Mihaela Žigman studied at the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), and received her Ph.D. from the University of Vienna. After her postdoctoral research with Dr. Juergen A. Knoblich at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA, Vienna) she joined the laboratory of Dr. Cecilia B. Moens as a postdoctoral Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) associate at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute (FHCRC, Seattle).
Her work lies at the crossroads of cell biology, quantitative developmental biology and biophysics. She investigates the fundamental principles how molecular polarity is realized within single cells with the aim to understand how single cell polarization organizes groups of cells at the more global level of a tissue, to form functional organs of correct size and shape during tissue growth and morphogenesis. In 2010 she became a junior academy member of Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and in 2012 she was elected as a member of the Global Young Academy.