Dr. Elizabeth Padilla Crespo has a double degree in Biotechnology and Industrial Microbiology from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, an M.S. in Biology from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Environmental Microbiology from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She has performed research at top research centers studying biofilms and bioremediation of pesticides, hydrocarbons and chlorinated solvents. In addition, Dr. Padilla has won several research competitions and has worked on science policy issues. Two years ago Ms. Padilla decided to come back to Puerto Rico to contribute the island’s “knowledge-based economy” by giving smart solutions to enhance detoxification of contaminated sites, teach students the wonders of the microbial world, and inspire younger generations, especially woman and minorities, into pursuing careers in science.