Silvia Balbo got her M.S. and Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Torino (Italy) in 2006, doing part of her doctoral thesis work at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium). She then joined IARC in Lyon (France) as a post-doctoral fellow under the supervision of Dr Paolo Boffetta. In 2008, Silvia moved to Minneapolis (MN) to join as a post-doctoral fellow the lab of Dr Stephen Hecht. Silvia is now an Assistant Professor of the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota. She is part of the Division of Environmental Health Science and member of the Masonic Cancer Center. Her work focuses on studying mechanisms of chemical carcinogenesis, in particular those related to alcohol and tobacco exposures. She is developing accurate methods to quantify the genotoxic effects deriving from these exposures and to measure the corresponding DNA damage. She is drawing upon her expertise in organic synthesis, analytical chemistry, cell culture and molecular epidemiology to develop integrated approaches aiming at characterizing DNA damage samples collected in clinical trials and molecular epidemiology studies.