Francesca graduated with a Chemistry degree (with 110/110 cum laude) from University of Florence in Italy in December 2000. She received her doctoral degree in Chemical Science in 2004 from the University of Florence, where she studied the self-assembling behavior of nucleoside-lipids. These assemblies succeeded to form stable complexes (nucleolipoplexes) with nucleic acids through molecular recognition interactions with potentially important impact both in a biomedical field (gene therapy) and in supramolecular chemistry. After that, she was awarded a Postdoctoral fellowship from University of Florence in the group of Prof. Piero Baglioni and worked within a FP6 European project (AMNA) aimed to develop nanoscale-functionalized surfaces based on a digitally addressable DNA molecular grid. During this postdoctoral period she has worked for a year at the Department of Chemistry and Bioscience at Chalmers University, Gothenburg, Sweden with Prof. Bengt Norden. In February 2009 she joined the Centre for BioNano Interactions in UCD in Dublin as a Postdoctoral Fellow where her research aimed to develop new methodologies for studying the interactions between nanomaterials and environment proteins in biological fluids. In March 2011 Francesca joined UEA as Lecturer in Colloid Science and Nanotechnology. Since May 2013 she works also as Group Leader at the Fondazione Centro Europeo of Nanomedicina (CEN http://nanomedicen.eu/) in Milan. Francesca’s main research interests are in the use of nanotechnology in medical applications. Her research aims to shed light on the interactions between nanomaterials and living matter to improve their performance both as diagnostic and therapeutic tools and to evaluate their possible toxicity and long-term undesirable effects on humans and environments.
Francesca resigned from UEA on 2nd Jan 2015 and joined the DNA-TRAP project as a member of the external advisory board from that date.