University of Hertfordshire

Dr Maria Dimitriadi BSc, MSc, PhD, FHEA

Overview

Dr Maria Dimitriadi is a Senior Lecturer in Molecular Genetics at the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences. She received her MSc in Human Molecular Genetics from Imperial College London. Following this, she obtained the highly competitive Medical Research Council and Cambridge European Trust scholarships and went on to Cambridge University to pursue a PhD in molecular and cellular biology of human brain tumours at the laboratory of Prof. V. Peter Collins.

The research she was involved in her PhD work contributed to her great interest in fundamental neuroscience and using model organisms to study mechanisms underlying health and disease. Given the cellular and molecular conservation across species, she decided for her post-doctoral training to turn to the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, an attractive and powerful in vivo model system for studying gene regulation, function and human disease.

Dr Dimitriadi joined the laboratory of Prof. Anne C. Hart at Harvard Medical School (and later on at Brown University, Department of Neuroscience) as a postdoctoral fellow to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the fatal childhood motor neuron disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Dr Dimitriadi has made a significant contribution to the SMA research by identifying key cellular pathways that are involved in SMA pathogenesis and her work has resulted in high-impact peer-reviewed scientific journals (PNAS, PLOS Genetics, and Journal of Neuroscience).

Her future research plans aim to draw on the strengths of invertebrate and vertebrate models in an attempt to increase our understanding of the direct or indirect mechanisms that underlie motor neuron disorders.

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