Mariana De Niz obtained her BSc(Hons) in Immunology from the University of Glasgow, Scotland in 2006. In 2010 she then went on to do an MSc in Control of Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the lab of Prof. Chris Drakeley, where she studied genetic polymorphisms in humans that are protective of Plasmodium infections, and their relevance to mass drug administration. In late 2011 she was awarded a fellowship by EVIMalaR/EMBO, and joined the lab of Prof. Volker Heussler at the University of Bern, Switzerland, where she completed her PhD in Cell Biology in 2016. Mariana’s PhD consisted on establishing imaging methods to visualize Plasmodium sequestration in rodent models, and investigating the mechanisms of protein export used by Plasmodium to enable sequestration. This involved a long-term collaboration with Dr. Tobias Spielmann and Dr. Thomas Jacobs at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg.
Mariana then obtained an SNSF and an EMBO fellowship to do her first postdoc in Prof. Matthias Marti’s lab at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and later at the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Parasitology in Glasgow, studying mechanisms of Plasmodium gametocyte migration in vivo and their entry to the bone marrow. In late 2018 Mariana joined the lab of Dr. Luisa Figueiredo at the Institute of Molecular Parasitology in Lisbon to investigate Trypanosoma brucei interactions with the host vasculature during reservoir establishment in rodent hosts, with a Human Frontier Science fellowship. Finally, Mariana joined the lab of Prof. Philippe Bastin in August 2021 to investigate intraflagellar transport trains in Trypanosoma brucei.