Dr. Alexis M. Kalergis is a Full Professor at the Schools of Biological Sciences and Medicine, P. Universidad Católica de Chile. He also acted as Visiting Faculty at The Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, The University of Nantes in France and the University of Iowa, where he held a Helen C. Levitt Visiting Professorship. He is a Biochemistry graduate from P. Universidad Católica of Chile and obtained his MSc and PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. His work was awarded the Julius Marmur Award for the best graduate thesis. He was a postdoctoral trainee at the Albert Einstein and The Rockefeller University, supported by a Helen Hay Whitney Fellowship. He has trained hundreds of students, lectured as an invited speaker in 350 national and international conferences, published over 310 articles in leading journals and over 60 patent applications. He is a member of the American Society of Immunology, the American Society of Microbiology, and the Chilean Societies for Biology, Cell Biology, Biochemistry-Molecular Biology and Immunology. He was given in 2004 the national award to the most outstanding young scientist by the Biology Society of Chile and selected as one of the fifty Chilean young leaders in 2005. In 2006 he was included as a member of the Frontiers of Science program belonging to the Chilean Academy of Sciences. He has been awarded several important national and international research grants. He has been Director of the Millennium Nucleus and Institute on Immunology and Immunotherapy (2006-2031), which was appointed as a Center of Excellence by the Federation of Clinical of Immunology Societies and he as a member of the Board of Directors of this very prestigious organization. Furthermore, Dr. Kalergis coordinated of a Consortium Grant on Biomedicine and as part of this project, with his colleagues with work on the technological transfer of basic biomedical knowledge (bench) to concrete applications consisting of new therapy tools for diseases that are prevalent in the Chilean population. He was appointed as a member of the Presidential Science Committee and the Senate Committee for Science (Challenges for the future). Further, he was nominated as Scientific Liaison ICGEB, Director of the Biotechnology Committee at CONICYT and subsequently member of the Council of Scientific Advisors of the ICGEB (a United Nations Organization). Dr. Kalergis was awarded the Gold Medal by the World Intellectual Property Organization, the National Innovation Award, the Merit Award, Abdon Cifuentes Award, the Innovation Career Path Award and the Image of Chile Award. He was incorporated to the Chilean Academy of Sciences and is a member of the Presidential Science Advisory Council. During the pandemic, his laboratory generated a vaccine prototype for a COVID19 vaccine, and he coordinated and directed the execution of phase 3 clinical trials for an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine that was subsequently used for mass vaccination in Chile.
Mike is a highly experienced biotech industry executive who has joined Imperial College as Associate Dean for Enterprise in the Faculty of Medicine to help raise the game in biomedical translation. He has deep experience in all aspects of building and running bioscience enterprises in a wide range of platforms and therapeutics, gained over 35 years in pharma and biotech.
Mike co-founded and led three biotech companies: Microbiotica, a microbiome precision medicine spinout of the Wellcome Sanger Institute developing novel therapeutics in immuno-oncology and IBD for which he raised $67m in 2022; Crescendo Biologics, an antibody fragment platform company spun out of the Cambridge Babraham Institute with a clinical pipeline in oncology and inflammation; and NK:IO, a NK cell immunotherapy company spun out of Imperial College. Prior to that he held major international roles in GSK R&D over 10 years, where he led divisions which helped shape the company's platforms and pipelines across multiple therapeutic areas and modalities.
Mike is a Trustee of the biomedical charity LifeArc and member of the Crick Institute Translational Advisory Group. Previously he was a Trustee of the UK's BioIndustry Association, Venture Partner for UKI2S fund, and panel member on the MRC's Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme for translational academic research.
Nikos Stergiopulos received his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, in 1985 and his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Iowa State University, USA, in 1990. Nikos Stergiopulos also holds a degree in Management of Technology from IMD. He is currently Full Professor and Director of the Laboratory of Hemodynamics and Cardiovascular Technology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland. His main research interests are Hemodynamics, Cardiovascular Mechanics and Medical Implant Technology. He has authored more than 230 peer review papers and holds more than 20 patents in medical technology. His most notable and widely recognized research contributions are in the modeling and understanding of wave propagation in the arterial system and the analysis of ventricular-arterial coupling. In the last decade, his research focused on the noninvasive estimation of central hemodynamical quantities of major clinical interest (central pressure, cardiac output, and cardiac contractility) from easily accessible peripheral measurements, which became extremely important with the development of wearable devices. In parallel to his academic work, Nikos was actively involved in the development of medical technology. In 1998 he co-founded EndoArt SA, a medical device startup company, world leader in telemetrically powered and controlled medical implants for the treatment of congenital heart disease and morbid obesity. He is currently the founder and managing director of Rheon Medical SA, developer of an adjustable drainage device for the surgical treatment of glaucoma. He is also founder and CSO of Comphya SA, a medtech startup developing an implantable electrostimulation device for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
Christian Duchow has been the Director of The Materia Company Ltd. since 2016 and also founded and currently directs The Bio Arte Limited, established in 2019. As an entrepreneur with a strong background in the pharmaceutical industry, he has founded multiple healthcare companies, making him a leading expert in this field on a global scale. With a well-established business network, Christian excels in identifying and sourcing international business opportunities, bringing together the right associates and implementing strategic plans to achieve successful outcomes. Christian's leadership style centers around the value of people. He is skilled at creating effective teams and nurturing the development of key individuals within them to drive the achievement of business goals. Prior to his current roles, Christian held management positions in multiple pharmaceutical companies across Germany, Switzerland, and Belgium. In 2002, he founded the PharOS Group, which has offices in Greece, Cyprus, and Malta. Additionally, in 2003, he co-founded the PharmSol Group in the United Arab Emirates, with offices in Germany, Malta, India, and China.
Lysimachos is a Wellcome Trust Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Edinburgh, where he is currently leading an embedded innovation accelerator and ecosystem-building programme. The programme focusses on the development of research ideas to real-world solutions for human health and wellbeing. It has delivered a diverse output, ranging from revenue generating licences and spin-outs, to open innovation and successful health interventions piloted in large organisations like the Scottish Government.
