Darya obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from Novosibirsk State University, Russia. During her studies, she worked on the design and testing of immunogens for an anti-HIV-1 vaccine which piqued her interest in the field of virology. After graduation, she interned with the Schur group at ISTA where she worked on the structural characterization of the HTLV-1 virus and gained her first experience working with electron microscopy. Later, she moved to the University of Helsinki to study molecular mechanisms of RNA-mycovirus assembly and replication in the Poranen group. She has now returned to ISTA as a PhD student and is excited to continue her studies of the assembly of reverse transcribing viruses.