Francesca graduated from Boston University in 2021 with a BA in Philosophy & Neuroscience and a Minor in Psychology. During her undergraduate career, she researched the biological mechanisms underlying Alzheimer’s disease, as well as the interaction of political tribalism and social media. Through her studies, Francesca became particularly interested in the memory reconsolidation process, which she later combined with her longtime fascination with the art of storytelling. This led to the inspiration for her senior year Keystone project, for which she designed and conducted a study on memory, storytelling, and COVID-19; the results of the project can be explored online at viralrecall.org.
Prior to joining the Stress & Development Lab, she worked as a Research Assistant in the Buckner Lab, conducting research in conjunction with multiple projects at the lab. She was primarily involved in a study examining the default network and cerebellar somatomotor maps, and also helped to gather data for a project centered on detecting small-scale brain changes in Alzheimer’s using various MRI scanning techniques. In addition, she has collaborated with the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard on the Nymity project, studying the effects of a pseudonymous, closed-network chat platform called Threads, and exploring its uses in the classroom and beyond.
At the Stress & Development Lab, Francesca is delving further into studying the impacts of stress, as well as possible intervention mechanisms. She hopes to inform her investigations into storytelling and memory from a neuroscientific perspective and is particularly interested in the intersection of the humanities and cognitive neuroscience, for which she plans to attend graduate school in the future. Outside of the lab, you can find Francesca walking her large-size dog, convening with her cats, reading a good book in a cozy café, or moose-watching in Maine.