Francesca Sofia en
Interacting with patients and sharing the logics of research towards a cure have always been at the core of my professional track. The challenges encountered in my personal life shaped the vision at the basis of Science Compass: creating scientific enterprises born out of shared needs and goals, and grown thanks to the dedication and talent of people willing to chart new courses.
Founder and chief, Stephana Carelli, Fabio Bicciato, ricerca biomedica, medicina rigenerativa, cura delle malattie neurodegenerative acute,
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Francesca Sofia

Founder and chief

Francesca Sofia

Interacting with patients and sharing the logics of research towards a cure have always been at the core of my professional track.

The challenges encountered in my personal life shaped the vision at the basis of Science Compass: creating scientific enterprises born out of shared needs and goals, and grown thanks to the dedication and talent of people willing to chart new courses.

My fist job in science was at the lab bench. The research field was neuroscience: in particular, I studied the function of the Emx1 gene on brain development. This project led, among other results, to the identification of Emx1 involvement in epilepsy.

During the same years my interests gathered around topics related to economy and management; I wanted to focus on the impact of these branches of knowledge on the scientific enterprise.

 

After getting my PhD in Molecular Biology from the Open University London, I went on to integrate my education with a Master’s degree in International Healthcare Economics, Policy and Management from the Bocconi University in Milan.

It was then that I became fully convinced that science management would be my professional field.

Soon after that, I came upon the opportunity to put my studies to good use when I was recruited as a Research Program Manager in the Scientific Office at the Italian Telethon Foundation.

I worked at the Telethon Foundation for ten years and had the chance to gain long-standing experience in matters pertaining to science evaluation, scenario analyses and management of a research portfolio following up on the mandate by a stakeholders’ community.

Key activities in my professional path were liaising with patients and sharing the knowledge of the processes and logics of therapy-driven research.

 

I could describe my career path as straightforward until the moment it went through a strong, yet crucial, shock when in 2011 my youngest daughter was diagnosed with a form of epilepsy which very soon proved to be drug resistant.

 

My daughter’s disease was a wake-up call infusing my professional life with a new sense of urgency: my work and personal lives melted together gaining strength, drive and humanity.