (Germany), Igor became a member of the permanent academic staff in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Birmingham.
While continuing research in the physics of strongly correlated electrons in meso- and nanoscopic systems, Prof Lerner became interested in applying field-theoretical methods developed in that context to other area of research, such as physics of complex networks, quantum optics, physics of cold atoms. His research was supported by numerous grants, including six major grants from the EPSRC and one from the Leverhulme trust.