The founder of the scientific research laboratory at the Art Institute of Chicago, Francesca currently holds the position of vice president and Grainger Executive Director, Conservation and Science. She is also the founding member and co-director of the Northwestern University / Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts (NU-ACCESS).
Francesca is passionate about communicating the work of conservators and scientists to the public, students, and the media. In both her academic and museum work, she is particularly proud of training women scientists for careers in museums, industry, and academia. In 2006 she was the recipient of the L’Oréal Art and Science of Color Silver Prize.
Francesca received her PhD and MS degrees in chemistry from the University of Milan, Italy, and in 2019 was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Sorbonne University in Paris.