I am a lecturer and a researcher in biophysics and biochemistry at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Essex, Colchester, UK.
I was born in 1958 in Ordzhonikidze (now Vladikavkaz), North Ossetia, USSR (now Russia). My father, Anatolij Ivanovich Svistunenko (1910-1959) was a surgeon, and my mother, Natalia Borisovna Agibalova (1925-2013) was a local newspaper journalist.
I went to the Ordzhonikidze School No.27 in 1965 and left it for Mathematical Boarding School No.2 in 1972. After finishing the school in 1975, I studied in Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology which I graduated from in 1981. Since then and until I moved to Essex, I had been working in the Institute of Chemical Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow.