Paola Scaffidi obtained her PhD from the Open University of London, working at San Raffaele Institute in Milan, Italy.
Her PhD work in Marco Bianchi’s group led to the identification of the chromatin protein HMGB1 as a major danger signal released by damaged cells, which triggers inflammatory responses.
She then moved to the US National Cancer Institute to work in Tom Misteli's laboratory. Her postdoctoral studies focused on the premature ageing disease Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome and aimed at elucidating how nuclear architecture affects genome function and how it contributes to the ageing process.
As a staff scientist, she initiated a new area of investigation focused on understanding how cellular reprogramming affects the initiation and maintenance of solid tumours.
In 2014, she established her own lab at the CRUK London Research Institute, which then became part of the Francis Crick Institute.
The Cancer Epigenetics lab investigates epigenetic mechanisms important for cancer development, with a particular focus on chromatin-based processes.