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Marya Sabir

Marya Sabir

Scholar Type:

NIH Oxford Scholar

Entry Year: 2019

B.S. Honors Biochemistry, Arizona State University, 2015


Dr. William A. Gahl (NHGRI) and 
Prof. Frances M. Platt (Oxford)

Research Interest:

Rare diseases, Genetics/genomics, Neurodegeneration

Marya graduated from Arizona State University with a B.S. in biochemistry. As a rising freshman, she became involved in hypothesis-driven research in Dr. Peter Jurutka’s molecular endocrinology laboratory. Her main focus was to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying putative vitamin D-vitamin D receptor signaling modulators, in addition to using in vitro techniques to demonstrate the influence of vitamin D in serotonin biosynthesis, reuptake, and catabolism. Next, she was extended a summer internship opportunity in Dr. David Azorsa’s pediatric cancer laboratory as a TGen Helios Scholar. The specific aim of her investigation was to examine the application of high-throughput functional screening as an assay platform for the efficient and rapid analysis of drug sensitivities and resistance in a panel of Ewing's sarcoma lines.

After graduating, she was accepted as an Ivy Neurological Science Scholar at TGen in Dr. Michael Berens’ and Dr. Nhan Tran’s CNS Tumor laboratory studying mechanisms of glioblastoma invasion. Then, to become more involved at the intersection of healthcare and education, as an AmeriCorps VISTA at a public, safety-net hospital, she served as a health literacy educator for at-risk, justice-involved populations. At the hospital, she also frequently observed in the Emergency Department leading to a collaboration with Dr. Murtaza Akhter in which she was able to conduct clinical research in the form of retrospective chart reviews. Finally, she was a NIH postbac IRTA fellow in Dr. Sonja Scholz’s laboratory investigating the genetic etiology of atypical parkinsonism syndromes. She has worked on several, large international whole-genome sequencing studies. Further, during her time as an IRTA, she was also selected as a NIH Academy Fellow.

As an OxCam scholar and student in the Undiagnosed Diseases Program, she hopes to meaningfully contribute to improving diagnosis and treatment options for patients suffering with rare diseases, with a specific focus on neurodegenerative conditions. She plans on attending medical school after completion of her doctoral studies.

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