Alex Snow was born in Providence, RI, and raised in Minneapolis, MN then Cambridge UK. He stayed in Cambridge until he attended the University of Southampton, where he graduated with a B.Sc in biochemistry. He then moved to London to pursue in M.Res in structural biology at Imperial College, where he undertook projects in synthetic protein design, expression and purification, then lectin interdomain movement using NMR. Currently, Alex is a 2nd year PhD student at the University of York. He’s working on characterizing several pathways for breaking down sulfonated sugars in bacteria using X-ray crystallography, isothermal titration calorimetry and many other techniques.

Outside of the lab, Alex enjoys teaching and outreach, as well as active sports including bouldering, downhill skiing, mountain biking and kayaking. He still goes back to Minnesota to do all these whenever he can spare the time!

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Night Owl

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?

Pro-pun

3 Do you have any pets?

His name is Rex and he might be the best thing in the world.

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

A map of 10,000 objects in the solar system on a logarithmic scale made by Elanor Lutz (find her on redbubble, she does awesome stuff!)

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?

Both

6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?

Both

7 Do you speak any other languages?

No

8 If you could switch professions, what would you do?

Become a pathologist (hahah imagine all the extra years in school)

9 If you could switch science fields, what field would you want to work in?

Astronomy

10 If you got a plane ticket right now, where would it go?

Canada

11 If you had one superpower, what would it be?

Infinite plane tickets

12 Is there anything you strongly recommend we watch and/or read and/or listen to?

No Such thing as a Fish is great if you’re looking to learn some interesting, utterly useless stuff.

13 It’s your day off. What do you want to do?

Bouldering in the morning, followed by a nice coffee. Then a nice afternoon of baking!

14 What are three things you can’t live without?

My spotify subscription, a set of well calibrated pipettes (does that count as one?) and my gym membership

15 What beverage gives you life?

Lemon and lime diet coke

16 What book did you read in school that positively shaped you?

The Martian

17 What did you want to be when you grew up?

I’ve always wanted to be a Scientist!

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

The idea that my biggest competition is myself – if I can do more than I did the day before, or try harder, even if it’s not by much, then I’m still on top.

19 What got you excited in science?

Reading something in a textbook and going “Awesome! How did they figure that out?”

20 What excites you about science now?

Reading something in a journal and going “Awesome! How did they figure that out?”

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Eating a full roast chicken by myself (I think I might need help)

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I spent about 8 years making wedding videos, and it made me a pretty decent (if I do say so myself!) filmmaker and director.

23 What is your favorite game?

Stellaris

24 What is the last book you read?

Children of Ruin

25 What is one of the best pieces of advice you’ve received?

Children of Ruin

26 What is something you’ve always wanted to try but you’ve been too scared to do?

Learn to fly a plane

27 What is the best advice for your 18 year old self?

No she doesn’t like you, move on.

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Exercise! Climbing or just having a really long walk is a great way to get my bearings again

29 What is the last thing you watched?

Community

30 What is the weirdest thing you’ve had in your bag?

9 20-teabag boxes of jasmine tea (good sale, ’nuff said)

31 What is your favorite animal?

My dog

32 What is your favorite book?

The Martian

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

I really like sour cream and chive crisps

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

Any day when an experiment finally works!

35 What is your favorite plant?

Poinsettia

36 What is your favorite science fact?

When you lose weight, you breathe out the fat!

37 What is your favorite season?

Winter

38 What is your favorite smell?

Freshly baked bread

39 What is your favorite sound?

The ding of my microwave

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I’m good at picking myself up after a failure

41 What is your favorite word (in any language)?

Petrichor

42 What is your proudest moment?

Graduating from Imperial / The first time someone mistakenly referred to me as “Dr. Snow” … I’m like yeah, I WILL be Dr. Snow one day!

43 What kind of tree would you be?

Maple

44 What’s the best thing about where you live?

York has a lot of brilliant pubs, and one amazing climbing gym.

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

Karl Schwarzchild, who first hypothesized the existence of bleck holes, did so during WWI, from the trenches!

46 Who would you like to see 46 Questions interview next?

Zoe Ingold, you’re up! (@IngoldZoe on twitter)