Chrissa Kioussi grew up in Athens, at the foothills of Akropolis during the school year and on the Aegean islands during the summer. She graduated from the University of Athens with a major in Biology and a Diploma in Biochemistry (1987). She earned her PhD from the Hellenic Pasteur Institute in 1992, working with Rebecca Matsas on neuropeptides. She discovered her love for developmental biology and mouse molecular genetics during her postdoctoral years at the Max-Plack Institute of Biophysical Chemistry in Germany, working with Peter Gruss. Dr Kioussi crossed the Atlantic to join the lab of Geoff Rosenfeld at HHMI-UCSD in California, to research the transcriptional regulation of homeobox genes during organ formation. She brought this expertise to the Pacific Northwest in 2002, when she established her lab at Oregon State University.