Originally from Volos, Greece, Makrina moved to Scotland in 1998 to study at the University of Edinburgh, where she graduated with a First Class BSc(Hons) in Biological Sciences-Genetics (2002), a MSc by Reseach in Life Sciences with Distinction (2003) and a PhD in Bacterial Genetics (2007). Makrina was the recipient of a prestigious Wellcome Trust 4-Year PhD studentship for her research project on virulence gene regulation in pathogenic bacteria that she conducted at the Centre for Infectious Diseases Research, University of Edinburgh.
Makrina immigrated to Australia in 2007 as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Queensland. In May 2014, she joined QUT as an ARC DECRA fellow and in 2016 was awarded a QUT Vice-Chancellor's Senior Research Fellowship. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 2018 and in the same year received the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Research, Partnerships and Engagement.
Makrina has authored >80 scientific articles, reviews and editorials and has been awarded >$4M in research grants and fellowships from the ARC, NHMRC and philanthropic foundations. Her work is at the forefront of anti-virulence drug research and development, which is promising to revolutionise the way we treat bacterial infections that are no longer treatable with antibiotics. Makrina is a frequent science communicator and winner of the 2016 Queensland Young Tall Poppy Scientist of the Year award by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science (AIPS). In 2016, she also received the Queensland Health and Medical Research Award for the Senior Researcher Category by the Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR). She is an elected Fellow of the Australian Society for Microbiology which has recognised her with the 2018 Frank Fenner Award for her distinguished contributions to Australian research in Microbiology. In 2020, she was one of six recipients of the Georgina Sweet Award for Women in Quantitative Biomedical Sciences, with special recognition for Inclusivity.