Lysimachos has founded two start-ups in the neurodegeneration and digital therapeutics spaces, as well as provided services as a consultant. He is driven by the potential of technologies to scale and transform human lives, and although currently focusing on the very pragmatic challenges that this process entails, Lysimachos also holds a PhD in computational neurobiology, and is still a science enthusiast at heart.
Dr. Angelos M. Stergiou is the founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of SELLAS Life Sciences Group, Inc. Prior to founding SELLAS in 2012, Dr. Stergiou co-founded Genesis Life Sciences, Ltd. (now Genesis Research), a boutique health economics and pricing-reimbursement and health access company, where he served as President and Chief Operating Officer from 2009 to 2011. From 2002 to 2009, Dr. Stergiou held international positions of increasing responsibility in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including PAION AG, Accentia Biopharmaceuticals, BioVest International, Analytica International and Anavex Life Sciences. During this time, Dr. Stergiou held roles ranging from Head of Clinical Research and Vice President of Product Development, Chief Medical Officer, and Chief Operations Officer with responsibility for medical affairs, clinical research and development, pharmacovigilance, clinical operations, project management, regulatory affairs, biostatistics and chemistry, manufacturing and controls (CMC).
Dr. Stergiou has led and overseen research endeavors in all phases of clinical development across many indications, including CNS, cardiovascular, oncology, respiratory and autoimmune diseases, and has a broad understanding of all aspects of clinical development and medical affairs. He has designed and implemented research projects in the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, and Europe.
Dr. Stergiou was a member of the joint steering and oversight committee of PAION AG with Forest Laboratories, Inc. He also led the Phase 3 development of a therapeutic cancer vaccine, BiovaxID, into completion which was presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology plenary session in 2009 and holds a patent on the technology.
Dr. Stergiou holds a Doctor of Medicine from the U.S. American Institute of Medicine and a Doctor of Science (honoris causa) degree from Kentucky Wesleyan College and received his Bachelor of Sciences degree from Kentucky Wesleyan College with a major in Pre-Medicine, Biology and Chemistry.
Dr. Stergiou is a member of the Board of Trustees at Kentucky Wesleyan College, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (UK – ID:00707077), an active member of the World Medical Association, a member of the American Academy of Physicians in Clinical Research, a member of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals, and a member of the New York Academy of Sciences.
Startups’ Growth Strategy Consultant and Business Angel.
Maria Hala is a senior strategist consultant and an angel investor. She has been concentrated on the expansion of the Greek technologically innovative startups’ ecosystem and on the establishment of the local angel investment community. Maria is mainly focused in sectors’ that deal with wellbeing, such as healthtech, medtech, biotech, foodtech and agritech, while she supports startups ventures at seed and early stage that aim to become “investmentready”. Maria has participated as an expert speaker to numerous entrepreneurial conferences. She is also an active member of important entrepreneurial associations, such as: European Business Angels Network (EBAN), EBAN Health Committee, Sophia Business Angels (a high-tech angel group in South France) and MIT Enterprise Forum Greece. Furthermore, she is the Head of Female Founders’ Startups Cluster, of ICC Women Hellas, since 2019. Maria is a Certified Fund Manager by the Hellenic Capital Market Commission. She holds a BSc in Marketing, from University of LaVerne, California, an MSc in Business Finance, from Brunel University, London, and an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, from Imperial College London Business School.
Before beginning her vocational, Dr. Persaud cultivated her formal education. After earning a Bachelor of Arts in sociology at StonyBrook University in 2007, she subsequently attended the American University of Antigua and achieved an MD In 2013.In addition to her academic credentials, Dr. Persaud is a certified research coordinator, having been recognized by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals. Bolstered by nearly a decade of professional experience, Dr. Sariah Ramoutar Persaud is a rising expert in the health care industry. Since 2021, she has operated as the executive director of clinical operations and research at Applied Therapeutics in New York.
Manos Koutalas joined Janssen-Cilag Greece in 2006, initially as Medical Advisor Infectious Diseases-HIV and from 2008 as Medical Affairs Manager, initially in the therapeutic categories of Oncology and Hematology and later in Neurosciences, Immunology, Hepatitis C, HIV. From November 2015 to October 2018, was the Medical Director of Janssen of the Johnson & Johnson group, for Greece, Cyprus and Malta and from November 2018 Commercial Director. Since March 2020, he is in the role of Medical affairs director and Extended Greek Leadership team Leader. He holds a medical degree from the University of Athens, a specialization in Internal Medicine and a second specialization in Infectious Diseases.
Dr. Georgios Papazisis is Professor of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology at the Department of Clinical Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. He is the Medical Director of the Clinical Research Unit of the Special Unit for Biomedical Research and Education BRESU
at the Papageorgiou Hospital in Thessaloniki.
He is a specialized Psychiatrist and has also obtained the Greek Medical board certification of the medical sub-specialty of Clinical Pharmacology. He is also the president of the committee of the Central Board of Health (ΚΕΣΥ) for the medical sub-specialty of Clinical Pharmacology.
Since 2019 he serves as the Vice-President of the Committee for Bioethics and Ethics of the School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He is also actively involved in UEMS (Union Européenne des Médecins Spécialistes) being member of: i. the newly established Federation for Medical Ethics, ii. the thematic Federation for Equality, Diversity & Inclusivity and iii. Greek delegate of the UEMS section of Pharmacology.
Dr. Papazisis is the administrator for the Aristotle University Organization of the NIH US National Library of Medicine clinical trial registry ClinicalTrials.gov. He is member of the Greek National Organization for Medicines (ΕΟΦ) Second Degree Scientific Advisory Board, member of the 'Evidence Based Psychiatry' section of the World Psychiatric Association and serves as an external expert for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the Greek National Health Technology Assessment Committee (HTA). He was member of the national committee for Illicit Drugs, the national Health Technology Assessment Committee and national representative observer of the EMA Central Nervous System Working Party.
