Dr. Elena Chiavacci did her first work as a biologist during her bachelor thesis on planarian stem cells at the University of Pisa (Italy) in Prof. Renata Batistoni’s lab. In 2008, she was awarded a one-year internship at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and moved in Tokyo, where shejoined Dr. Hiroshi Uemura's group working on polyunsaturated fatty acid production in S. cerevisiae. Back to Italy for her master thesis and PhD, she joined Dr. Letizia Pitto and Prof. Federico Cremisi group (SNS - Scuola Normale Superiore), where she approached developmental biology and the zebrafish model system. During her PhD she focused on miRNA-mediated post transcriptional control of the heart-hand congenital disease Holt-Oram syndrome in both zebrafish and humans. She got her PhD in 2014 and moved to Zurich to join Prof. Christian Mosimann’s group where she is currently working on zebrafish heart-hand disease model systems.