Prof. Lia Addadi obtained her MSc degree in organic chemistry at the Università degli Studi di Padova (1973) and earned a PhD in structural chemistry from the Weizmann Institute of Science in 1979. After conducting postdoctoral research at Harvard University, she joined the ranks of the Institute’s Department of Structural Chemistry (then Department of Structural Biology) in 1982. Prof. Addadi served as Head of the Department of Structural Biology (1994-2001), as Dean of the Faculty of Chemistry (2001-2004), and as Dean of the Feinberg Graduate School (2008-2014). Since 2018, she is the President’s Advisor for Advancing Women in Science. She received numerous prizes and honors, among them the 1998 Prelog Medal in Stereochemistry, the 2011 Aminoff Prize by the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences, and an honorary PhD from the ETH in Zurich (2018). In 2019, she was elected Foreign Associate of the American Philosophical Society. Lia Addadi investigates the formation of crystals in organisms, either fulfilling a physiological function, or pathologically induced, such as in atherosclerosis. She studies the interactions between crystals and their biological environments, spanning several orders of magnitude from the molecular level to the cell and tissue level.

Research Interests

Prof. Addadi pursues a broad range of research interests that relate to crystals and biological interfaces. She studies mineralization in biological systems, with a particular interest in crystallizations that either have a physiological function or are related to disease in a wide variety of organisms, including humans. She has investigated biological processes such as cell adhesion and the interactions of antibodies with structured surfaces. Her work may further the understanding of such disorders as osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, and kidney stone formation. Her research on biomineralization, undertaken in conjunction with departmental colleague Prof. Steve Weiner, may also lead to the development of new ways to produce composite materials for advanced technologies in mechanics, optics, or electronics. Currently, she has a particular interest in crystals of organic molecules that fulfill optical functions in organisms, such as mirror and photonic crystal components.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 14: Chemistry