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NCSR Demokritos

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Welcome to the Institute of Biosciences & Applications

Following the merging of the previously existing eight institutes of the Center, the Institute of Biosciences
& Applications (IB-A) is one of presently five institutes of NCSR “Demokritos”. The Center, among the best
for research in Europe and Greece is multidisciplinary and its earmark is the unique blending of different
fields of sciences as well as numerous collaborations between scientists of different disciplines. The
aim is an optimal advance of research, innovation and technology in the fields of research of scientists
from the five different institutes.
The IB-A with 23 faculty members, managed to be maintained intact, as a separate institute following the
merging process in March 2012, exactly due to its multidisciplinary nature and its outstanding scientific
presence in the area of Life Sciences, as marked by the “RAND” report and the evaluation by the General
Secretariat for Research & Technology (GSRT). It is the first time in the history of evaluations that the
institute receives a positive evaluation outcome (as it should). This remarkable success is the result of
the collective effort of IB-A’s researchers whose continuous efforts have led to upgrading, despite the
deep financial crisis and today’s adverse conditions in general. The scientific personnel of IB-A deserves
congratulations for its successful efforts.
A recent success was the approval for funding of the “KRIPIS” programme of the IB-A, on the amount of
€1.039.000 from 2013 to 2015, which will further contribute to the upgrading of the institute by enabling
the hiring of new scientific personnel, renewal of existing equipment, etc.
The two major service laboratories, the Experimental Animal Colony and the Laboratory for Human Tissue
grafts, both certified by ISO 9001/2008 have recorded a significant number of sales. Most importantly,
continuously increasing sales of bone fragments for use in the field of Dentistry-Implantology since
the beginning of 2012, represent a recent, extremely positive development of the “Human Tissue
Laboratory” of the IB-A. The newly established extended market has already secured sales to two
different companies as well as many practicing dentists/implantologists. The latter is the outcome of
the initiative and un-relented effort of Dr. Sagnou, who volunteered for this activity, with the help of Mrs.
M. Papadaki, the secretary of the institute, and the signed underneath. The remarkable effort of Dr.
Vavouraki, the scientist in charge of the production, to positively respond to the increasing demands
of the market for sales, should not go unnoticed. Income from sales of the two service laboratories
continually contributes to the upgrade of their space (new office, new room for animal maintenance,
new space for animal experimentation, etc.).
In addition to services, the IB-A holds significant other independent and collaborative efforts aiming
at internationally competitive research and further development of excellence. A major feature of the
IB-A, albeit not the only one, is multidisciplinary biomedical and biotechnological research in the areas
of Life Sciences and the Environment. This is a significant advantage/specialization (“earmark”) for the
Institute and the Center as well, focused on the environment, the development of new molecules and
biomolecules for diagnostic, medical and imaging use, as well as for targeted drug delivery, among
other. The above-mentioned research activities include intense and dynamic efforts of a large part of the
scientific personnel. Several independent activities of the Institute focus on biomedical research with the
use of biochemical, cell biological, molecular, pharmacological, proteomic, and other approaches, while
other activities include biotechnological and environmental research, making use of similar approaches.
Finally, structural, computational and molecular modeling approaches are one more research direction
of the IB-A.

Retired, emeritus researchers proved to be very active once again contributing publications, seminars,
participation to IB research projects etc, thus contributing significantly to the productivity of the IB-A.
In 2012, the PhD candidate awardee of the “Akogionoglou Award” (in honor of the internationally
recognized scientist who was a researcher and Head of the IB-A ((1969-1975, 1979-1982), was: E.M.
Georganta/ It should be noted that all submitted applications were extremely competitive, an indication
of research of outstanding quality which is performed at the IB-A.
Apart for the hopeful news for nascent researchers-scientists, the IB was faced with the extremely
saddening event, to bid farewell to two young PhD candidates, Anastasia Dimozi and Andreas Armatas,
who passed away due to an accident on 15/1/2012. To honor and memory, the Center inaugurated in 2012
awards and two studentships, on in each of their names. It is hoped that these awards and studentships
will reflect the promise of quality research which was demonstrated by the two unjustly lost young
people.
I wish to thank the members of the scientific advisory committee of the IB-A (Dr. I. Almirantis, Dr. A.
Chroni, Dr. M. Pelecanou, Dr. C. Stamatakis, and Dr. M. Vlassi) and the Educational Committee (Dr. A.
Chroni, Dr. M. Sagnou) who supported the task of upgrading the IB. I am also thankful to all researchers
who participated in various committees, as well as the Vice-Director of the IB, Dr. Pelecanou, who
substantially contributed to a smooth operation of the IB-A and helped with my numerous administrative
tasks, especially under extremely stressful conditions.
Despite the various obstacles and difficulties, the support and confidence constantly provided by the
majority of researchers is a main source of optimism and confidence in successfully achieving the
aim of upgrading the IB-A, towards excellence. It is my belief that based on objective indexes such
as: funding, number of publications, citations, etc., the IB-A becomes continually upgraded, despite the
adverse conditions imposed by the financial crisis, resulting in significantly reduced budget allocated
by the government. Howeever,c ontinuous efforts by the institute’s researchers attracted substantial
funding from competitive programs from the GSRT, EU as well as the Industry. Today the IB-A is already
recognized as an internationally competitive institute. With positive attitude, persistence to the aim of
excellence and un-relented efforts, the unprecedented financial crisis which we experience during the
last four years, can be reverted to a series of opportunities for all; more so for young scientists who
represent our main hope for an immediately better future and promising perspectives.
Finally, I wish to heartfully thank Ms. Athanasia Kostakou, the IB-A accountant, and Ms. Margarita
Papadaki, the IB-A secretary.

Effie C. Tsilibary, MD, PhD
Director of the IB-A
November 2013



 

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