Born in Brasil and raised in the USA, Dr Lissa Herron received her first degree in biochemistry with a minor in neuroscience from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, USA (Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude). She then went to the University of St Andrews, Scotland, for a PhD in neurobiology with Professor Frank Gunn-Moore, characterising a novel protein, willin, using cell and molecular biology and biochemistry techniques. After a further post-doctoral year studying willin, she moved on to the laboratory of Dr Gareth Miles to study synaptic changes in a mouse model of Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) for three years.
Dr Herron decided to return to her biochemistry and molecular biology roots to work as a postdoctoral researcher on the laboratories of Professor Helen Sang and Professor David Hume, in association with Dr Andy Gill, at the Roslin Institute, to further develop a long-standing research programme of transgenic hens that express valuable proteins in their egg white. Dr Herron has been responsible for producing new bird lines, developing purification techniques, and confirming protein activity by in vitro and in vivo biological assays, as well as driving the application of this technology towards commercialisation.