Gerli was born and raised in Estonia. She came to the Netherlands to do her Bachelor’s degree in Applied Chemistry. For her Bachelor’s Minor project, she carried out research at Wageningen University at the BioNanoTechnology lab. Where she worked on using quantum dots and adamantane linkers for creating a lectin sensor. This was her first introduction into the world of nanoparticles, which made her consider working on these kinds of projects in the future. Gerli received her Master’s degree from Wageningen University specializing in Biomedical Research. She has extensive experience in method development and experimental design through working on research projects and as a laboratory assistant. During her PhD she will be focusing on using mesoporous silica nanoparticles for creating nanoprobes for imaging e.g. collagen but also for simultaneous tracking of stem cells.