Elena De Vita

Lecturer in Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology
Queen Mary University of London

Dr. Elena De Vita is a Lecturer in Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology at Queen Mary University of London.

Elena graduated in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technologies in the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Pisa in 2014. Her MRes thesis, supervised by Prof. Armando Rossello, discussed the development of novel carboxylate acid-based inhibitors of Matrix Metalloproteases. In early 2015, she moved to Heidelberg (Germany) to pursue her PhD at the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), where she joined Dr. Aubry K. Miller’s Cancer Drug Development group to develop small molecule covalent inhibitors of Kallikrein-related peptidase 6, an emerging drug target in cancer and neurodegemerative diseases.

Following a short EMBO-funded visit to Imperial College, Elena joined the Tate group as a CRUK Research associate to work on the development of covalent inhibitors for the small GTPase Rab27A. She continued this work as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow from 2020 and successively as a Co-investigator funded by Worldwide Cancer Research (2022). In 2021, Elena participated in the winning team at the Merck Innovation Cup and in 2022 she was shortlisted for the L’Oréal-UNESCO UK For Women In Science programme.

Her research interests focus on covalent ligand discovery and development and novel pharmacological modalities for use in Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery. Currently, Elena is developing novel small molecule probes to induce the dephosphorylation of specific target proteins, called PHOSphorylation TArgeting Chimeras (PHOSTACs).