Mariya Petrova is working as a research associate at KU Leuven and Antwerp University, Belgium. She is passionate about women’s health and strongly believes that by studying the urogenital microbiome, we can provide better health care not only for women around the world but also for their newborn babies. She is also eager to provide better health care by developing novel technologies with a focus on human microbiota, probiotics, and prebiotics. Mariya holds a PhD degree in Bioscience Engineering from KU Leuven and Antwerp University, Belgium. She has five years of research experience as a research associate at KU Leuven and Antwerp University, Belgium, and the University of Western Ontario, Canada. Her research was focused on investigating genetic, molecular and functional characteristics of lactobacilli, which can provide general knowledge on their interesting properties for the vaginal (versus intestinal) application, as well as on the molecular interaction between lactobacilli and pathogens. Further, she investigated on a molecular level how vaginal Lactobacillus species can contribute to women’s health by studying cell wall molecules and their role in colonization, pathogen exclusion, and immune modulation. Finally, Mariya explored how to design bioengineered probiotic strains for heterologous expression of therapeutic molecules to be administered to the vaginal and gastrointestinal niche.
Recently Mariya Petrova founded the Microbiome insights and Probiotics Consultancy, aiming to provide support and help with all types of microbiome and probiotic issues to academic researchers and industrial representative.