On Curiosity and the Passionate Pursuit of Life Science | Dr. Naomi I. Maria

Dr. Naomi I. Maria beautifully recounts her childhood experiences and how this shaped her to embrace her truth. She is a passionate and dedicated Immunologist from the small Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao.

Today, Naomi is an innovative and passionate immunologist, with a broad background in Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences. Fascinated by the immune system in health and disease, she is using her incredible analytical skills and creative insights to solve problems that she is passionate about solving.

I met Naomi during one of Find Your Tribe’s virtual sessions. She currently lives in New York City and investing in her learning and development in the health and science space.

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A little more details about our guest…

Dr. Naomi I. Maria’s academic training and research experience has provided her with a broad background in multiple biological disciplines including molecular biology, pharmacology, immunology and rheumatology, with specific training in clinical autoimmunity. She completed her B.Sc. and Masters of Science in the Netherlands. Currently, Naomi is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at The Feinstein Institute in New York City.

Her career goal is to better understand mechanisms of disease in autoimmunity and cancer and how immunotherapy can cause autoimmunity, and has published numerous peer-reviewed articles. In the lab, Dr. Maria is currently focused on better understanding pregnancy difficulties and placental abnormalities in the autoimmune disease Lupus. Dr. Maria is a tireless, collaborative scientist who supports and motivates those she comes into contact with, and is passionate to improve the lives of patients. Her favourite quotes is: “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious” – Albert Einstein

Connect with Dr. Naomi I. Maria

LinkedIn | Instagram | Twitter

Check out the episode on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play

Here are the show notes from Dr. Naomi I. Maria’s episode and some of our favourite moments…


Naomi recounts: “My grandmother. She passed away and always told me that she was living through me because she didn’t get to do all the things that I am doing. At that time, she lived in Belgium and her family didn’t have the money to go to school. I have always, since I was a little kid, been somebody who wants to save the world and help others. I want to make sure other people are good. And that may sometimes also be my curse: my desire to help others. Because I often forget to make sure that I am good.”

Honestly, one of the things that is driving me is a surprise discovery that we made to help women who are at risk of adverse pregnancies. For losing their baby and have placental difficulties. The project that I am working on right now, might really change the game for women.

That is what is really driving me from a personal stand point and my research. I really hope my current research can help identify women at risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes. That we may be able to struggle less in this capacity in the future. And not have to go through the struggles of losing a child before birth or at birth, or having complications after they are born. That, for me right now, is what is driving me on my bad days.


  1. Education in the Netherlands compared to education in the United States of America [9:00]
  2. How Dr. Naomi Maria stumbled into working in health care and pursuing her studies to better help people [11:00]
  3. Naomi’s process for reaching out to people who are in the field to help with narrowing her career and education decisions [14:33]
  4. The importance of being connected to a community where you can be supported on your journey by sharing personal and professional experiences openly [30:00]


Loving the podcast? I encourage you to use the hashtag #PowerofWhy on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to show how you are living out and exploring YOUR WHY.

You can find Dr. Naomi I. Maria’s work here:

You can find Naomi Haile’s work here: