Eva grew up in Germany and the United States and obtained a BSc in chemistry from the University of Freiburg in Germany before moving to Uppsala University in Sweden to study enzyme kinetics and complete an MSc in biochemistry. After a short research assistant position in a protein crystallography lab in Auckland, New Zealand, Eva pursued a PhD with Ari Helenius at the ETH Zurich in Switzerland. She studied glycoprotein folding in the endoplasmic reticulum and was interested in the mechanisms of glycoprotein chaperones and their associated thiol-disulfide oxidoreductase.
Thinking about protein folding led to thinking about protein degradation and the immunologically useful consequence of protein degradation products - antigen processing and presentation. Eva joined the laboratory of Hidde Ploegh at the Whitehead Institute at MIT to exploit the plethora of techniques available to study questions pertaining to immune surveillance of Toxoplasma gondii and the generation of parasite epitopes for recognition by CD8 T cells. Eva was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Human Frontier Science Program during her time in Boston.
Eva was awarded a Research Career Development Fellowship and the Wellcome-Beit Prize both from the Wellcome Trust to transfer her research to the Medical Research Council's National Institute for Medical Research (now part of the Francis Crick Institute).