In 2018 he completed the pharmacovigilance training course at the Uppsala Monitoring Centre, the WHO collaborating Centre for international drug monitoring. Clinical trials, pharmacovigilance (psychotropic drug safety, vaccine safety and patients safety), neuropsychopharmacology and pharmacoepidemiology are his fields of interest. He is the pharmacovigilance referent person for the Greek National Hub in the conect4children
(c4c) project and principal investigator of several international projects and clinical trials conducted in Greece. He has published >90 PubMed papers and his work has over 2500 citations with an h-index of 28 (ORCID
Dr Efstathios Gonos graduated from the Department of Pharmacy, University of Athens, Greece, obtained his Ph.D. at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Glasgow, Britain and a Docent in Biomedicine at the Orebro University, Medical School, Sweden. He worked at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research/University College in London, Britain and at the National Hellenic Research Foundation/ICB (Director of Research from 2002 to 2021). Since 2021 is the General Director of the Hellenic Pasteur Institute. His research focuses on the genetic and environmental factors that are linked to human aging and longevity. He has published more than 150 research articles, is author of 14 monographs and patents holder that have resulted in the development of novel anti-aging products. Dr. Gonos has been a ''Senior expert'' of E.U. in ''Human development and the aging process'' and Deputy National Representative of Greece in E.U. in ''Genomics and Biotechnology for Health''. He is past member of the Executive Committee of International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB), the Advanced Course Committee of Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS) and the Board of Directors of the ''Society of Free Radicals Research-Europe''. He is Editor-in-Chief of “Mechanisms of Ageing & Development” (IF 5.5) and “IUBMB Life” (IF 4.7) and Editorial Board member of “Experimental Gerontology”, “Free Radicals Research”, “Redox Biology”, “Ageing Research Reviews”, “Gerontology”, “Antioxidants”, “Free Radicals in Biology & Medicine”, “Aging Cell” (-2007), “Biogerontology” (-2009) and “Molecular Aspects of Medicine” (-2016).
Ioanna I. Koukli has more than 30 years of experience in health innovation. Through a career track of over a decade in the Pharmaceutical Industry reaching the position of R&D Manager, Dr. Koukli establishes Pharmassist Ltd in 1999, a leading Contract Research Organization in Greece.
She has always been active in the Pharmaceutical Science Industry serving in many policy-making committees advocating for health innovation and has developed extensive expertise and “know-how” on developing new health technologies, the promotion of translational research and accessing new markets on a global scale.
In 2014, on her own personal initiative, the Research and Development department of Pharmassist is created, and in collaboration with the Analysis of Circulating Tumor Cells Laboratory (ACTC Lab) of the Department of Chemistry of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, the company launches into the development and commercialization of CE in-vitro diagnostic products in the field of oncology, in privately-owned state-of-the-art laboratories.
Since November 2019, and for a second consecutive term, Dr. Koukli has been Presiding the Hellenic BioCluster. She has also been an elected member of the Administrative Board of the Hellenic Society of Pharmaceutical Medicine (ELEFI) for two consecutive terms. In 2011 she was invited to the United States under the auspices of the Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program, as a representative of Greek female entrepreneurship.
Dr. Koukli holds a BSc and a PhD in Chemistry, both awarded by the Department of Chemistry at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
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, and Research Director at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, where he is heading the Neurogenetics and Ageing laboratory. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina), the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, Academia Europaea, and the Academy of Athens. 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). He earned his PhD 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 received several notable scientific prizes and awards, including two ERC Advanced Investigator Grants, and an innovation-supporting ERC Proof of Concept Grant. 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 BioMedical Research Award of the Academy of Athens, the Galien Scientific Research Award, and the Helmholtz International Fellow Award.
Georgios Skretas received his Bachelor's degree from the School of Chemical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens (Greece) in 1998 and his PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering from Princeton University (USA) in 2006. He then worked as a post-doctoral research associate at the Institute of Cell and Molecular Biology of the University of Texas at Austin (USA) (2006-2009). In 2010, he received a Marie Curie International Reintegration Fellowship to return to Greece and establish his independent research group in his home country. During 2010-2022 he served as Head of the Laboratory of Enzyme and Synthetic Biotechnology and the Institute of Chemical Biology of the National Hellenic Research Foundation (Greece). Since 2022, he is the Director of the Institute for Bio-innovation at the Biomedical Sciences Research Center “Alexander Fleming” (BSRC Fleming). Georgios Skretas has been awarded a Consolidator Grant by the European Research Council (ERC) (2019-2024) and a grant by the European Commission to establish an ERA Chair in Biomolecular Engineering and Synthetic Biology at BSRC Fleming (2023-2027). He has published the results of his research in high-impact journals, such as Nature Biomedical Engineering, Science Advances, Journal of the American Chemical Society and ACS Synthetic Biology, and he is inventor on four (4) patents/patent applications. He is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ResQ Biotech, a spin-off company applying innovative biotechnology approaches to advance early-stage drug discovery against diseases caused by protein misfolding and aggregation.
Georges Kotrotsios dedicated his professional life to the creation of economic and societal value through high-end technology. Between 2010 and 2022 served as member of the Executive Board of CSEM, a major Swiss R&I -Research and Innovation- facility in microtechnologies and smart digital systems. His role was to contribute to the bridging of the technology to the market. His scientific and technology background is in optical fiber sensors and systems (Ph.D. in 1989). Retired, since February 2023, he is involved in the preparation of new projects related to technological innovation.
Today is member of the Industrial Advisory Board of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (satw.ch), the International Advisory Board of IDIAP (www.idiap.ch), leading Research Institute on Artificial Intelligence, and in the past, among others, of the Executive Board of EARTO, the European Association of Research and Technology Organisations (www.earto.eu) between 2009 and 2018; He chaired the Alliance between Fraunhofer-Microelectronics, CEA-LETI, VTT and CSEM on Smart Systems (Heterogeneous Technology Alliance - HTA) in 2012, 2016 and 2020, being member of the Board HTA between 2009 and 2022. Georges, authored recently two monographs on the impact of technology, and in particular data, on society and the economy.
