Silvia Francheschi

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)

Dr Silvia Franceschi was born in Milan, Italy, where she was trained as an MD (University of Milan, 1979) and gynaecologist (1983). Since medical school, she has been interested in epidemiology and statistics, and obtained a Post-graduate Diploma in Medical Statistics (University of Pavia, 1988).

Between 1981 and 1983, she was Research Fellow at the Division of Epidemiology of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, Oxford, UK, where, under the supervision of Sir Richard Doll, she obtained a Master Degree in Epidemiology.

Her M.Sc. thesis, in 1983, was one of the earliest studies of the role of papillomavirus in the aetiology of cervical cancer. Back in Italy she developed, firstly in Milan, at the “Mario Negri” Institute for Pharmacological Research, and later at the Aviano Cancer Center, a network of epidemiological studies that included numerous cancer sites (breast, colon, ovary, upper aero-digestive tract, HIV-associated malignancies).

After having directed the Epidemiology Unit of the Aviano Cancer Center from 1984-2000, in 2000 she became Head of the Infections and Cancer Epidemiology Group at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Lyon, France. In the context of IARC, she has chiefly led studies on the relationship between infectious agents and cancer, most notably human papillomavirus, HIV and hepatitis C virus. Her studies involve broad international collaborations, mainly with Asia and Africa. Over the years, she has closely collaborated with several research centers in the United States (National Cancer Institute), the United Kingdom (Oxford), especially in respect to meta-analyses and pooled analyses. She is the author or co-author of over 1200 publications in peer-reviewed journals. Since November 2012, she has been Special Advisor to the IARC Director for the collaboration with World Health Organization and other United Nation Agencies.