Irina Sinakevitch's scientific career began at age 14 when she was admitted to the Academic High Preparatory School of Leningrad State University. She earned a Bachelor of Science in physics and mathematics in 1981. Continuing her studies at the university, she graduated with a Master of Science in biophysics in 1988. She earned her doctorate, with honors, in neuroscience from the University of Angers, France, in 1995.
Since 1997 Sinakevitch has worked internationally in multiple laboratories learning the foremost techniques in neuroanatomy, electrophysiology and molecular biology. Her research explores the functions of neuromodulation and neurotransmitter systems, as well as their relationships to visual and olfactory learning. She has contributed through comparative study a structural understanding of the learning and memory centers in invertebrates and vertebrates (humans included).
From the beginning of 2020, Sinakevitch has been working in the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Arizona in collaboration with neuroscientists who study the process of aging in the brain. She also collaborates with computational scientists to unravel the fundamental mechanisms that underlie brain activity and function during aging.