Francesca Vinchi

New York Blood Center, USA

Dr. Vinchi is Head of the Iron Research Laboratory at the New York Blood Center and Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, New York.

Dr. Vinchi received her Master Degree in Molecular Biotechnology in 2007 at the University of Turin, Italy. She started in the lab as an undergraduate student in 2003 and received a PhD in Biomedical Science and Human Oncology at the Molecular Biotechnology Center, University of Turin, Italy, in 2012. During her PhD, Dr. Vinchi acquired a broad expertise in the field of heme metabolism and heme-mediated oxidative injury. From 2013 to 2017, she performed her postdoctoral studies on iron biology in the Iron Homeostasis Group within the Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit (MMPU) of the University of Heidelberg & European Molecular Biology laboratory (EMBL), Germany, supported by two renown postdoctoral fellowships provided by the Medical Faculty of the University of Heidelberg (Postdoc Program & Olympia Morata Program). Dr. Vinchi joined in 2018 the NYBC, where she is leading the Iron Research Program of the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute (LFKRI), the NYBC research branch.

 

Dr. Vinchi works in the ‘iron field’ since approximately 18 years. Her expertise lies in the field of heme and iron metabolism, with a focus on the mechanisms underlying heme- and iron-driven oxidative stress, vascular dysfunction and inflammation in hemolytic and iron-overload diseases. Her line of research is aimed at elucidating the impact of iron overload on cardiovascular function, immune response and disease severity in iron-related (e.g. hemochromatosis) and hematologic diseases (e.g. sickle cell disease, thalassemia, MDS). Her lab is specifically interested in defining the beneficial/detrimental effects of transfusions and iron preparations in anemias. The main scientific aims of the Iron Program at the NYBC are to study the pathophysiological relevance of heme/iron detoxification systems and to explore the therapeutic benefit of the administration of heme scavengers, iron chelators and modulators of iron metabolism in iron overload conditions, with the major goal to improve transfusion practice and minimize the risk of developing iron-related toxicities. Along the years, Dr.Vinchi established collaborations with multiple Pharma companies to exploit her translational research program.

 

Dr. Vinchi is authored several high impact publications, elucidating the detrimental effect of heme/iron overload and the importance of detoxification systems (Vinchi et al., Am. J. Pathol. 2008; Circulation 2013; Gastroenterology 2014; Blood 2016; Eur Heart J 2019). She currently serves as scientific editor of the official journal of the EHA (European Hematology Association), Hemasphere and associate editor of Frontiers in Oncology. She is member of the European and American societies of hematology (EHA, ASH), BioIron Society and CIHD and serves in the Heme and Iron Committee of ASH since 2020.

Dr. Vinchi was awarded the Tito Bastianello Young Investigator Award in 2019 by the International MDS Symposium, and the Gunshin Levy Prize by the International BioIron Society in 2015, for her dedication, commitment and contribution to the field area of iron homeostasis as a young researcher. She was recently nominated Woman in Hematology 2019 by the EHA and awarded the Early-Career Scientific Research Grant from the National Blood Foundation (2019) and a Pilot & Feasibility Project at CIHD by NIDDK (2020). Currently, her laboratory is part of a vast NIH-funded program focused on sickle cell disease and transfusion medicine. Her expertise in the field of hematology and transfusion is testified by major lectures she has been invited in international conferences, including a plenary lecture at the Presidential Symposium of the EHA Congress 2018 and recent lecture at the ASH meeting 2020.