Boston Is Science | Maria

Boston Is Science | Maria

Heartbreak's Boston 2022 capsule collection is a loving celebration of the people behind our global leadership in scientific innovation and medicine. The design uses the four colors representative of DNA's code chemicals in a nod to the researchers, ground-breakers, care-givers, nurses, & physicians who run these streets every day: the people who make Boston what it is.

We're turning the spotlight on five athletes from that community in acknowledgment of and gratitude for their work. The complete apparel collection drops this Thursday. Join the launch experience in Cambridge by registering here.

Maria Kousi

Science brought Maria Kousi to Boston but bloodlines and the Boston Marathon opened the door even before she was born. Maria's Dad, Michalis Kousis, was Greece's greatest contemporary marathoner, a 3x Olympian, and 4th place finisher in Boston in 1980. When Maria asked him which place he liked most as a globe-trotting professional athlete, he shared an affinity for Boston.

Maria herself has only been running for about 6 years. Her athletic life leaned toward basketball and equestrian early on. As many scientific journeys do, her work as a genetic scientist led her to Boston and it was here that her love of running flourished.

What is your professional role now?

“Currently I am science-focused senior associate at Third Rock Ventures. Before that, I was a senior scientist with a joint appointment between MIT and Harvard.” [Her work focuses on the dissection of the mechanisms underlying neurological and neurodegenerative disorders.]

What's your favorite thing about running in Boston?
“The closeness of the running community. It doesn't matter which group anyone runs in, we all recognize, acknowledge and uplift each other.”

What are you most proud from the perspective of a Bostonian in the scientific/medical community?
“Like the running community, the scientific community in Boston is very collegial! Any time I would run out of ideas on how to troubleshoot something or design a study, all I had to do was to go across the street and listen to a seminar or go to a colleague's office and talk it through. The Bostonian scientific community has embraced more than anyone else the concept that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

What's your relationship to the Boston Marathon? “My relationship to the Boston Marathon is emotional! I started running to honor my father's memory. He had ranked 4th in the 1980 Boston marathon and he always spoke very fondly of this particular race. Though I run for him, I never ran with him. Running the Boston Marathon would be tracing his own steps years later and in a way though chronologically distinct, it would be an opportunity to run the same course together.”