Former MPSD Guest Scientist appointed in Hamburg

Francesca Calegari becomes leading scientist at DESY and Professor of Hamburg University

August 30, 2016

The Italian physicist Francesca Calegari becomes leading scientist at DESY and Professor at the University of Hamburg. Francesca Calegari, a specialist in the field of femtosecond and attosecond laser spectroscopy, has accepted a joint appointment in the framework of the Helmholtz recruitment initiative. The initiative aims to bring outstanding international researchers to Germany and to strengthen the sustainable linking of Helmholtz Centres with universities.

Francesca Calegari, who worked up to now at the Institute of Photonics and Nanotechnologies IFN-CNR in Milan, Italy, has already reached a high international reputation in her research field. The focus of her current research is the atto- and femtosecond laser spectroscopy of biologically relevant molecules and nanosystems. For this purpose, she also develops experimental methods and detection techniques. Her great interest is the understanding of electronic, atomic and molecular processes at their natural length and time scales. In 2015 she was awarded an ERC starting grant to investigate the role of the electron dynamics in the UV light induced photo-chemical processes of biomolecules, potentially leading to e.g. DNA damage. During a half-year research stay in the group of Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in 2014 and 2015, she had the opportunity to get to know Hamburg.

“Here in Hamburg, I find the ideal combination of light facilities – free-electron lasers and laboratory-based lasers – and scientific areas of research, which can be envisioned to offer unique opportunities for the successful achievement of my research goals,” explains Francesca Calegari. “A new class of ground breaking experiments will be triggered by the interaction with numerous resident research groups, for instance at CFEL, European XFEL, CSSB, MPSD and the Centre for Ultrafast Imaging.“

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