In 2015 he has been elected member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences.
Μrs. Sophia Kounenaki-Efraimoglou is the President of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Elected President of the National Chamber Network of Greek Women Entrepreneurs (EEDEGE), Executive Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Foundation of the Hellenic World and Head of “Hellenic Cosmos” Cultural Centre, as well as Treasurer of the BoD at ALBA Graduate Business School and Member of the General Council of SEV (Hellenic Federation of Enterprises). She is the Chairman & Managing Director of Ardittos Holdings SA and Board Member of TERNA ENERGY GROUP and Lavipharm S.A.
She is Vice President of the BoD of Technopolis – Acropolis SA, Board Member at Hellenic Entrepreneurs Association, Member of the Non-Executive Directors’ Club and Member of the Business Advisory Council of the MBA International Program at the Athens University of Economics and Business. She is a Member of the Advisory Committee of the Maniatakeion Foundation as well as of the diaNEOsis Institute.
In 2008, as a Member of the BoD of SEV, she initiated and led the developing of the Hellenic Corporate Governance Code and its promotion in Greek enterprises as well as the subsequent establishment of the Greek Corporate Governance Council in 2012, at the 15-member council of which she is currently a Member.
She was President and CEO of Vivodi Telecom and President of Fortius Finance Securities S.A., companies which she founded. She has been a Member of the Board of SEV, as well as Member of the Board of Directors of Hellenic Exchanges SA Group, for eleven consecutive years. She has been a Member of the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Center for European Studies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Moreover, for several years, she taught courses at the Department of Accounting, Business Administration and Informatics at the Piraeus University of Applied Sciences. She holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Philosophy, Business Administration and Computer Programming. She speaks English, French and Italian and is the mother of three children.
She has been awarded by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Region of Attica for her outstanding entrepreneurship, as well as the Association of Smyrneans, the Navy, the Hellenic National Defense General Staff, the Filothei-Psychiko Municipality, the Unesco Club, the Tourism Awards Organization and Rotary Greece for her service to the country. She has been honored by The Lions Club of Athens Specialty New Voices and by Who is Who International Awards for supporting women in business and for her significant role in culture.
Aristos Doxiadis is Partner in Big Pi Ventures, a venture capital fund for Greece that focuses on science-based and deep-technology ventures. Since 2012 he has also been Partner in JEREMIE Openfund II, an early-stage VC fund. He is a pioneer of private equity in Greece, with over 25 years of investment and management experience in many industries.
His earlier experience includes working on anti-poverty programs for the European Commission, planning industrial policy for the Greek government, and managing consulting and auditing companies. He has a B.A. degree in social studies from Harvard University, and an M.Sc. degree in economics from Birkbeck College at the University of London.
Dr. George Vassilopoulos is an Executive Consultant of the Hellenic Union of Pharmaceutical Industry (PEF), Member of the Monitoring Committee of Pharmaceutical Expenditure in Ministry of Health and State Representative in the IMI - EU initiative.
Managing Director / deputy CEO currently at Galenica sa Pharmaceutical Industry, with 38 years of experience in Pharmaceutical and Social Security Organizations in Greece and abroad, of which 23 in C-suit through different sectors (Marketing, Sales, Regulatory & Market Access Affairs, Hospital & Community Pharmacy, Social insurance policy etc).
Granded with PhD in School of Health Sciences / Dept of Pharmacy by National Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), PhD in School of Medicine/ Pharmacology by Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), MSc in Clinical Pharmacy, BSc in Pharmacy as well as Diplomas in BA & Health Economics/ Pharmacoeconomics.
Visiting Professor in NKUA / Dept of BA, also in MBA postgraduate studies program and in School of Health Sciences/ Dept of Pharmacy of the same University and Professor in Cyprus / Philips University. With an extensive teaching experience as a Scientific Associate at Aristotle University School of Medicine/Pharmacology, as Invited Lecturer at Tufts / Boston University / Pharmacology, at Schools of Pharmacy & Medicine at Universities of Thessaloniki (AUTH), Patras & Alexandroupolis (DUTH), and at Deree College / Biomedical studies/ Pharmacology.
He used to be President of Social Security Organization for Healthcare Practitioners (TSAY), of Panhellenic Association of Pharmacists and Member of several Commitees on Professional Ethics, Pharmaceutical Policy, Intellectual property / Trademark registations etc.
The Tamvakopoulos lab focuses on all aspects of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical technology with a mission to explore and develop novel therapeutic approaches with a particular focus on cancer.
Technology development based on mass spectrometry plays central role in achieving our objectives, thus a State of The Art ISO17025/GLP certified mass spectrometry based bioanalytical laboratory was established in our division in 2007, and remains an exceptional facility of its kind in an academic setting that actively allows BRFAA to further its presence in Clinical Research, collaboration with pharmaceutical companies and academic groups in a wide range of drug discovery and development programs.
The main focus of the group is to treat cancer by the development of novel targeted-drug conjugates. Inspired by the constant need for better treatments, research has focused into the development of novel anticancer molecules based on conjugates with peptide targeting moieties. The strategy takes advantage of aberrant target expression in cancer cells in order to preferentially target the cancer cells and not the surrounding healthy tissues. Our efforts of anticancer drug discovery/development also include identification of parameters that will lead to the maximal beneficial effectiveness including, drug-carrier for administration, dosing, scheduling, and route of administration.
