|Alma mater||Williams College;|
Elissa Hallem was born in Santa Monica, California in 1977. In 8th grade she enrolled in a summer program run by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth where she followed a course in psychology held at the Loyola Marymount University at Los Angeles. During high school, she worked in a UCLA lab with professor S. Lawrence Zipursky, a family friend. She graduated from Williams College with a B.A. in biology and chemistry in 1999, and received a Ph.D. from Yale University in 2005.
- "Elissa Hallem – MacArthur Foundation". Macfound.org. 2012-10-02. Retrieved 2013-11-06.
- Adams, Jackie (November 29, 2012). "The Genius Series: MacArthur Winner Elissa Hallem". Los Angeles Magazine.
- Wolpert, Stuart (2012-10-02). "UCLA life scientist Elissa Hallem awarded MacArthur 'genius' grant / UCLA Newsroom". Newsroom.ucla.edu. Retrieved 2013-11-06.