Maya Simionescu received her PhD from the School of Biology, University of Bucharest, Romania.
After 10 years training in Prof. George Palade (Nobel Prize Laureate) laboratory at the Rockefeller University, NY and Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA she returned to Romania to conduct the research at the new Institute of Cellular Biology and Pathology (ICBP), she and her late husband, Nicolae Simionescu, co-founded in Bucharest. From 1979 she was appointed visiting professor at Yale University and Columbia University, NY. At present she is director of ICBP, member of the Romanian Academy, Member of the Academy of Medical Sciences, President of the Romanian Society for Cell Biology, and President of the Section of Biological Sciences, Romanian Academy.
Her main scientific interest is the cardiovascular system in health and diseases. Together with her team, she uncovered the mechanisms of transport of molecules – transcytosis – from the blood to the tissues, illustrated the initial events in atherosclerosis (accumulation of modified lipoproteins in the subendotelium), the pathobiochemistry of diabetes and drug targeting to activated endothelium.
She published ~ 500 papers, 55 chapters in handbooks, numerous reviews, and communications. In 2000, ICBP was selected Centre of Excellence of the European Community.