Maria grew up in California’s Central Valley and attended Stanford University. As an undergraduate research assistant in the lab, she worked on projects that examined the role of the medial frontal cortex in the maintenance of emotion. In 2011, she graduated with departmental honors in Psychology and a minor in Biology. After graduation she joined the lab full-time and is currently the coordinator for studies that investigate the intergenerational transmission of depression and its prevention. In her free time, Maria enjoys running marathons, dancing, reading, rock climbing and watching movies.