Laura Gagliardi received her undergraduate degree and PhD degree in theoretical chemistry from the University of Bologna in 1997, and then spent two years at Cambridge University, in England, as a postdoctoral scholar. She began her independent academic career as an assistant professor at the University of Palermo, Italy, moving in 2005 to take an appointment as associate professor at the University of Geneva, in Switzerland. In 2009, she moved to the United States where she was a professor at the University of Minnesota. She remained there until her move to the University of Chicago in 2020.
Professor Gagliardi is the Richard and Kathy Leventhal Professor at the University of Chicago with a joint appointment at the Department of Chemistry and the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering. She also serves as the Director for the Chicago Center for Theoretical Chemistry.
She has received many recognitions, including the Peter Debye Award in Physical Chemistry from the American Chemical Society in 2020; the Award in Theoretical Chemistry from the Physical Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society in 2019, the Humboldt research award in 2018; and the Bourke Award of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2016. Laura is an Elected Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2020), the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science (2019) and Academia Europaea (2018). She also serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of the American Chemical Society. In addition to her dedication to science, Laura is a strong advocate for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.