Rita Francisco joined EURORDIS in February 2022 as Patient Engagement Junior Manager for the Healthcare – ERN. Her mission is to help foster sustainable patient engagement at the European Reference Networks (ERNs). She is based in Barcelona.
Rita has a background in research, holding a BSc in Genetics and Biotechnology, an MSc in Molecular Genetics and a PhD in Biology. During her PhD, she strived to develop and implement a people-centric framework to drive biological and clinical research on a family of rare diseases known as Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation (CDG). Prior to joining EURORDIS, she was also a CDG Community International Liaison and patient representative at the international patient-led network CDG & Allies and at the Portuguese Association for CDG (APCDG).
Additionally, Rita served as an ePAG representative at the ERN dedicated to rare and hereditary metabolic diseases (MetabERN). She is also a European Patient Academy on Therapeutic Innovation (EUPATI) fellow.
Last but not least, Rita’s connection with rare diseases is also very personal as she has a cousin living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).
Rita speaks Portuguese, English and some Spanish.