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Greek – American Professors elected to the National Academy of Sciences for 2023

WASHINGTON, DC — The National Academy of Sciences has elected 120 new members and 23 international members in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Those elected on May 2 bring the total number of active members to 2,565 and the total number of international members to 526. International members are nonvoting members of the Academy, with citizenship outside the United States.

Among the newest members of the Academy are Professors Spyros Artavanis-Tsakonas (Professor of cell biology, emeritus, Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School) and Gregory Stephanopoulos (Director, Laboratory of Metabolic Engineering and Bioinformatics, and W.H. Dow Professor of Biotechnology and Chemical Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT).

“Once more, New England Greek scientists are expanding the horizon of human knowledge with their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research”, commented Consul General of Greece in Boston Symeon Tegos, congratulating them for their recent election.

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.

He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an associate member of EMBO, and a corresponding member of the Academy of Athens and a member of the Cambridge Philosophical Society. He is the co- founder and President of Fondation Sante a charitable organization supporting Biomedical research in Greece and a co-founder of the Biotechnology companies Exelixis, Cellzome and Anadys

Using molecular and genetic approaches, the Artavanis- Tsakonas lab is examining how various signals are integrated in undifferentiated cells in order to dictate cell fates. Our main experimental system is Drosophila and are interested in exploiting this system as a tool to explore human biology and understand the underlying mechanisms of pathologies with the current focus on neurodegeneration.

Gregory Stephanopoulos is the W. H. Dow Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the  Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT),

His work focuses on biotechnology, specifically metabolic and biochemical engineering. His research group conducts research on various projects aiming at the development of biological production routes to chemical products and biofuels. The group is also investigating cancer as metabolic disease. He is renowned for his work in reprogramming the gene transcription network of particular bacteria in order to improve their efficiency in converting renewable raw material into valuable chemical products.

Stephanopoulos graduated from the National Technical University of Athens in 1973 with the a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. In 1975, he obtained his master’s degree from the University of Florida and, three years later, his PhD from the University of Minnesota. His professional career started in 1978 as assistant professor at Caltech, where he was promoted in 1984 to the rank of associate professor with tenure. In 1985, Stephanopoulos moved to MIT as a professor of chemical engineering.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and—with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine—provides science, engineering, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.