My lab and collaborators have shown in the past that conjugation of a chemotherapeutic (gemcitabine), or an antiangiogenic agent (sunitinib) to a ligand peptide that binds specifically to the GnRH-R, overexpressed in prostate and breast cancer cells, leads to significant efficacy enhancement in clinically relevant animal models and less off-target toxicities. Based on those encouraging results, the strategy has been expanded to conjugates of chemotherapeutic or antiangiogenic drugs targeting other established targets (e.g., Integrin, EGFR and HER-2). In efforts though to identify novel membrane-associated pharmacological targets for breast cancer, my team recently discovered and validated via proteomic techniques a mitochondrial iron reductase STEAP4 in HER2-positive breast cancer.
Building on our experiences and niche expertise we have more recently initiated projects targeting biotin receptor positive cancers with platinum (Pt) based therapeutics. Importantly another of our programs focuses on the design and evaluation of proteolysis-targeting chimaeras (PROTACS) with emphasis on “undruggable” targets. Follow up targeted proteomic approaches allow us to validate our targets and identify possible roles of other proteins in the mechanism of actions of our novel PROTACS.
As our role is heavily aligned with translational research, and as we have an established a track record in mass spectrometry based measurements, we have placed a great deal of emphasis on Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM). TDM is defined as the measurement of drug levels in biological fluids. Cancer patients can benefit significantly from TDM as there are a number of anticancer agents that either have a narrow therapeutic index, which could lead to severe toxicities, or have significant pharmacokinetic variability potentially resulting in suboptimal systemic drug exposure and reduced therapeutic efficacy. Our aim is to contribute in individualization of cancer therapy through TDM of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) or other monoclonal antibodies for targeted therapies, tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), and platinum-based drugs. Such collaborative studies are ongoing with our clinical colleagues in programs with oncology and cardiology therapeutics.
Clinical trials at BRFAA: Dr Tamvakopoulos played a leading role in the organization of a Clinical Unit, allowing BRFFA to implement one of its strategic missions, participation in Clinical Trials: A 24-30 bed clinical unit (part of the adjacent Sotiria Hospital) was renovated, organized under GCP guidelines for the execution of clinical trials (Phase I Unit). The plan involved volunteer recruitment, drug administration, sample collection, drug level certified measurements (Pharmacology lab bionalytical), statistical evaluation, final reports. Selected CROs also participated in the coordination of this effort.
A significant milestone for BRFAA was the successful organization and completion of a pilot bioequivalence (BE) study in the 2018-2019 period, assigned to BRFAA by a Greek pharmaceutical sponsor, that had been a collaborator of the Tamvakopoulos lab.
Elias Papatheodorou has just short of 30 years of international work experience with private and publicly traded companies. He is currently the Chair of the Board for Heparegenix and for Memo Therapeutics as well as Board member of Tribune Therapeutics. In his career, he has been involved with 10 life science companies at C-level and Board positions including Covagen (acquired by JnJ), Genkyotex (acquired by Calliditas) and novosom (assets acquired by Marina Biotech); and as SVP at Medigene (MDG1). He started his career at Philip Morris International and The Coca-Cola Company. He was born in Athens, Greece and received his education at Ithaca College and Cornell University.
Mr. Vounatsos served as the Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of publicly traded Biogen Inc., a leading biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts from 2017 to 2022. Prior to joining Biogen in 2016 as Executive Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Vounatsos spent twenty years at Merck & Co., Inc., a pharmaceutical company, where he most recently served as President, Primary Care and Customer Centricity in the United States. During his time at Merck, Mr. Vounatsos helped transform the go-to-market model, driving growth in mature and emerging markets. Mr. Vounatsos previously held leadership positions in Europe and China for Merck. Prior to that, Mr. Vounatsos held management positions at Ciba-Geigy, a pharmaceutical company, in Europe and iin the Middle East. Mr. Vounatsos currently serves on the board of directors of publicly traded PerkinElmer, Zai Lab Ltd. and is also a member of the Supervisory Board of Liryc - the Electrophysiology and Heart Modeling Institute at the University of Bordeaux. Mr. Vounatsos received his CSCT in Medicine from the Université Victor Segalen, Bordeaux II, France, and his MBA from the HEC School of Management in Paris.
Dr. Dimitris Kletsas has a PhD in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology. He is currently the Director of the Institute of Biosciences and Applications (IBA) of the National Centre for Scientific Research “Demokritos” and Vice-President of the Centre. His research interests include: Mechanisms of ageing and longevity, cellular senescence and age-related pathologies, cancer, photoageing, intervertebral disc degeneration, wound healing, intracellular signaling pathways and bioactive compounds (synthetic or from natural sources) with anticancer, anti-oxidant/anti ageing or wound healing action. His work has produced more than 210 papers in international refereed journals, 16 book chapters (more than 15.500 citations, h-index: 57, google scholar) and 2 patents. Coordinator or partner of many European and national projects. He organized national and international congresses and workshops. He served as President of the Hellenic Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and of the European Tissue Repair Society, coordinator of the National Research Infrastructure OPENSCREEN-GR, National Expert for EU, Member of the National Council of Research and Development-Sector of Biosciences, Member of the Committee for Research and Innovation of the Attika Region and Member of the National Committee for the Wellbeing of Laboratory Animals.
Valeri is Partner at Eleven Ventures leading the Healthcare investment team. Valeri is one of the pioneers of private equity in SEE, as Investment Director at Global Finance, later Partner at Bancroft Private Equity and Axxess Capital. He participated in numerous investments in various industries across the region and served on the boards of more than 20 companies. His managerial experience includes positions with Royal Dutch Shell and CEO of Orgachim.
Maggie Athanassiadi is Director of Industry, Growth, Technology & Innovation Division of SEV.
She is responsible for industrial policy, growth strategies, investments, digital transformation, innovation, research commercialization and technology adoption. Her main efforts focus on increasing the share of industry in GDP, systematically strengthening investments, improving the digital maturity of enterprises, reinforcing the innovation ecosystem to scale up quickly and facilitating the transformation of research activities to value adding products and services.
She has extensive experience with business development as an entrepreneur herself. She has established and managed production units in Greece and abroad and she has achieved extraordinary results in growth, revenue and operational performance, mainly based on extroversion, new technologies, Innovation and high-quality standards.
