Milena Leseva, PhD

Bulgaria | Fulbright S&T awardee 2008 | University of Florida, Gainsville | Molecular Cell Biology

Milena arrived to the United States in 2008 and entered the Molecular Cell Biology doctoral program at University of Florida in Gainesville. There she worked with Dr. Naohiro Terada under whose mentorship she investigated the role of an E2F-transcription factor family member in the silencing of germ cell-specific genes using an in vitro model of early development, embryonic stem cells.

Driven by her interest in epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation, she began a postdoc in Dr. Karin Michels’ lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, where she investigated the contribution of DNA methylation to physiological conditions and disease states, such as lactose intolerance and preeclampsia. Milena spent 2016 at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) in Singapore working in the Developmental Epigenetics and Disease laboratory there.

Milena has now returned to her home country of Bulgaria and hopes to continue using embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells for disease modeling and drug testing. She is particularly interested in using gene-editing techniques for the study of variants and mutations, and their effect on disease phenotypes.



Postdoc (2015-2016) A*STAR Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore
Postdoc (2013-2015) Brigham and Women’s Hospital, USA
PhD (2013, Molecular Cell Biology) University of Florida at Gainesville, USA
MS (2006, Cell Biology and Pathology) Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Bulgaria
BS (2003, Biotechnology) Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Bulgaria


Research Highlights