13 September 2018

My name is Francesca Tiso, I am Italian and PhD candidate at the laboratory of Hematology, theme Cancer development and immune defense.

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? Can you tell us something about your child years. 

As a kid I was really curious and asking a lot of questions. I wanted to become an elementary teacher because I liked to explain the things that I was learning at school to the other kids. But then I change my mind, but I still do like a lot to explain the things I learn and to present my work.

What was your previous academic training, where did you study and why that study?  

I studied Biotechnologies during my Bachelor’s and also during my Master’s studies. I knew that I wanted to study Genetics applied to human diseases and Biotechnologies ended up to be the best option for me, but I wasn't really aware about all the possibilities this course could give me and I am still really glad for the choice I have made. When I started the University I had clear in my mind that I wanted to take as many opportunities as possible to go abroad and start to explore other countries, not only for the academic purpose but also to expand my network and to broad my horizonts. So, during the university years I moved a lot. I started my Bachelor in Padova, the city where I come from. During the third year I spent six months in Finland, at the University of Helsinki, as an Erasmus student. Then I moved in Trento, in the north of Italy, for my Master and I spent part of the last year in the Netherlands doing an internship at the Utrecht UMC.

The RIMLS motto is: ‘Today’s molecules for tomorrow’s medicine’. What does this mean for you?  

I think that although sometimes research can seem really far from the application that it can have, we have always to think in a translational way. The main aim in what we do should always be the improvement of the patient life and I think every discovery can somehow contribute to that.

Who is your great example as scientists? And please give a motivation why. 

My great example as scientist is Rita Levi Montalcini. I really admire her not only for all the important discoveries she did, but also for her determination. She was from a Jewish family and during the Second World War they survived by living in hidden place and, despite everything, she managed to continue her studies setting up a laboratory first in her bedroom! She really made me think that passion and determination can make the difference.

Which research discovery that you have made has made you most proud?  

My main discovery does not yet exist.. but I have hope for the future years! 

Given unlimited finance what experiment would you perform?

At the moment, If I could have unlimited finance, I would isolate as many single cells as possible, from a large cohort of Acute Myeloid Leukemia patients, to then perform NGS. 

What does your working area (desk, office) look like and what does it say about you (or your research)?  

My desk looks really chaotic! Once in a while I have to clean up everything and put everything in the right order... but it is exactly that the moment in which I cannot find my things anymore!

Nominate a colleague to be in the spotlight and what would you like to ask him or her? 

I would like to nominate Cristian Ruiz. He started his PhD few months ago, like me, but he comes from more far away than me and I would like to ask him if he is already getting use to this “new life” in the Netherlands!

What type of person are you, quick insights:

a) Mac or PC?                                : PC
b) Theater or cinema?                 : Theater
c) Dine out or dine in?                 : Dine in
d) Ferrari or Fiat?                         : Fiat
e) Shopaholic or chocoholic?     : Chocoholic
f) Culture or Nature                     : Nature

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