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Sofia Francia

IGM-CNR, Via Abbiategrasso, 207 - 27100 Pavia, Italy

Tel: +39 0382 546325

Fax: +39 0382 422286





  • Degree in Biological Science achieved at the “Università degli studi di Milano”. 110/110 cum laude (2003).
  • AIRC (Italian Association for Cancer Research) scholarship for three years (2007)
  • Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine awarded in the European School of Molecular Medicine (2009)
  • Postdoctoral position in the group of Dr. Fabrizio d’Adda di Fagagna at IFOM-fundation (2010)
  • Postdoctoral collaborator of Genomic Science @ SEMM dell'Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) (2011)
  • EMBO Short-Term Fellowship in Jiri Bartek’s lab, Laboratory of Genome Integrity, Institute of Molecular and Translational Medicine, University of Palacky, Olomouc, Czech Republic (2012)
  • Galeno Prize 2012 for the clinical and experimental research in Italy (2012)
  • Winner of ‘Premio Leonardo-Ugis III’ (2013)
  • Winner of a research fellow from Collegio Ghislieri (2015)
  • Winner of a research grant from Fondazione Cariplo, for the call:‘Ricerca biomedica condotta da giovani Ricercatori’ project entitled: “A novel role for Dicer in breast cancer prevention” (2014)
  • Exam committee member for the course of Molecular Biology of the cell (BIO/11) in the master degree of ‘Biologia Sperimentale ed Applicata’, University of Pavia (2015)
  • Researcher with fix-term contract (2015) 





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Lab members: Ornella Brandi, Stefania Farina, Eugenia Marinelli

Former lab members: Antonio Masone, Marco Roncador,  Matteo Cabrini, Ilaria Capozzo, Claudia D’Urso





  • Oral presentation at EMBO Young Investigator Programme (YIP) workshop on DNA repair and DNA replication at Clare Hall Laboratories, Cancer Research, UK (2011).
  • Oral presentational at EMBO workshop entitled ‘The reciprocal interactions of signaling pathways and non-coding RNA’ in Monte Verità, Ascona, Switzerland (2012).
  • Oral presentation at Cell Symposia ‘Functional RNA’, Sitges, Spagna (2012)
  • Oral presentation at EMBO Conference ‘The DNA damage response in cell physiology and disease’, Cape Sounio, Grecia (2013).
  • Oral presentational at EPIGEN Annual Meeting Rome, Italy. (2014)




Michelini F., Jalihal A.P., Francia S., Meers C., Neeb Z.T., Rossiello F., Gioia U., Aguado J., Jones-Weinert C., Luke B., Biamonti G., Nowacki M., Storici F., Carninci P., Walter N.G,. d'Adda di Fagagna F. (2018) From “Cellular” RNA to “Smart” RNA: Multiple Roles of RNA in Genome Stability and Beyond. Chem. Rev. 118, 8, 4365-4403 DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.7b00487 I.F.: 47.928


Cabrini M., Roncador M., Galbiati A.,  Cipolla L., Iannelli F., Sabbioneda D., d'Adda di Fagagna F. and Francia S.  DROSHA associates to DNA damage sites and is required for DNA repair. doi: BioRxiv


Michelini, F., Pitchiaya, S., Vitelli, V., Sharma, S., Gioia, U., Pessina, F., Cabrini, M., Wang, Y., Capozzo, I., Iannelli, F., Matti V., Francia S., Shivashankar G.V., Walter N.G., d'Adda di Fagagna F. (2017). Damage-induced lncRNAs control the DNA damage response through interaction with DDRNAs at individual double-strand breaks. Nat Cell Biol 19, 1400-1411. 5-year I.F.: 20.594


Pignataro, D., Francia, S., Zanetta, F., Brenna, G., Brandini, S., Olivieri, A., Torroni, A., Biamonti, G., and Montecucco, A. (2017). A missense MT-ND5 mutation in differentiated Parkinson Disease cytoplasmic hybrid induces ROS-dependent DNA Damage Response amplified by DROSHA. Scientific Reports 7, 9528. 5-year I.F.: 4.847


Iannelli, F., Galbiati, A., Capozzo, I., Nguyen, Q., Magnuson, B., Michelini, F., D'Alessandro, G., Cabrini, M., Roncador, M., Francia, S., et al. (2017). A damaged genome's transcriptional landscape through multilayered expression profiling around in situ-mapped DNA double-strand breaks. Nature communications 8, 15656. 5-year I.F.: 12.124


Capozzo, I., Iannelli, F., Francia, S., and d'Adda di Fagagna, F. (2017). Express or repress? The transcriptional dilemma of damaged chromatin. Febs J. I.F.:3.902


Venkata Narayanan, I., Paulsen, M.T., Bedi, K., Berg, N., Ljungman, E.A., Francia, S., Veloso, A., Magnuson, B., di Fagagna, F.D., Wilson, T.E., et al. (2017). Transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of the ionizing radiation response by ATM and p53. Scientific reports 7, 43598.


Francia S.*, Cabrini M., Matti V., Oldani A., d’Adda di Fagagna F.* (2016) DICER, DROSHA and DNA damage-response RNAs are necessary for the secondary recruitment of DNA damage response factors. J Cell Sci. 129(7):1468-76. doi: 10.1242/jcs.182188


Francia S. (2015) Non-Coding RNA: Sequence-Specific Guide for Chromatin Modification and DNA Damage Signaling. Front. Genet. 6:320. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2015.00320.


Francia, S., Michelini, F., Saxena, A., Tang, D., de Hoon, M., Anelli, V., Mione, M., Carninci, P., and d'Adda di Fagagna, F. (2012). Site-specific DICER and DROSHA RNA products control the DNA-damage response. Nature 488, 231-235.


Francia, S., Weiss, R.S., and d'Adda di Fagagna, F. (2007). Need telomere maintenance? Call 911. Cell Div 2, 3.


Francia, S., Weiss, R.S., Hande, M.P., Freire, R., and d'Adda di Fagagna, F. (2006). Telomere and telomerase modulation by the mammalian Rad9/Rad1/Hus1 DNA-damage-checkpoint complex. Current biology : CB 16, 1551-1558.

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