Elisa Tomat, PhD

Professor Tomat studied chemistry at the University of Trieste (Italy) and graduated summa cum laude in 2001. Elisa moved to the United States to pursue doctoral studies at the University of Texas at Austin, where she joined the research group of Professor Jonathan Sessler. Following her postdoctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the group of Professor Steve Lippard, Elisa joined the faculty of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Arizona in 2010. For her work as an academic scholar and educator, Professor Tomat is the recipient of a 2015 National Science Foundation CAREER Award and the 2017 College of Science Innovation in Teaching Award.

Cancer Focus

Professor Tomat is broadly interested in the role of transition metals, such as iron, copper and zinc, in human health and disease. A current focus of the Tomat research laboratory is on the involvement of iron in cancer growth. Motivated by the altered iron metabolism of cancer cells when compared to normal cells, we synthesize antiproliferative iron-binding compounds that are activated intracellularly and incorporate design elements to control redox chemistry, cellular uptake, and selectivity towards malignant cells. We are also examining the impact of iron chelators on macrophages and the implication of these immune cells in iron distribution within the tumor microenvironment.

Research Program Role
Clinical and Translational Oncology Program

Display Name
Elisa Tomat, PhD