Simona Francese

Simona Francese

Analytical Chemist


The humble fingerprint lies at the centre of any serious modern crime scene investigation. Fingerprints are highly detailed, unique, difficult to modify and last a lifetime making them an excellent identifier of individuals. And if fingerprints have often helped solve a large number of crimes, this was made possible through fingerprint detection and analysis.

Simona Francese is a Professor of of Bioanalytical and Forensic Mass Spectrometry at Sheffield Hallam University and a globally recognised expert in what we might describe as “CSI science”. She’s been a pioneer in the analysis of latent fingermarks to profile offenders. More recently she has also engaged in the development of methods for the robust detection and mapping of blood in stains and fingermarks .

Leader of the Fingermark Research Group (FRG), her research is partly funded by the Home Office and The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, UK, and actively collaborates with West Yorkshire Police to test the technology at crime scenes. The coverage of her research on BBC Breakfast went viral which led to invitation to address the TED 2018 Conference in Vancouver.


Talk Title: Fingerprints and lasers…your secrets in a touch

Do you ever, during a romantic dinner stop and think “I have left my fingerprints all over my wine glass!!!!” or when you visit friends, are you ever worried about leaving a little piece of you behind on every surface that you touch? If the answer is no, you may want to re-think it, unless, of course, you have nothing to hide!

This talk will take you on a roller coaster journey within the invisible world of fingerprints and their power to reveal your secrets in a touch.