PhD Candidate Profile: Maria Marinova

15 December 2020
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What is your research about?

My project concentrates on alleviating the damage of chemotherapy on the female reproductive system and the subsequent effects on health span. If our findings in animal models translate to humans, they would have tremendous benefits for cancer survivors' quality of life and long-term wellbeing.  Specifically, we would have a non-invasive way to preserve fertility and protect against premature ovarian failure and early menopause, leading to osteoporosis in many patients.

What is the translational application of your research?

We use a small molecule called nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) and we've seen it rescue fertility and bone strength in mice. We believe this works via NAD+ repletion pathway, required for DNA repair, which is shared between mice and humans. We hope this will be a solution for patients who cannot find a suitable fertility preservation alternative, such as women of childbearing age with hormone sensitive cancers, women who cannot delay treatment, and pre-pubertal girls. 

How would the TCRN PhD top-up Scholarship help you succeed?

I do my PhD full-time and this scholarship enables me to focus solely on my research, without the need to find a part-time job to support myself.