She has also worked as Senior Consultant, responsible for the project management of various operational and strategic consulting projects related to the reform, restructure and digitalization of the Greek Public sector.
She is a Chemical Engineer, NTUA, and has a certificate in internal auditing for quality management systems.
Stamatiki has more than 15yrs experience in clinical research, working within multidisciplinary teams in Australia and Europe. She has been extensively involved in project management and strategy planning, both in a scientific and non-scientific capacity. In her current role as the HBio business development manager, she is the link amongst all cluster members providing support for innovation fostering and development. She has extensive experience in assessing the scope of potential new research projects, as well as the development of strategic resilience and sustainability plans and how outcomes are best communicated within organisations, partners and the public. Stamatiki is IMP3rove and Innovation Health Check certified and has recently obtained more than 500K in funding for cluster development and capacity building actions.
Stamatiki is science communication and media trained and holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Adelaide, Australia.
Thomas Bartzanas is Vice Rector for Research, Finance and Development, Associate Professor and Director of the Lab of Farm Structures at the Agricultural University of Athens. Thomas is Chairman of Boards of Smart Agro Hub AE, an innovative company acting as a Competence Center with focus on smart farming and sustainability. His research interests focus on the development, evaluation and application of new techniques and technologies in controlled environment production systems, the sustainable and smart use of natural resources in the agrofood sector and the assessment of the environmental impact throughout the agricultural production chain using the life cycle analysis. Thomas is member of the EurAgEng vice-chair in the Structures & Environment Committee of CIGR, member of the Scientific Council of the European Union, in the Directorate for Research and Innovation for open access to research results in the field of "Agricultural Sciences" and chair of the Hellenic Union of Agricultural Engineers of Greece.
Claire holds a PhD in biochemistry and has worked in the development of scientific associations for 20 years. She started her career within the UK Cambridge biotech cluster, helping to expand the cluster business network and was a co-founder of the Council of European BioRegions, a network of biotech clusters across Europe. She brought herself and CEBR to Brussels in 2009 where she also took on the role of SG for the European Biotechnology Network, working across sectors, organisations and countries as part of the EBN mission to facilitate partnerships. In January 2017, Claire became DG of the globally-focussed Nanotechnology Industries Association (NIA) which she successfully led until November 2020 when she joined EuropaBio as Director General. She has a driving interest in collaboration across the value chain to develop the business of science, and the role of internationally networked policies, programmes, skills, finance and infrastructures to create a strong landscape.
Nassos Alevizopoulos, PhD, MBA is Senior Scientific Advisor at Pharmassist Ltd, a full-service CRO located in Athens (Greece), London (UK), and Nicosia (Cyprus), operating in Europe & Asia since 1999 providing a variety of services in drug development.
Nassos also serves as CEO & Chairman of TheraPten Biosciences Inc (Vancouver, Canada). In the latter role, he raised 3M USD from private investors, won 2 Canadian federal grants, successfully negotiated the licensing of technologies from Columbia Univ. in New York, and directed an intercontinental team of outsourcees to develop protein, viral, & mRNA-based forms of the PTEN tumor suppressor, culminating in 2 global patent applications, one of which has issued as accelerated US patent, while several others are pending globally. Nassos has extensive experience in designing & managing preclinical & clinical research (efficacy, safety, manufacturing, PK/PD; with over 100 assigned studies). As a consultant, he has helped develop small molecules, monoclonal antibodies, proteins, enzymes, oncolytic viruses, nanoparticles, and herbal drugs and has designed one food supplement selling in 20 countries. Nassos has solid experience in medical writing and prosecution for regulatory authorities, e.g., Scientific Advice for EMA and MHRA. He also had sole responsibility for drafting the CMC Section for 3 IND filings of Pharmassist clients, including a monoclonal antibody, now in phase II. He previously led teams to achieve an Orphan Drug Designation for liposomal cisplatin, an anti-cancer cytotoxic (EMA). Nassos has ample hands-on experience in evaluating patents, and freedom to operate thereon, and has developed financial models for valuation and licensing of biotechnological projects (rNPV; EV/EBITDA). He is a long-standing Eurostars-Eureka Technical Expert Reviewer (Brussels); ex-reviewer of PoC translational grants of the European Research Council (>150 grants reviewed), ex PoC program success co-assessor for ERC, and ex Horizon 2020 reviewer (Brussels). He previously worked at Novartis Switzerland and Quintiles Germany. He holds a PhD in Molecular Biology and an MBA, both from the University of Lausanne (Switzerland). He is a recipient of the 1997 Brunner Prize for the excellence of his PhD thesis (best of 187 theses). He speaks fluently English, French, and German. Nassos is currently based in Athens, Greece. He enjoys winter swimming and traveling with his family.
Sofia Ioannidou is a Partners in Andera Partners’ Life Sciences team.
Prior to joining Andera Partners in 2009, Sofia was part of the Life Sciences team of L.E.K. Consulting London, from 2006 to 2008, having started her career in R&D with Boston-based Eyetech Pharmaceuticals, Inc., from 2003 to 2006.
At Andera Life Sciences she has actively contributed to a number of biotech and medtech investments, trade sales and IPOs. Sofia currently serves on the board of Tubulis, Tricares, Avalyn, and Exciva and has previously served on the boards of LogicBio, Sanifit and PegaOne.
She holds a PhD in Cell Biology from Cancer Research UK and an MBiochem from the University of Oxford.
Spyros Artavanis-Tsakonas, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Cell Biology but continues to maintain a research group. He received his doctoral degree at Cambridge University, England and pursued postdoctoral research at the University of Basel, Switzerland, and Stanford University. He has been a faculty member at Harvard Medical School's Cell Biology department since 1998 and was Chief Scientific Officer at Biogen from 2012 until 2016.
