Dept of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Elizabeth Villa, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of California San Diego. She completed her PhD in Biophysics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a Fulbright Fellow. She was a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow in the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Munich. In 2016, she was granted an NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, which allows her to pursue high-risk high-reward research developing tags for cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET), and developing new technological and computational techniques to advance structural cell biology. In 2017, she was named a Pew Scholar. Dr. Villa’s laboratory has a strong focus on building tools for quantitative cell biology, using cryo-electron microscopy and tomography, cell biophysics, computational analysis, and integrative modeling. This potent combination enables the observation of macromolecular complexes in their native environment and derive their structure, context, and interaction partners. Her current research is focused on studying how genetic Parkinson’s affects cells and on unveiling the molecular architecture of the nucleus. Her lab also pursues various collaborations aimed at understanding bacterial cell biology.