Get to Know Alex Evilevitch

May 4, 2017 / Get to Know

Alex Evilevitch kangaroos

Alex Evilevitch, an associate professor of pathobiology, has worked at the College of Veterinary Medicine for four months.

Using roughly 10 words or less, describe what your role at the college is:
Do cutting-edge research in virus biophysics, train graduate students, and teach a new course in physical virology.

What is your favorite part of your job?
Research is my life passion. Seeing and understanding how viruses work for the first time can be compared to the feeling in childhood when we learn and discover the world around us.

Complete this sentence: My most memorable day at work was….
I worked on a hypothesis that tightly packaged DNA inside viruses might exert high pressure, which is responsible for DNA ejection into a cell during infection. Discovering pressure inside a virus was my dream…literally. For a long time and after numerous attempts, the experiment would not work, until the night I had a dream about how to solve the problem. This was the first finding of internal DNA pressure inside a bacterial virus (phage lambda), a breakthrough in virology which also set the course for my research program.

What would your coworkers be surprised to learn about your life outside of work?
Before I started my path as a scientist, I was convinced that my calling was in the arts (painting and sculpture). I graduated from art school in St Petersburg, Russia. I still paint and hope I will continue with it. Painting helps my creativity in science since it is about innovation and abstract thinking.

Do you have any pets?
We had a Chihuahua, Charlie, who sadly recently died. We hope to find another dog soon.