This year, the Maria Teresa Messori-Roncaglia ed Eugenio Mari award by Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, will be awarded to Francesca Demichelis, full professor of the CIBIO Department, "for her major contribution in the field of computational oncology and her molecular studies on prostate cancer".
Professor Demichelis will receive the award today, Friday 25 September, at the end of the closing ceremony of the Academic Year 2019-2020 which, because of the Covid-19 health emergency, will take place online and be streamed on the website of Accademia dei Lincei.
Professor Demichelis, who graduated in physics and earned her PhD in computer science from the University of Trento, conducted research in biomedicine in the United States, where she developed novel computational methods in collaboration with prestigious clinical and academic institutions, including the Harvard Medical School in Boston and Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, where she was Assistant Professor in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.
On her return to Italy in 2011, she continued her research work at the University of Trento, where she currently is head of the Laboratory of Computational and Functional Oncology at the Department of Cellular, computational and integrative biology - Cibio.
The goal of her studies is to identify new diagnostic and prognostic tumor markers by identifying the molecular determinants of prostate cancer and their treatment resistance mechanisms. In recent years, she has also been working on an approach to identify new treatment targets, and explored the growth of tumors based on the comparison of tissue biopsies and peripheral blood analysis in cancer patients.
Her papers have been published in important scientific magazines (Science, Nature, PNAS) and in the most prominent oncology journals (Cancer Cell, Nature Cancer, Cancer Research). In her career she received funding from national and international organizations, including the European Research Council Consolidator Grant (2015-2020) and the Accelerator Award 2018 Cancer Research UK (2018-2023).