Case Study: Liisa Parts


Whilst completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Edinburgh, Liisa began to search for suitable postgraduate programmes, eventually finding the BBSRC-funded studentship that was organised in collaboration with Syngenta. The project work at Syngenta, a leading R&D focused UK biotechnology company, seemed particularly suitable for somebody with Liisa's interest in bioindustry. Additionally, the skill-focused training programme provided through the Oxford Interdisciplinary Bioscience DTP was appealing. 

Liisa believes she has greatly benefited from the cohort-based teaching at Oxford, enjoying the training and forming new friendships. Now in the second year of her studies, these intensive training courses are long past; however, many of her closest friends are students that she met during the first three months of the programme, and many of the skills that she acquired are handy in her day-to-day lab work. 

Liisa’s DPhil focuses on the early stages of agrochemical resistance. Resistance to all commonly used pesticides is a global problem, endangering food security all over the world, yet molecular mechanisms and evolution of this biology remain poorly studied areas. In order to shed some light on these subjects, Liisa uses wild isolates of the commonly used C. elegans, the primary model organism used in the Woollard lab where she is based. She finds it fascinating to work in a field that has not been extensively studied in the past and enjoys the challenge of creating real world solutions through collaboration with industrial partners.

Outside of her studies, Liisa is also an active member of her college graduate student community and a keen tennis player, playing for the University Women’s Fourth Team.