Company: LEO Pharma
Position: Head of Medical Europe, Canada and Thrombosis , Global Medical Affairs, Member of the Global Medical Affairs Leadership Team and The Global Thrombosis Leadership
Team (Managing Country Medical Directors of EU 5, Canada, Benelux, Nordics, Greece, Switzerland, Austria and All Medical Directors Worldwide for the Thrombosis Franchise
September 2022- now (current role)
Company: LEO Pharma Interim Global Medical Head TRALOKINUMAB
February 2023- now
Position: Executive Director Medical Affairs Subregion Europe (EU G5 markets, Nordics, Netherlands, Switzerland, Poland and CEE)
September 2021- September 2022
Company: AstraZeneca Switzerland and EUCAN
Position: Area Medical Director Western and Southern Europe Double Role in combination with Country and Regulatory Director Switzerland
May 2020-September 2021
Company: Janssen Cilag Benelux
Position: Country Medical Director Benelux (Management Board Member)
March 2015- March 2020
Company: Janssen Cilag Benelux
Position: Ad Interim Benelux Marketing Director (management board member)
Period: June 2017-Jan 2018
Company: Boehringer Ingelheim Belgium
Position: Medical Affairs Director
Period: Dec 2013-Dec 2014
Company: Bayer AG Leverkusen
Position: Sr.Global Medical Expert Clinical Development Phase III A and III B portfolio
Period:Feb. 2013- Dec 2013
Clinical Development role for Cardiology, Oncology, Womens Health and Ophtalmology
Company: GSK Netherlands
Position: Medical Advisor
Period: Jan 2012- Jan 2013
Hospital: University Hospital Groningen and OLVG Amsterdam
Position: Resident Cardiothoracic Surgery
Hospital: Herzzentrum Coswig Germany
Position: Fellow and Consultant Cardiac Surgery
- G.F.V. Panday , J.G.Grandjean , K.Y.J.A.M. Ho, P.W. Boonstra. A rare case of herniation of omentum into the pericardial cavity after using the right gastro-epiploic artery for coronary bypass grafting; overview of literature. Interactive CardioVascular and Thoracic Surgery (2), p. 54-155.
- Y.J.Gu, E. van Hoog, R. Graaff, G.F.V. Panday, P.W. Boonstra, W. van Oeveren. Influence of hemodilution of plasma proteins on erythrocyte aggregability: an in vivo study in patients undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass. Clin Hemorheol Microcirc. 2005; 3(2): 95-107.
- J.Dorgelo, P.M.A. van Ooijen, G.F.V. Panday, P.W.Boonstra, F.Zijlstra, M.Oudkerk. A 16-slice multidetector computed tomography protocol for evaluation of the gastroepiploic artery grafts in patients after coronary artery bypass surgery. Eur Radiol. 2005 Sep;15(9):1994-9. Epub 2005 May.
- Gerald F.V. Panday, Diana Maria Diaz Vazquez, Ulrich Peter Rosendahl, Jurgen Ennker. Complete arterial revascularization with both internal thoracic mammary arteries improves peri-operative and mid term survival in off pump CABG in octogenerians with 3 vessel disease: A follow-up study. The Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeon 55(S 1) · January 2007
- A. Bauer, S . Schneppershoff, C. Ulr ich, K. Meineke, J. Lucy, M. Vogt1, R. Kohlstett1, S. Burk1, T. Eberle1, G. Panday, N. Ali, J. Schubel, H. Hausmann. Performer Cardio Pulmonary BypassErster klinischer Einsatz in Deutschland; Kardiotechnik 01(08):18-20 · March 2008
- Nic J.G.M. Veeger, Gerald F. Panday, Adriaan A. Voors, Jan G. Grandjean, Jan van der Meer, Piet W. Boonstra. Excellent Long-Term Clinical Outcome After Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery Using Three Pedicled Arterial Grafts in Patients With Three-Vessel Disease. Ann. Thorac. Surg., February 2008; 85: 508 - 512.
- Gerald F.V. Panday, A. Bauer, N. Ali, J. Schubel, D. Metz, T. Eberle and H. Hausmann. A Comparison between MECC,CCPB and OPCAB in Coronary Surgery. New Horizons in Coronary Artery Disease: Proceedings of the 7th International Congress on Coronary Artery Disease October 2007; 1: 43-47 (Book)
- Gerald F.V. Panday, Sven Fischer, Adrian Bauer, Dietrich Metz, Jens Schubel, Nagi El Shouki, Thomas Eberle, and Harald Hausmann. Minimal extracorporeal circulation and off-pump compared to conventional cardiopulmonary bypass in coronary surgery. Published Aug. 2009 in the Interactive CardioVascular and Thoracic Surgery
Kostas Papagiannis joined Novartis Hellas as Country President & Managing Director in November 2022. Holder of a Marketing degree from Middlesex University in London, he started his career in the consumer products sector at General Mills, Kellogg's in Greece and SC Johnson in Switzerland. He continued his career in the pharmaceutical industry, initially at the MSD company with positions of increased responsibility in various countries. He assumed the duties of Managing Director in the market of Bulgaria, North Macedonia & Kosovo (2018-2020) and then moved with the same role to MSD Romania (2020-2022). He has served on the boards of many pharmaceutical industry associations and chambers of commerce advocating for better and more equitable patient care. Kostas is inspired by the opportunity to partner across the healthcare community to help patients live longer and better lives.
