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Lara Hilley

8 June 2015
Lara Hilley, 23, James Hutton Institute, Dundee and The Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, Aberdeen
Lara has just commenced a PhD entitled, ‘The Application of association mapping and genomic sequencing to starch and glycaemic index (GI) in potato’. 
“My research interests focus heavily on using fruits and vegetables to prevent the onset of dietary diseases and in plant genetics,” explains Lara. 
During her studies at the University of Abertay in Dundee, Lara obtained a BSc (Hons) in Food Nutrition and Health, and an MSc in Food Biotechnology.
The PhD is particularly attractive to Lara, as it combines her food, nutrition and health background with her passion for cutting edge science.
“In human consumption terms, potatoes are the third largest food crop in the world,” adds Lara.  “There’s an emerging opportunity for the potato industry to develop and breed varieties, with increased health benefits”.
“The publication of the potato genome sequence will enable us to identify desirable traits associated with starch and sugar content, identify candidate genes and markers for starch qualities which I hope will lead to varieties with lower GI’s.”
(Details correct as of November 2013)