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The Department's buildings are currently open for wet laboratory work only. We have carried out a comprehensive COVID-19 risk assessment process and have introduced a number of new measures to ensure the safety of our staff, including reduced building occupancy, strict social distancing, 'family'-based working, and increased cleaning and hygiene regimes. All staff who can work remotely will do so for the foreseeable future. Please continue to contact us by email until further notice.

Department of Biochemistry


Liisa van Vliet

Joined the Hollfelder group: 01 October 2001, returned 18 May 2009
Background and Current Projects: Liisa graduated Summa cum Laude from Bowdoin College, Maine, USA, with a B.A. in Biochemistry and Spanish. Her Honours research project was on 'Prebiotic Phosphorylation of Nucleosides'.
She was the first to join the FH Group in October 2001 and worked on DNA Gyrase kinetics for her M.Phil. During her PhD she studied derivatised PEI as gene therapy reagents. After as short post-doc on the same project and one year working for Accenture as a business consultant, Liisa returned to the Hollfelder group for a postdoc in microdroplets or microfluidics working on projects relating to drug selectivity and drug screening. In October 2009, Liisa was awarded a one-year Enterprise Fellowship by the Royal Society of Edinburgh/ BBSRC to commercialise a micro-droplet drug screening system. She is currently continuing the development of this system as a post-doc in collaboration with teams from Imperial College London. With Fabrice Gielen and Florian Hollfelder, Liisa is also co-founder of Drop-Tech Ltd, a start-up that developed an automated droplet generator (the Mitos Dropix, sold by Dolomite Microfluidics). 
Interests: Liisa gets away from the lab to ride horses, specializing in Dressage but has also competed in jumping as well as volting. She enjoys singing choral music and founded Cadenza, the Cambridge University A Capella group. Liisa loves to ski, travel and cook.

[1] Nabil Asaad, John E. Davies, David R. W. Hodgson and Anthony J. Kirby, Liisa Van Vliet, Laura Ottavi. The search for efficient intramolecular proton transfer from carbon: the kinetically silent intra-molecular general base catalysed elimination reaction of O-phenyl peri-dimethylamino-1-naphthaldoximes. Journal of Physical Organic Chemistry (2005); 8(2): 101-109. Link
[2] Liisa D. Van Vliet, Tom Ellis, Patrick J. Foley, Ligong Liu, Frederick M. Pfeffer, Richard A. Russell, Ronald N. Warrener, Florian Hollfelder, Michael J. Waring. Molecular Recognition of DNA by Rigid [n]-Polynorbornane-Derived Bifunctional Intercalators: Synthesis and Evaluation of their Binding Properties. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry (2007); 50(10): 2326-40. Link
[3] Frédéric Avenier, Josiel B. Domingos, Liisa D. Van Vliet, Florian Hollfelder. Polyethylene Imine Derivatives ('Synzymes') Accelerate Phosphate Transfer in the Absence of Metal. Journal of the American Chemical Society (2007);129(24): 7611-9. Link
[4] Liisa D. Van Vliet, Michael R. Chapman, Frédéric Avenier, Chris Z. Kitson, Florian Hollfelder. A tunable system for efficient gene transfection. ChemBioChem (2008); 9(12): 1960-7. Link
[5] Balint Kintses, Liisa D. van Vliet, Sean R.A. Devenish, Florian Hollfelder. Microfluidic droplets: new integrated workflows for biological experiments. Current opinion in chemical biology. (2010); 14(5): 548-55. Link
[6] Fabrice Gielen, Liisa D. Van Vliet, Bartosz Koprowski, Sean R.A. Devenish, Martin Fischlechner, Joshua B. Edel, Xize Niu, Andrew J. deMello, Florian Hollfelder. A Fully Unsupervised Compartment-on-demand Platform for Precise Nanolitre Assays of Time-Dependent Steady-State Enzyme Kinetics and Inhibition, Analytical Chemistry (2013); 85(9): 4761-4769. Link
[7] Fabrice Gielen, Tomas Buryska, Liisa D. Van Vliet, Maren Butz, Jiri Damborsky, Zbynek Prokop, Florian Hollfelder. Interfacing microwells with nanoliter compartments: a sampler generating high-resolution concentration gradients for quantitative biochemical analyses in droplets. Analytical Chemistry (2015); 87(1): 624-32. Link
[8] Liisa D. van Vliet, Pierre Yves Colin, Florian Hollfelder. Bioinspired genotype–phenotype linkages: mimicking cellular compartmentalization for the engineering of functional proteins. Interface Focus (2015); 5(4): 20150035. Link
[9] Elizabeth Bilsland, Liisa van Vliet, Kevin Williams, Jack Feltham, Marta P. Carrasco, Wesley L. Fotoran, Eliana F. G. Cubillos, Gerhard Wunderlich, Morten Grøtli, Florian Hollfelder, Victoria Jackson, Ross D. King, Stephen G. Oliver. Plasmodium dihydrofolate reductase is a second enzyme target for the antimalarial action of triclosan. Scientific Reports (2018); 8(1):1038. Link


Liisa van Vliet

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