Dr. Mariya Petrova
Postdoctoral Fellow at Centre of Microbial and Plant Genetics
Mariya Petrova, PhD, is working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre of Microbial and Plant Genetics, KU Leuven as well as at the Laboratory of Applied Microbiology and Mucosal Immunology, Antwerp University. Her PhD research was focused on investigating genetic, molecular and functional characteristics of lactobacilli, which can provide general knowledge on their interesting properties for vaginal (versus intestinal) application, as well as on the molecular interaction between lactobacilli and pathogens. Currently, her research focuses on how vaginal lactobacilli can contribute to women’s health by studying cell wall molecules and their role in colonisation, pathogen exclusion and immune modulation. Furthermore, she investigates how to design bioengineered probiotic strains for heterologous expression of therapeutic molecules to be administered to the vaginal niche.