Larissa grew up in a small town in the south of The Netherlands. She had always been interested in understanding the workings of the human body and this led her to move up north to study Biomedical Sciences at the Radboud University in Nijmegen. This degree gave her the opportunity to delve into the broad field of biomedical science and allowed her to explore different research areas. During this time, she developed a vast affection regarding the understanding of the kidney and in particular its genetics.
This drove her to pursue a Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at the same university focussing on Genetics and Molecular Biology. During her Master's, she was given several opportunities to gain hands-on experience in both wet-lab and bioinformatics in the context of renal diseases. She performed her Master's thesis at University College London at the Department of Renal Medicine under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Detlef Bockenhauer, where she focussed on identifying novel genetic mutations resulting in hypomagnesemia and chronic kidney disease.
Her research experience at three different departments in two different countries allowed her to have a unique experience with diverse cultures and taught her to work under different approaches. This drove her to pursue a career as a biomedical researcher, mainly focussing on inherited kidney diseases. This is why she applied and got accepted for a PhD position at the Department of Mechanisms of Inherited Kidney Disorders at the University of Zurich under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Olivier Devuyst.