Francesca Pasinelli is General Manager of Fondazione Telethon, a major Italian biomedical charity in the field of rare genetic diseases; she was appointed in 2009. After earning a University degree in Pharmacology in 1986, she moved first into clinical research and subsequently held various managerial positions at multinational pharmaceutical companies (SmithKline Beecham S.p.A.; Schering Plough S.p.A). In 1997 she moved to the non-profit sector with the appointment of Chief Scientific Officer at Fondazione Telethon. In this capacity she set up a process to guide funding decisions and advance the research pipeline towards the achievement of viable solutions for the patients’ community. In 2007 Francesca Pasinelli was awarded with the title of “Commendatore al Merito della Repubblica Italiana”, a major honour for professional achievements towards the public interest, bestowed by the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano.