Elizabeth Campbell

Research Associate Professor
The Rockefeller University

Dr. Elizabeth Campbell, a Research Associate Professor at The Rockefeller University, is a scientist with a comprehensive background in microbiology, biochemistry, biophysics, and structural biology. Born in Guyana, South America, she earned her B.A. in biology from Swarthmore College and obtained her Ph.D. in Microbial Pathogenesis from The Rockefeller University.

During her early career, Dr. Campbell trained under Dr. Seth Darst, contributing significantly to the determination of the first structures of bacterial RNAPs, including essential complexes with antibiotics like Rifampicin. In 2015, she established her independent research program, focusing on transcriptional mechanisms in the pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb).

Dr. Campbell's research centers on two formidable pathogens: Mtb and coronaviruses. Her work, driven by structural discoveries, provides crucial insights into transcriptional mechanisms, with a particular emphasis on the RNA polymerase (RNAP), the central enzyme in transcription, as a validated target in both pathogens.

The Campbell group's primary focus is on mycobacterial RNAP, the target of front-line treatments. Utilizing cutting-edge techniques, such as cryo-EM, she investigates the mechanisms of RNAP, elucidating molecular interactions with transcription factors and inhibitors. Dr. Campbell aims to offer structural and functional insights to guide drug discovery for tuberculosis (TB). Her team's collaborations have led to the determination of Mtb RNAP structures in the presence of known and novel antibiotics, showcasing unprecedented conformations.

Beyond TB, Dr. Campbell explored the biochemical and biophysical properties of RNAP from Clostridioides difficile. Recognizing the potential applications of her expertise, she pivoted in March 2020 to study viral replication and transcription in the context of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Her work, in collaboration with Dr. Seth Darst, resulted in publications detailing the SAR-CoV-2 RNA-dependent RNAP holoenzyme structure and molecular insights into the coupling with the viral helicase. This work provides a foundation for developing new antivirals.

Dr. Campbell's contributions extend beyond the laboratory. She serves as a co-chair and chair for FASEB and GRC meetings, participates in the Rockefeller Inclusive Science Initiative, and is involved in The Rockefeller University Exceptional Scholars Workshop. Dedicated to increasing diversity in science, she actively mentors aspiring scientists, particularly women and underrepresented minorities.

Acknowledging her significant contributions, Dr. Campbell is an elected fellow of the American Association of Microbiology and received the prestigious 2023 Emil Von Behring prize. Her commitment to advancing scientific knowledge, mentorship, and diversity underscores her role in the scientific community.



Past Events

Elizabeth Campbell, Rockefeller University
Unraveling Molecular Mechanisms in Bacterial and Viral Pathogens
Wed, Feb 7, 2024, 12:00 pm