Andrea Dessen graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Rio de Janeiro. She did her PhD work at New York University and did postdoctoral training both at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (New York) and at Harvard Medical School (Boston), the latter with Don C. Wiley. She then worked as a staff crystallographer at Genetics Institute/Pfizer in Cambridge, MA, in the Small Molecule Drug Development Dept. In 1999 she moved to France and is now a CNRS Research Director at the Institut de Biologie Structurale in Grenoble. She directs the Bacterial Pathogenesis Group at the IBS, as well as a 2nd group at the Brazilian Biosciences National Laboratory in Campinas, São Paulo. The main interest of both laboratories involves the structural and functional characterization of bacterial virulence factors and cell wall biosynthesis machineries, as well as the identification of novel antibacterial compounds in natural product libraries.