Women in Science Day 2024


HHT foundation Onilde Carini in Italy held an interview recently with Dr Francesca Catalano in recognition of International Day of Women in Science.

“International Day of Women and Girls in Science is celebrated annually on February 11 and is an opportunity to promote full and equal access and participation in science for women and girls. Gender equality is a global priority for UNESCO and support for girls, their education and their full ability to make their ideas heard are levers for development and peace.

It is a real pleasure for our Foundation to celebrate the World Day of Women in Science with a special interview with Dr. Francesca Catalano , Pharmacist Manager at the ASST-Crema Major Hospital, who collaborates closely with the colleagues of the Center for HHT of the National Network of Rare Diseases of Crema regarding the therapeutic plans and drugs necessary for HHT patients.”


Question 1: Where did your interest in science start?
Because I believe that science is the engine for the progress of humanity.

Question 2: What made you interested in HHT?
The interest in providing patients with useful tools to orient themselves in the world of rare diseases. The approach to rare diseases, in fact, finds an important obstacle to its diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities. A part of my work, as a hospital pharmacist, is aimed at the management of rare diseases in terms of PDTA (Diagnostic Therapeutic Path); in fact, it is essential to direct patients in their care path, and my figure acts as an intermediary between clinicians and patients.

Question 3: How does your work affect the lives of HHT patients?
My contribution is aimed at the need to provide patients with tools to learn about the most innovative pharmaceutical and pharmacological possibilities. HHT is a very diverse disease that manifests clinically irrelevant situations and situations of extreme gravity; I believe it is very useful to provide the patient with a range of possibilities, of therapeutic remedies that, shared with clinicians, can be of reference in various situations.

Question 4: What difficulties does a woman engaged in scientific activity face?
Despite the progress, women still struggle to emerge, especially in the higher positions. The numbers, in fact, make the debate on female participation in science and society still sadly current. These numbers, compared to the participation of the “male world” in the scientific world, do not allow us to divert attention to the desirable and indispensable gender equality to make these discussions only legacies of the past.

Question 5: What message would you like to give to girls interested in becoming scientists?
Never think of being inferior to anyone. What matters is that you believe in yourself and go forward, always, because this is the only way to reach the goal. However, it is important to maintain the way of being women: ambitious, because ambition is not a bad thing in research, on the contrary it is an added value and a necessity.

The Italian HHT Foundation “Onilde Carini” warmly thanks Dr. Francesca Catalano for her dedication to the problems of HHT patients and for her availability to various information and dissemination initiatives of the Association.


Dr. Andrea Giacomelli
President of
the Italian Foundation HHT “Onilde Carini”