November 23rd 2015 – Maria Magdalena Razalan, University of York

Maria RazalanHello! I was born in Italy, where I gained my BSc in Biotechnology and my MSc in Industrial Biotechnology. I am now a final year Marie Curie Early Stage Reseacher based at the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP) at the University of York, supervised by Prof. Neil Bruce. My current research project is part of a European FP7 Initial Training Network named “P4fifty”, which involves several institutions and industrial partners with the goal of studying Cytochrome P450 enzymes for biotechnological applications. The aim of my PhD project is the development of a CytochromeP450/reductase fusion platform, as a tool for the characterization of orphan plant P450 enzymes. To accomplish this I exploit tons of molecular biology, a variety of recombinant biochemical techniques (transient/stable protein expression in tobacco/bacteria & yeasts) as well as UV-Vis spectroscopy and RP-HP liquid chromatography. One of the potential P450 biotechnological applications of great interest for my research group is the bioremediation of explosives in planta.

During my MSc and PhD studies I have participated in a variety of outreach events, involving people from different ages and experiences, within local or nationwide festivals (Pint of Science, Euro Researchers’ Night, Café Scientifique, to name some)…and this is how I discovered my passion for science communication!

In addition, I am currently the co-chair of greenSTEMS, a students’ organization based at the University of York, which promotes the interaction between young researchers from across disciplines (STEM+Social sciences) with a common interest in science and sustainability.

I am a very curious and creative person, I love travelling & outdoor activities (I’ve recently been hiking in Nepal!) and besides English I also speak Italian (native), a bit of Filipino (due to my origins), and I am self-learning German and Greek 😉

During my Biotweeps week I will be tweeting about Biotechnology, Cytochrome P450s as well as on the joys & pains of being a PhD student! Here is my Twitter account @MariaMRazalan

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