Fabiola Gianotti received her Ph.D. in experimental particle physics from the University of Milano in 1989. Since 1994 she has been a research physicist in the Physics Department of CERN and since August 2013 an honorary Professor at the University of Edinburgh. She is also a corresponding member of the Italian Academy of Sciences (Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei) and foreign associate member of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States. Dr Gianotti has worked on several CERN experiments, and been involved in detector R&D, construction, software development and data analysis.
From 2009 to 2013, she held the elected position of project leader (spokesperson) for the ATLAS experiment, and had the task of presenting the results on the search for the Higgs boson in a seminar at CERN on 4 July 2012. Gianotti has authored, or co-authored over 500 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals and given more than 30 invited plenary talks at major international conferences in her field.
She also holds or has held membership of several international committees, including the Scientific Council of the CNRS (France), the Physics Advisory Committee of the Fermilab Laboratory (USA) the Scientific Council of the DESY Laboratory (Germany) and the Scientific Advisory Committee of NIKHEF (Netherlands). She is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon.
Gianotti was awarded the honour of “Cavaliere di Gran Croce dell’ordine al merito della Repubblica” by the Italian President Giorgio Napolitano. She received the Special Fundamental Physics Prize of the Milner Foundation (2012), the Enrico Fermi Prize of the Italian Physical Society (2013) and the Medal of Honour of the Niels Bohr Institute of Copenhagen (2013).
She was included among the “Top 100 most inspirational women” by The Guardian newspaper (UK, 2011), ranked 5th in Time magazine’s Personality of the Year (USA, 2012) and included among the “Top 100 most influential women” by Forbes magazine (USA, 2013).
On 1st January 2016 she became the first female Director-General of CERN.