Dr. Francesca Panessa graduated in 2000 in astronomy at the University of Bologna, "Laurea" Degree Summa cum Laude in Astronomy, where she later earned her PhD in Astronomy in 2004.
She worked for a year at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge (UK) within the X-ray Astronomy group. In 2004, she was a visiting scientist at the Harvard Center for Astrophysics (Boston).
Dr. Panessa worked for 3 years at the Instituto de Física de Cantabria, IFCA Spain (CSIC-UC). She studies the extreme phenomena that occur in the vicinity of the enormous black holes located in the center of galaxies. This study has important implications on the most modern physical theories, such as Einstein's theory of relativity.
She currently works at the Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali - IAPS (INAF) in Rome, as a senior researcher within the GRAL group.