Maria arrived from the UK in 2018 having graduated from the University of Sheffield with a BSc. (Hons) in Biochemistry and Microbiology in 2015. Following graduation, she worked at the Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in London for two years. As a Signal Assessor Maria looked for potential new side effects of medications using data reported by patients, healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical companies. Currently, she is working to determine the role of DivIVA, a highly conserved cell division factor, in Staphylococcus aureus. She is also investigating the role of several proteins associated with cell wall stress in S. aureus and Bacillus subtilis. Outside of the lab, she is taking the opportunity to explore the United States and has had the chance to visit 10 states in just over a year of arriving to the US. She also enjoys photography and has been taking her camera on her travels.