Malinnikova earned her PhD in 1999 from St. Petersburg State University under the supervision of Victor Havin. She works as a professor at Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. In 2018-19, she was a von Neumann fellow at IAS, Princeton. Since the fall of 2019 she is also a full professor at Stanford University.
In 2018, Malinnikova was an invited speaker to ICM, Rio de Janeiro. She won the Clay Research Award in 2017 jointly with Aleksandr Logunov.
Her research interests include harmonic analysis, elliptic PDE, and potential theory. Recently she was studying unique continuation properties of solutions of elliptic PDEs and their applications to Laplace eigenfunctions, she is also interested in problems concerning solutions of discrete elliptic equations.