Marija Iljina is from Latvia. After finishing high school with distinction, she moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, to study chemistry at Heriot-Watt University. During her undergraduate degree she was involved in multiple exciting summer research projects, ranging from synthetic organic chemistry to spectroscopic characterization of carbon nanotubes and the computational modeling of an electrostatic lens.
She was a recipient of Slater Price Prize for the top grades in physical chemistry over the last three years of her undergraduate degree. After completing her MSc, Marija moved to the University of Cambridge to pursue a PhD in biophysics in the laboratory of Prof. David Klenerman. During her doctoral studies, she was the recipient of a competitive Dr. Tayyeb-Hussain Scholarship from Christ’s College. She studied the aggregation of alpha-synuclein protein implicated in Parkinson’s disease using single-molecule techniques. This work produced in a more detailed understanding of the earliest molecular events occurring during the complex aggregation process and resulted in several research articles.
Marija subsequently moved to the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel to join the laboratory of Prof. Gilad Haran, where she is applying cutting-edge single-molecule techniques to studying the mechanism of cellular disaggregation machinery. Marija is fortunate to be a recipient of a prestigious IASH Postdoctoral Fellowship for Foreign Researchers and an EMBO Long-term Fellowship to pursue her postdoctoral research.