Education & Training

BA, 2001      Harvard University                 Biochemical sciences, summa cum laude                                                           

PhD, 2006     Harvard University                                           Biophysics program, Laboratory of Christopher T. Walsh, PhD thesis: Enzymatic halogenation during natural product biosynthesis            

MD, 2008     Harvard Medical School                Health Sciences and Technology (HST)                                                     

Pathology residency, 2008-2011                     Stanford Medical School

Post-doctoral fellowship, 2010-2012              Laboratory of Joseph DeRisi (UCSF), Deciphering apicoplast function in blood-stage P. falciparum infection                                  

Honors & Awards

NIH Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award (K08)

NIH Director’s Early Career Independence Award (DP5)                                                   

Burroughs-Wellcome Career Award for Medical Scientists                                                                  

Chan-Zuckerberg Institute BioHub Investigator

Assistant professor of biochemistry, of pathology, and of microbiology & immunology

Assistant professor of biochemistry, of pathology, and of microbiology & immunology

The major contribution Ellen has made to the malaria field is to identify the essential function of the non-photosynthetic plastid organelle, the apicoplast, in blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum (malaria) parasites. In her independent lab, she has leveraged this discovery to identify antimalarial inhibitors and drug targets, as well as to uncover novel apicoplast biogenesis pathways derived from secondary endosymbiosis. Her accomplishments have earned her the NIH Early Career Independence Award, the Burroughs-Wellcome Career Award, and the Chan-Zuckerberg Investigatorship. Ellen has had a diverse training background, earning both her MD and PhD from Harvard University. She performed her PhD thesis with Dr. Christopher Walsh elucidating enzymatic mechanisms and natural product biosythesis pathways. While completing Pathology residency at Stanford, she was introduced to malaria for her postdoctoral research at UCSF, in collaboration with Dr. Joe DeRisi.