After a Degree in Theoretical Physics from the University of Turin, in 2001 Francesca completed a PhD in Biophysics and Applied Mathematics at the Institute of Cancer Research, University of London. After this, Francesca joined the ICR, the Gray Cancer Institute and the MRC Clinical Trials Unit, London, as postdoctoral researcher in imaging and omics projects.
In 2006 Francesca joined the University of Oxford, where she spent the next 16 years and still hold a honorary position: in 2013 she became group leader funded by Cancer Research UK and the UK Medical Research Council, in 2015 she was appointed Associated Professor, in 2016 she established the Computational Biology and Integrative Genomics Lab, and in 2020 she became Full Professor.
Since February 2022 Francesca holds a Full Professorship at the Department of Computing Sciences at Bocconi University in Milan, where she has a research programme on the application of Artificial Intelligence in Life Sciences, and teaches undergraduate and post graduate courses in the Artificial Intelligence and Computing Sciences MSc and BSc courses.
Francesca’s research brings together computing sciences and omics to understand complex disease such as cancer. She has authored over 150 resarch publications, several in high impact journals (Google Scholar, ORCID). In 2018 Francesca has been awarded a European Research Council Award, microC, developing new computational techniques that exploit multi-omics data to decode the interaction and evolution of heterogeneous population of cells in a dynamic microenvironment.
Francesca is also committed to help forming the next generation of biomedical scientists, providing them with the necessary knowledge to tackle the big challenges in biology and medicine. Additionally to her position at Bocconi University, she has been teaching at international Advanced Schools and Universities, including the international MSc course at the University of Tsukuba, Japan, and the Advanced Courses at the Wellcome Genome Campus, University of Cambridge, UK.
Francesca has been serving on several national and international committees, including several funding agencies, and she has been a member of governative evaluation panels, including the UK REF-2021 Biological Science Panel and Interdisciplinary Advisory Panel.