Allegra Franchino, whose name means the Cheerful, is originally from the lake city of Como, in Northern Italy. She was trained in asymmetric catalysis, particularly using transition metals and bifunctional ligands, both during her BSc and MSc degrees at the University of Milan (Gennari–Pignataro group) and RWTH Aachen, and her doctoral studies at the University of Oxford under the guidance of Prof. Darren Dixon (2013–2017). After the PhD, she took a permanent post in an API TEVA plant near Milan, but soon missed academic research too much. Hence, in September 2018 she joined the Echavarren group at ICIQ, Spain, supported by a 3-year MSCA COFUND fellowship, to learn about gold and H-bond donor catalysis. She then spent a year at ETH Zurich in the Morandi lab, working on iron catalysis, amination and N-heterocycles synthesis.
In September 2022, she declined a MSCA individual fellowship to move to Durham University as Assistant Professor in Organic Chemistry. Her group works on the combination of transition-metal complexes and organocatalysts for the synthesis of enantioenriched added-value products from unsaturated feedstock substrates.