Mia studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, focusing on chemical biology in her Masters. This included a research project in the group of Prof. Shankar Balasubramanian, synthesising chemical tools for probing the epigenetic roles of noncanonical DNA bases recently discovered in mammalian genomes.
Her current PhD project is working with Ben Schumann and Neil McDonald in the Crick Signalling and Structural Biology Laboratory. This focuses on neurotrophic factors, which are critical for the normal development and maintenance of central and peripheral neural cells. Some of these proteins are known to bind to glycans, but the effect of this on their receptor engagement and signalling dynamics is incompletely characterized. Mia aims to use both methodologies in both chemical glycobiology and structural biology to address these questions.
Her favourite glycan is heparan sulfate, which is nearly ubiquitous in animals but has many unknown functions due to its structural complexity complicating research.
In her spare time, Mia enjoys learning Japanese and piano.