Elba Serrano, Regents Professor of Biology, received her undergraduate degree in physics with distinction from the University of Rochester and her Ph.D. in biological sciences from Stanford University with an emphasis in neuroscience and biophysics. Serrano’s biomedical research focuses on sensory disorders of hearing and balance, neurogenetics, and nanobiotechnology. Her research has been continuously funded since 1991 through awards from the National Institutes of Health, NASA, NSF and the Whitehall Foundation. Serrano is an advocate of interdisciplinary research and education and she collaborates with scientists and engineers at LANL, Harvard University, MIT, and Southwest Sciences Inc. Over 100 NMSU graduate and undergraduate students have participated in mentored research in her laboratory. She serves as director of two NIH-funded biomedical student research training programs at NMSU: Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE; 2008 - present) and BP-ENDURE Building Research Achievement in Neuroscience (BRAiN; 2010-present).
Professor Serrano teaches at all levels of the undergraduate and graduate curriculum from introductory non-science majors course in Human Biology to doctoral level courses in Auditory Neuroscience and Professional Development. She has offered courses, workshops, and lectures on science, ethics, and society for over 15 years. Serrano developed NMSU's first course in neurobiology 18 years ago.
Serrano’s honors include a Ford Foundation Fellowship, a AAAS Lectureship in Women in Science and Engineering, the NMSU Roush Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the NMSU SP Manasse Scholar Endowed Chair. Serrano has served on the Advisory Board for ABRCMS, the Health Sciences Council for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), the CINT Users Advisory Board, and the International Society for Neuroethics Program Committee. She serves on the Advisory Committee for the NIH Director, and the Society for Neuroscience Professional Development Committee. In January 2009, she was appointed a Regent's Professor; in 2012 she was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.