Simona Francese

Analytical chemist
Simona Francese is a chemist by training who is passionate about forensics.

Why you should listen

Simona Francese is a Professor of Forensic and Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. As she writes: "I have been fascinated by forensics since I was 17, and I was determined to pursue an educational route that eventually would enable me to contribute to secure societies. As always in life, nothing is straightforward. I enrolled in the chemistry course because it was the closest degree at the time that could lead me to where I wanted to be. I ended up doing a PhD and post-doctorate fellowships working with viruses and diseases. But I was always focused on my ultimate objective, and throughout I developed a strong expertise in mass spectrometry, which is an extremely versatile analytical technique. This was crucial.

"When I obtained my first lectureship, I had the freedom to build my own research, and I used mass spectrometry imaging to develop ways to profile individuals from their fingermarks, thus helping police with their investigations. What has the suspect been handling? What is their lifestyle? What did he do prior to or while committing the crime? These are some of the questions that the developed technology can answer, and we are working on providing additional information -- for example, on the pathological or pharmacological state of the individual, just from looking at their fingermark! A fantastic achievement for me, but the best accomplishment was keeping the focus for 14 years and remaining determined to finally be able to do what I have always been so passionate about."

Simona Francese’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Simona Francese

Live from TED2018

Wow. Just wow. Notes from Session 7 of TED2018

April 13, 2018

What we need sometimes is a little awe, a little wonder. This session of TED Talks was designed to provoke an exquisite human emotion: the sense that the world is bigger and stranger than you’d known. Without further ado, wow. A blueprint for how humans and machines can coexist. American researchers are leading AI discoveries, […]

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