With more than 20 years of experience in the area of Foreign Direct Investments, a long course in executive positions, a Master's background in Political Science from the leading University of Warwick in the UK and a BA Honours degree in Communication, Media & Cultural Studies, Elias works as Director of Investment Promotion at Enterprise Greece (EG), Greece's national investment and trade promotion agency. Elias has coordinated and supervised the organisation of a vast number of missions in key target markets, aiming to promote solid investment opportunities to international investors and highlight all aspects that make Greece a unique business and investment destination. Organising the business part of Greek government officials' visits to foreign markets, preparing customised investment proposals for multinationals and international entrepreneurs, setting-up site visits for helping investors establish their presence in Greece, explaining the available financial tools and incentives and presenting the country's investment environment, are just some of the activities Elias has been involved in with tangible results. During the last 4 years, Elias has facilitated systematically, the realization of a significant number
of investments in the tourism, energy, food, technology, R&D and GBS sectors, which are estimated to create more than 4,000 new job positions upon full deployment. Since the beginning of February 2022, he is working on redefining EG's strategy and outreach programme for attracting and supporting value added investments in the areas of manufacturing, supply chain, advanced technology and innovation. Prior to his current position, Elias has been employed as investment promotion manager in the country’s predecessor Organisations ('Invest in Greece' & 'Hellenic Centre for Investments') and as marketing advisor to the CEO of the supervising body of the public transportation system in Athens.
Antigoni Lymperopoulou is a seasoned Investments professional. Having started her career working for the Hellenic Ministry of Finance from 1999 to 2001, she moved on to work for HDBI (previously TANEO). Since July 2020, she is appointed as Chief Executive Officer of HDBI. She has been actively involved with the development of the organization’s as well as the industry’s operations and has served as an Investment Manager since 2001. Parallel to her tasks with the HDBI, she has served as an advisor to the European Commission for subjects related to her field of knowledge for a number of years (Venture Capital, Private Equity, Access to Risk Finance etc).
She holds an i-MBA and MSc in Decision Sciences, as well as a BSc in Statistics and Economy, all awarded by the Athens University of Economy and Business. She is an Accredited Investment Manager by the Chartered Institute of Securities & Investments and also holds the equivalent accreditation (Level C) by the Hellenic Capital Markets Commission (HCMC).
Chairman of EVFIN (European Venture Fund Investors Network) (2021) & Vice Chairman of Athens branch CISI (Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment) (2008- to date).
She is fluent in Greek and English and also speaks Italian and French.
Dimitrios G. Katehakis (M) holds a Diploma in Electrical Engineering (Telecommunications & Electronics) from the Technical University of Patras, Greece (1991), and an MS in Electrical Engineering (Computers) from the University of Maryland at College Park (1993). Since 2010, he heads the Center for eHealth Applications and Services at the Institute of Computer Science, Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH). His work focuses on data integration analysis and the design of object-oriented systems and distributed architectures for forward-looking, integrated EHR services. Current and past participation in R&D projects, co-funded by the EU, include CAREMATRIX, ROSIA, STARS, RELIEF, MyPAL (Horizon 2020 PCPs), e-SENS (ICT PSP/ CIP), EURECA (FP7-ICT), EHR-Q-TN (FP7-ICT Policy), EHR-IMPLEMENT (DG SANCO), INFOBIOMED (IST/ FP6-2002-IST-1-507585), PICNIC (IST-1999-10345), RETRANSPLANT (DGXIII - Health Telematics), TEMeTeN (DGXVI - RISI 2), HECTOR (DGXIII - Health Telematics) and CreteCT (Ministry of National Economy & INTERREG II). Experience includes also working with the Medical School of the University of Maryland at Baltimore for the IONDT (US Federal) and MCR (MD State, Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene - CDC) projects, as well as with the National Defense Ministry of Greece, the Association for Research, Technology & Training, and the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE). Dimitrios is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). He is also certified in IT Service Management (ITIL Foundation). The period 2005-2010, he was responsible for the implementation of four Integrated Information Systems FORTH developed for four Regional Health Authorities in Athens, West Attica, West Greece, and the South East Aegean, all of them in Greece. Since 2011 he has been scientific responsible for more than 400 projects related to operational EHR systems in the National Health System of Greece (NHS). The period 2016-2018 he served as a representative of the General Secretariat for Research and Technology at the National Board of eHealth Governance in Greece. Since 2014 he serves as the elected General Secretary of HL7 Hellas. In 2018 he was also elected as the General Secretary of the Hellenic Health Informatics Association. The period 2020-2022 he served as a member of the Mental Health Committee at the Central Board of Health of the NHS. Since 2021 he is the appointed Administrator and Director (since 2022) of the Hellenic Digital Health Cluster. Since 2023 he leads work for the provision of services by the smartHEALTH European Digital Innovation Hub. Dimitrios has several publications in international journals, as well as presentations in scientific conferences and workshops worldwide. He also acts as a regular reviewer and a program committee member for a number of premier journals and conferences, such as IJMI, JBI, IEEE BHI, BIBE, CBMS, EMBC, MEDINFO, Springer Nature and many more.
Pantelis was born at Heraklion Crete. He studied Business Administration at the University of Piraeus and Computer Science at Brooklyn College, in New York. He founded FORTHnet SA 1995, as he undertook the conversion of Forthnet from a research activity ( Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH)) to a company in 1990, attracting investment capital from Greece and abroad. He held the position of CEO at Forthnet until end of 2010. Forthnet SA from a startup in 5 years (2000) become a listed company in the main market of the Athens stock exchange. Pantelis was member of the original team interconnecting Greece to Internet and also he was founding member of Hellaslist. For the period 2006 - 2009, he was a Member of the Supervisory Board of NETIA SA, the largest alternative telecommunications operator in Poland. From 2008 to 2010 he was the Chairman and CEO of NOVA (acquired by Forthent), the first digital, satellite pay-tv platform in Greece. From 2007 to 2011 he was the Chairman of the Board of SEPE (Federation of Hellenic ICT Enterprises). In January 2011, he join the government as Prime Minister's senior Consular for ICT and Chairman of the Govermental IT & Communications Committee, while from June 2011 until May 2012 he served as Deputy Minister of Egov in the Ministry of Administrative Reform and e-Governance. October 2013 - 12/2015, he became the CEO of Quest Holdings SA. January 2016-2022 , Vice Chairman of the board (Senior Independent Director ) of Quest Holdings SA. June 2021 he is Member of the board Athex Stock Exchange November 2019- today he is Executive Vice Chairman of the Hellenic Development Bank