Chairman of the Board of Directors @ Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH)
Nektarios Tavernarakis is the Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH), Research Director at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB), and Professor of Molecular Systems Biology at the Medical School of the University of Crete, in Heraklion, Greece. He is the Director of the Graduate Program on BioInformatics at the Medical School of the University of Crete, and is also heading the Neurogenetics and Ageing laboratory of IMBB. He is an elected member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council (ERC), the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, and Academia Europaea. He has also served as the Director of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. 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 research 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. For his scientific accomplishments, he has received several notable scientific prizes, including two ERC Advanced Investigator Grants (in 2009 and 2016), and an innovation-supporting ERC Proof of Concept Grant. He is one of the first in Europe, and until now the only one in Greece, to have been awarded this highly competitive and prestigious grant twice. He is also the recipient of the EMBO Young Investigator award, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel research award, the Bodossaki Foundation Scientific Prize for Medicine and Biology, the Empeirikeion Foundation Academic Excellence Prize, the Research Excellence award of the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas, the BioMedical Research Award of the Academy of Athens, the Galien Scientific Research Award, the Helmholtz International Fellow 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. In less than 15 years of independent research in Crete, his lab has published 161 peer-reviewed papers, with many in top-tier, cross-discipline journals. Through innovative studies, the group has progressed significantly beyond the current state-of-the-art, opening new vistas at the forefront of modern research in the fields of ageing, cell death and learning/memory.