María Mariner-Faulí

Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology of Cantabria (IBBTEC)

Stem cells and its differentiation processes have fascinated me since I was in high school, when from time to time I was doing small research assessments. Passionate about developmental genomics, I am
a second year PhD candidate at Dr. Álvaro Rada-Iglesias´ Lab, studying the role of ZIC transcription factors as enhancer regulators during very early stages of neural development. My research is focused on embryonic stem cell differentiation models, of which I am a big fan given its high tractability for genetic engineering.

I obtained my Degree in Biotechnology by the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) in 2017, when I started my research training at Dr. Pascual Sanz´s Lab in the Institute of Biomedicine of Valencia (Valencia, Spain), investigating Lafora disease´s origin. My work was focused on screening loss of functionality of a set of reported patient mutations on the two main proteins altered in this disorder. The technique I used for this particular task was the yeast two hybrid. I based my Final Degree Thesis on this laboratory work, obtaining an Honour Mention.

After graduation, I spent a quarterly internship at the Research Group for Reproductive Medicine headed by Dr. Vladimir Isachenko at Uniklinik Köln (Cologne, Germany), working on different cryopreservation techniques to ensure sperm viability after vitrification. In 2018, I moved to Dr. Álvaro Rada-Iglesias Lab (at the CMMC in Cologne by that time) for a second internship. This period was the initial contact with a very motivating research area and gave me the opportunity to develop my Master thesis by Cantabria University, right after the moving of the lab to the Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology of Cantabria (Santander, Spain). This project currently continues with my PhD, funded by the Spanish National Plan for Science and Technical Research and Innovation.

I love singing, hiking and painting. While doing my PhD, I am studying an online Graphical Design Degree partial-time by the Open University of Catalonia, and I actively take advantage of my skills to communicate science as an amateur illustrator.

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