Snezhana Oliferenko grew up in Russia. She studied biochemistry and virology at Lomonosov Moscow State University before joining Lukas Huber's laboratory at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna, Austria, for her PhD studies.
Snezhana then moved to Singapore to work as a postdoc with Mohan Balasubramanian. In 2002, she established her own research laboratory at the Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL) in Singapore. At the end of 2013, she moved her lab to the Randall Division of Cell and Molecular Biophysics at King's College London. Since then she has been using fission yeast as a discovery tool to understand how cells navigate mitotic division and establish polarized states.