DR. MARIYA PETROVA
Mariya is naturally passionate about the importance of human microbiome and probiotics. Mariya is an internationally recognized specialist in the field of human microbiota, with focus on urogenital microbiota and probiotics. She has a PhD from KU Leuven and Antwerp University, Belgium focused on the molecular interaction between lactobacilli and bacterial and viral pathogens. One of the leading research lines during her postdoctoral fellowship focused on investigating genetic, molecular and functional characteristics of lactobacilli, which can provide general knowledge of their exciting properties for vaginal (versus intestinal) application. Further, Mariya investigates on a molecular level how vaginal lactobacilli can contribute to women’s health by studying cell wall molecules and their role in colonization, pathogen exclusion, and immune modulation. Finally, she explores how to design bioengineered probiotic strains for heterologous expression of therapeutic molecules to be administered to the gastrointestinal and vaginal niche.