Elisa Tomat

Principal Investigator / Associate Professor

Donna B. Cosulich Faculty Fellow

Elisa was born and raised in Italy, where she studied chemistry at the University of Trieste and graduated summa cum laude in 2001. In the fall of 2002, Elisa moved to the United States to pursue doctoral studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She joined the research group of Professor Jonathan Sessler and worked on the coordination chemistry of pyrrole-based macrocyclic ligands known as expanded porphyrins. After graduating with a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry in 2007, Elisa conducted postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the group of Professor Steve Lippard. Her work at MIT focused on the development of fluorescent sensors for the detection of biological zinc. In 2010, Elisa joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Arizona, where she is currently an Associate Professor and the Donna B. Cosulich Faculty Fellow. For her work as an academic scholar and educator, Elisa is the recipient of a 2015 National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the 2016 University Award for Excellence in Campus Outreach for STEM Diversity, and the 2017 College of Science Innovation in Teaching Award. In 2021, Elisa received a University of Arizona Distinguished Scholar Award for her contributions to research, teaching, and community engagement.


  • BS Chemistry 2001, University of Trieste, Italy
  • PhD Chemistry 2007, University of Texas at Austin
  • Postdoc 2007-2010, Massachusetts Institute of Technology