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Dr Maria Christophorou

My research

I am interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie disease. My lab’s current work focuses on protein regulation by post-translational modification and we study a poorly characterized modification called 'citrullination', which is likely to regulate many different cell biological processes, especially DNA and RNA based ones. The enzymes that carry out citrullination are deregulated in a variety of diseases and in certain cases this has been shown to be causative. We study how these enzymes are regulated, how they in turn modulate the function of their protein substrates and how their deregulation contributes to the development of pathology.

My journey

I have two daughters, the first born during and the second at the end of my postdoc. I took nearly a year of maternity leave after each pregnancy, but always kept in touch with the lab. I interviewed for PI positions while pregnant with my second daughter and applied for fellowships while on leave. Although physically challenging, this significantly reduced the stress of returning to work with two small children. My husband is also a scientist and runs an independent lab. We have no family nearby but he is extremely supportive and we share family responsibilities equally.