A professor of biological sciences, Padilla joined UNT in 2002. She previously worked as associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Science and was permanently appointed UNT's associate vice president for research and innovation in October 2019, after serving one year as interim. In 2010, she earned the UNT Early Career Award for Research and Creativity, and she was a Faculty Leadership Fellow from 2015 to 2016.
"I am honored to continue working with UNT's innovative faculty, staff and students as we advance our mission to support and facilitate and empower impactful research," Padilla says. "This is an exciting time at UNT as we continue our rise as a national research university."