Originally from the Soviet Republic of Moldova, Max received his B.S. in chemistry from Dartmouth College in 1998, where he conducted undergraduate research with Prof. Russell Hughes. He earned his PhD in physical organic chemistry in 2006 under supervision of Prof. James Canary, where he investigated fluorescent properties of transition metal binding compounds. Max then moved to the University of Delaware, joining the research group of Prof. Joseph Fox, where he developed preparative scale synthesis of substituted trans-cyclooctenes. After a two-year stint in industry, Max joined the laboratory of Prof. Stephen Lippard, as a Ruth L. Kirschstein NIH postdoctoral fellow.
In 2013, Max joined the faculty in the Department of Chemistry at the University at Albany as an Assistant Professor. His research interests are thematically based on different aspects of molecular recognition at the interface of bioorganic and bioinorganic chemistry. Much of his lab focuses on developing new applications of bio-orthogonal chemistry that include drug delivery, RNA synthesis, and investigation of RNA-protein interactions.