Maria received a BS in Biology from the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon in 2010. During this time, she worked in Dr. Chris Doe’s lab, where she helped identify neuronal patterns of late-stage Drosophila embryos to help generate a neuronal atlas of gene expression in the embryonic fly nervous system. Maria pursued a PhD in Neuroscience in Dr. Mary Logan’s lab at Oregon Health and Science University, where she used adult Drosophila to uncover molecular mechanisms involved in glial responses to nerve injury in young and aged brains. Following her doctoral work, Maria did a post doc in Dr. Paul Taylor’s lab at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital where she studied the link between dysfunction in stress granule dynamics and the accumulation of pathological TDP-43 inclusions. In the fall of 2018, Maria joined the Singhvi lab as a post-doctoral fellow, and she is taking advantage of the simple yet complex nervous system of c.elegans, as well as its genetic power, to characterize the molecular signature of the different glial cells, in order to better understand glial-neuron interaction in vivo in the young and aged nervous system.
Maria was born in Romania but grew up in Portland, OR. Outside the lab she enjoys exploring the outdoors, cooking, exploring dog-friendly breweries, rock climbing and hot yoga.