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Elia R. Lopez, Ph.D.

Translational Science Interagency Fellow

Therapeutic Development Branch  
Division of Preclinical Innovation  
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences  
National Institutes of Health


Elia R. Lopez, Ph.D.   
Elia R. Lopez, Ph.D. 


Elia R. Lopez joined NCATS in 2021 as a Translational Science Interagency fellow to study predictive toxicology for antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) under the mentorship of Donald C. Lo, Ph.D., and Bryan Traynor, M.D., Ph.D. She is co-mentored by Lois Freed, Ph.D., and James Wild, Ph.D., of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Lopez’s research aims to explore translational approaches to optimize safety and toxicology testing of ASOs for treatment of rare monogenic diseases. Lopez is interested in the cross-disciplinary training offered by the Translational Science Interagency Fellowship because it combines world-class training in both translational and regulatory sciences. For her, this unique interagency training paradigm provides an unparalleled opportunity to build a valuable skillset for addressing problems in the translation of basic science discoveries into treatments that improve human health.

Before joining NCATS, Lopez earned her doctorate in biomedical sciences with a focus in biochemistry and cell biology in 2021 from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Lopez’s doctoral research investigated the cell-signaling mechanisms in nociceptors driving ongoing activity and ongoing pain using electrophysiology of primary neurons combined with cell imaging and high-content microscopy analysis under the mentorship of Edgar T. Walters, Ph.D., and Carmen W. Dessauer, Ph.D. Prior to her doctoral research, Lopez earned her Master of Science in biology in 2016 from Texas State University, where she used a combination of molecular biology, plant physiology, and genetic approaches to study the molecular mechanisms involved in plant development and stress responses. Lopez earned her Bachelor of Science with a major in biology and a minor in geography from Texas State University in 2013.

Select Publications

  1. Odem MA, Bavencoffe AG, Cassidy RM, et al. Isolated nociceptors reveal multiple specializations for generating irregular ongoing activity associated with ongoing pain. Pain. 2018;159(11):2347-2362. Available from:
  2. Lopez ER, Carbajal AG, Tian JB, et al. Serotonin enhances depolarizing spontaneous fluctuations, excitability, and ongoing activity in isolated rat DRG neurons via 5-HT4 receptors and cAMP-dependent mechanisms. Neuropharmacology. 2021;184:108408. Available from:

Last updated on April 22, 2024