Paola graduated in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Milan and subsequently moved to the Sanford-Burnham Institute in La Jolla, California where she worked on differentiation of human embryonic stem cells.
In 2008 she completed her PhD at the EPFL in Lausanne with a work demonstrating the plasticity and stemness of thymic epithelial cells.
In 2010, she obtained an EMBO Long Term Fellowship and moved to the Diabetes Research Centre in Brussels to work on pancreas regeneration. In 2011 Paola was awarded the Young Investigator Award in Innovative Therapy for Diabetes (EFSD/JDRF/Roche) and during her period in Brussels she contributed to several publications focusing on potency of expandable pancreatic progenitors and plasticity of adult cells.
In 2013 Paola was awarded a UCL Rosetrees Excellence Fellowship to pursue her interest in epithelial stem cell biology and regenerative medicine at UCL.
In 2015 she obtained a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for her project on thymus biology and in 2017 she joined the Francis Crick Institute as a group leader.