Maria is passionate about integrating science and policy to contribute to evidence-informed decision making to help providing solutions to social issues in the health sector. She earned a Ph.D. in Genetics and Microbiology (2013) from the Paris Descartes University - Pasteur Institute in Paris, France. She continued as a postdoctoral researcher at Canadian Blood Services (2015-2018) in Ottawa. Her research focused on the study of molecules that help pathogenic bacteria to adapt to environments that represent a health risk. She is a Registered Microbiologist by the Canadian College of Microbiologist. Currently she works at a federal government agency in Canada, providing advice and operational support in the development and delivery of research funding programs to foster discoveries and innovations that positively impact the health sector. Maria enjoys communicating science, watching sunsets from any spot in the world and currently she aspires to become a conservation photographer.