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Lead Program Director Computational Genomics and Data Science

Division of Genome Sciences


Laurea, Mathematics, University of Milan, Italy, 1989

M.S., Statistics, George Washington University, Washington, D.C., 1996


Valentina Di Francesco, M.S., is the Lead Program Director of the Computational Genomics and Data Science Program at NHGRI. She oversees and coordinates a diverse portfolio of bioinformatics and computational biology funding opportunities and awards, that include model organism databases, genome feature analysis tools and pipelines, gene expression, and pathways analysis tools. She is the co-lead of the NHGRI Genomic Data Science Analysis, Visualization, and Informatics Lab-Space (AnVIL) initiative and contributes to several program activities of the NIH Data Commons Pilot project.

Before joining NHGRI, Ms. Di Francesco was a program officer at the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for more than 10 years. She was primarily responsible for the bioinformatics, structural genomics and systems biology programs at NIAID, where she initiated and established initiatives focused on the use of high-throughput "omics" technologies, the development of big-data management and integration tools, and predictive modeling of the behavior of host/pathogen molecular interaction networks.

Ms. Di Francesco received the NHGRI Genome Recognition and Employee Accomplishments and Talents (GREAT) award in 2017, the NIAID Merit Award in 2005 and 2012, and the NIH Director's Award in 2013 and 2017. Prior to NIAID, Ms. Di Francesco was at The Institute for Genomics Research (now the J. Craig Venter Institute) and at Celera Genomics, where she contributed to the development of tools for the computational gene and protein annotation of microbial and mammalian genomes, including the human genome. Prior to that, she was a visiting research fellow at the NIH Center for Information Technology where she was involved in developing statistical methods for protein structure prediction.

Last updated: September 12, 2018