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Discovery (Biological & Genetic Mechanisms)
Maria is a medical student at McMaster University. She completed her BSc in Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of British Columbia in 2021. She was a research assistant in the Soma Lab where she was particularly interested in investigating the roles of estrogens in social behaviour. Maria assisted Cecilia Jalabert with her PhD project investigating local sex steroid synthesis in the brain. Maria helped to develop an ultra-sensitive method for quantification of a panel of six estrogens (including 17beta-estradiol, 17alpha-estradiol, estrone, estriol, 2-methoxyestrogen, and 4-methoxyestrogen) using chemical derivatization and LC-MS/MS. The aim of her research was to develop a novel technique that would have wide ranging applications for basic research and clinal settings, including estrogen measurement in animal models and human samples with low estrogen levels, such as those from post-menopausal women, women receiving aromatase inhibitor treatment for breast cancer, men and children.