Greek Scientist Named Fellow of US Association for Advancement of Science

Professor Nektarios Tavernarakis, newly-named Fellow of the American Association of the Advancement of Science. Credit: AMNA

For the first time in history, a Greek scientist has been named a fellow of the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Nektarios Tavernarakis, the Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas and Professor at the Medical School of the University of Crete, was honored by the AAAS for his many and varied contributions to the world of science.

His groundbreaking research includes the areas of aging, neuroscience, mitochondrial biology, cell death and neurodegeneration.

This distinction comes as recognition of the scientific quality and the highly competitive research conducted at both the institutions where he currently teaches. Fellowship in the AAAS is bestowed on scientists who have scientifically or socially distinguished themselves by efforts on behalf of the advancement of science, or its applications.

The Association aims to advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of society.

Its Fellows are leading scientists, engineers and innovators who have been recognized for their seminal contributions across disciplines, from pioneering research and technology, teaching and mentoring, to administration in academia, industry and government, and excellence in science teaching.

The AAAS publishes six respected peer-reviewed journals, including Science, a premier global science weekly journal, which publishes the very best in research across all sciences, with articles that consistently rank among the most cited in the world.

First Greek Fellow in the field of biological sciences

Dr. Tavernarakis is the first scientist from Greece to be elected a Fellow of the AAAS in the field of Biological Sciences. The official welcome ceremony for Professor Tavernarakis will be held in February of 2021.

He is the Director of the Graduate Program on BioInformatics at the Medical School of the University of Crete, and heads the Neurogenetics and Aging laboratory of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB). He has also served as the Director of the IMBB.

Tavernarakis is an elected corresponding member of the Academy of Athens, an elected member and Vice President of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council, and an elected member of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology Governing Board and Executive Committee, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the European Molecular Biology Organization, the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina), the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, and Academia Europaea.

The scientist earned his Ph.D. degree at the University of Crete, and trained as a postdoctoral researcher at Rutgers University in New Jersey. His research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of necrotic cell death and neurodegeneration, the interplay between cellular metabolism and aging, 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, including two ERC Advanced Investigator Grants, and an innovation-supporting ERC Proof of Concept Grant.

Tavernarakis is also a 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, among others.