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  03-06-2009: INFN RESEARCHER NAMED DIRECTOR OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST UNDERGROUND LABORATORY FOR ASTROPARTICLE PHYSICS 
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Copyright 2002 INFN The use of photos is free of charge. Please request authorisation from the INFN Communication Office


Lucia Votano has been appointed by the Board of Directors of the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN, Italy’s National Institute of Nuclear Physics) as the Director of the National Laboratory in Gran Sasso, the world’s largest underground laboratory for astroparticle physics. This is the first time that a woman has been named as Director of one of INFN’s four large national laboratories.

The physicist Lucia Votano is the first woman to be named as Director of the National Laboratory in Gran Sasso of Italy’s National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN). The appointment was made by INFN’s Board of Directors, following the proposal of the Council. Doctor Votano will take office in September, when the second and last term of the current Director, Professor Eugenio Coccia, expires.

The laboratory in Gran Sasso, which is located over 1,000 metres under the Gran Sasso mountain in Italy’s Abruzzo Region, is the world’s largest underground laboratory for astroparticle physics. The laboratory carries out research of great international importance, such as the project CNGS (CERN Neutrinos to Gran Sasso), in which neutrinos are “hurled” from CERN in Geneva and received – after having travelled approximately 700 kilometres underground – by the project OPERA (Oscillation Project with Emulsion-tRacking Apparatus), of which Lucia Votano was the Board Chairperson, and in the near future by the project ICARUS (Imaging Cosmic and Rare Underground Signal Experiment), developed by the Nobel Prize recipient Carlo Rubbia.

Lucia Votano was born in 1947 in the town of Villa San Giovanni. In 1971 she received her degree in Physics from “La Sapienza” University in Rome and in 1976 began her career at the INFN laboratories in Frascati. She has collaborated on important research projects at CERN and at the DESY laboratory in Hamburg, Germany. In 1988, Doctor Votano was promoted to Senior Researcher and in 2000 she became a Research Director. She is currently a member of the Peer Review Committee of ApPEC (Astroparticle Physics European Coordination) and of the Roadmap Committee of ASPERA (Astro Particle ERAnet), which last September produced a report (“roadmap”) on the future of astroparticle research in Europe.

For additional information, contact:

Lucia Votano
Tel. 0694032794
e-mail: lucia.votano@lnf.infn.it

Romeo Bassoli
capo ufficio stampa INFN
tel: 066868162
cell: 3286666766
e-mail: romeo.bassoli@presid.infn.it

Roberta Antolini
Ufficio comunicazione Laboratori Gran Sasso
Tel 0862 437216
antolini@lngs.infn.it


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