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Alexey Kolodkin (1978) was born in Russia, in a small Siberian town Shelekhov named after Gregory Shelikhov who was an 18th century seafarer, the leader of several expeditions to the shores of Alaska and California. Also Alexey started his journey into science with an expedition to California, when, upon graduation cum laude from the Biology Department of Irkutsk State University, he was selected to represent Russia in the Environmental Expedition of the Tahoe-Baikal Institute. While climbing mountains near the Baikal and Tahoe lakes and gaining precious experience with international team work, Alexey wanted to contribute more practically to the conservation of the environment. This led him to the shores of the Mediterranean, to Tarragona, the ancient Roman capital of Iberia. In Tarragona, Alexey obtained his next master degree. This was in the area of Chemical Engineering. He started to work on designing better biological wastewater treatment technologies and gained basic knowledge of mathematical modelling. However, he was never entirely satisfied with pure engineering approaches. His interests were always related to more fundamental issues related to understanding biocomplexity as such. As a result, he met Hans Westerhoff and joined the newly opened 2-year ‘Top’ M.Sc. program in Systems Biology in Amsterdam. After obtaining his next master degree in systems biology, the time for a PhD study had finally come. His PhD project was part of the NucSys RTN Marie Curie framework, established for interdisciplinary study of nuclear receptors and was focused on the identification of design principles in nuclear receptor signaling. This design study brought his research into a wider context and raised more fundamental questions. The first and foremost of these were: what is design and how does it emerge?
Upon the successful defence of his Ph.D thesis in September 2011, Alexey joined Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) as a research associate and since then has been working on better understanding molecular mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease (PD). In January 2012, Alexey has arrived to Seattle and joined the Institute for Systems Biology as a participant of the 2-year knowledge transfer program between LCSB and ISB.