Raffaella Balestrini was born in Torino, Italy. Degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Torino; PhD in Biology and Biotechnology of Fungi discussed in 1996 with a thesis entitled "Cellular and molecular interaction between symbiotic fungi and plants: in situ identification of cell wall components" working on cellular and molecular aspects during the interactions between plants and mycorrhizal fungi. CNR researcher since 1998, she is currently Senior Researcher at IPSP-CNR, Unit manager for the Turin Unit. Research interests are Genomics and Functional Genomics of symbiotic fungi; the involvement of cell wall molecules during plant/mycorrhizal fungi interaction; the LMD application for examining mycorrhizal symbioses, focusing mostly on transcriptomics profiles of homogeneous cell-type populations. Currently, she is involved in a comparative genomics project devoted to Pezizomycetes fungi, including three truffle species (T. melanosporum, T. magnatum and T. aestivum).