Nektarios Tavernarakis is Professor of Molecular Systems Biology at the Medical School of the University of Crete, in Heraklion, Greece. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH), and Research Director at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB) of FORTH, where he is heading the Neurogenetics and Ageing laboratory. He is the Founder and first Director of the Graduate Program on BioInformatics at the University of Crete. He is Chairman of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Governing Board, and has served as Vice President of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council (ERC), and Director of IMBB. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina), the European Academy of Sciences and Arts (EASA), Academia Europaea. and the Academy of Athens. He earned his Ph.D. degree at the University of Crete, and trained as a postdoctoral researcher at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA. His work focuses on the molecular mechanisms of necrotic cell death and neurodegeneration, the interplay between cellular metabolism and ageing, the mechanisms of sensory transduction and integration by the nervous system, and the development of novel genetic tools for biomedical research. He has published numerous scientific papers in top-tier, cross-discipline, international scientific journals, in addition to invited book chapters, and other publications, including editorials, commentaries, and science-popularizing articles. His research has been commended internationally, and is supported by highly competitive funding from the European Union, international organizations and the Greek Government. For his scientific accomplishments, he has received several notable scientific prizes, including two ERC Advanced Investigator Grants, and an innovation-supporting ERC Proof of Concept Grant. He is one of the first in Europe, and the first in Greece, to have been awarded 3 such highly competitive and prestigious ERC grants. He is also the recipient of the EMBO Young Investigator award, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel research award, the Helmholtz International Fellow Award, the Galien Scientific Research Award, the BioMedical Research Award of the Academy of Athens, the Bodossaki Foundation Scientific Prize for Medicine and Biology, the Empeirikeion Foundation Academic Excellence Prize, the FORTH Research Excellence award, the International Human Frontier in Science Program Organization (HFSPO) long term Postdoctoral Fellowship, the Honorary Education Business Award, and the Dr. Frederick Valergakis Post-Graduate Research Grant Program Academic Achievement Award of the Hellenic University Club of New York.
Professor of Molecular Systems Biology
University of Crete