Undergraduate Institution: Université de Lille, France
Graduate Institution: Eindhoven University of Technology
Visiting PhD student at: Wageningen University, The Netherlands
Mariam was born in Afghanistan, and belongs to a family with a diplomatic and international business background from which she diverged at a young age having more affinity with science and technology. She studied her BSc of Biology at the Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille (USTL), now called Université Lille 1, in France for two years, with a focus on Biochemistry/Plant and Human physiology. During these two years, she was also authorized to work as an intern in two research projects, the first at the laboratory of Cell Physiology U1003 (Laboratory of Excellence) and the second at the Functional and Structural Glycobiology laboratory UMR 8576 in Université Lille 1. After selection, she participated the third year in a university exchange program between Université Lille 1 and UQAC in Quebec province, Canada. After completing her Bachelor in Biology (Physiology and Cellular Biology) in 2013, back in France she applied for and was enrolled in a Master of Biotechnologies (Master Génomiques et Protéomiques at Université Lille 1). She performed her graduation internship in Canada for 5 months, at the University of Laval on a fundamental research topic in Systems Biology: the regulation of protein kinase A using Saccharomyces Cerevisiae as a model of study. The second year (Master of Molecular and Cellular Engineering), she conducted her second graduation internship in Sweden at Umea University for 7 months in the division of Virology, where she was working on the characterization of interaction between simian adenoviruses fiber knobs and sialic acid using different mammalian cell lines and different techniques such as flow cytometry, ELISA and infection experiments for the study. She completed her second year Master in September 2015. In 2016, she travelled the most part of the year and decided to settle after visiting and discovering the Netherlands. In February 2017, she joined the research group of Ilja Voets as a PhD candidate in the context of a multidisciplinary and collaborative project between the Food and Biobased Research (FBR) at the Wageningen University and the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS) at the Eindhoven University of Technology.
Mariam’s research project focuses on the design and biosynthesis of recombinant Ice-binding polymers with potential Ice Recrystallization Inhibition (IRI) activity intended for freeze protection of soft materials, using a versatile genetically engineered platform and microorganism-based expression systems. Her project also includes the characterization of the produced polymers integrity, folding and antifreeze activity.