Professor Nektarios Tavernarakis Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas – Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Crete

Neurobiology of C. elegans, Neurodegeneration & Necrotic Cell Death, Sensory transduction & Integration, Learning and Memory, Ageing & Energy Metabolism

  • Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas
  • [email protected]
  • : +30 2810 391066 (Office), +30 2810 391065 (Lab)
  • +30-(0)2810-391067
  • Greece

Team Lead

About Professor Nektarios Tavernarakis

Nektarios Tavernarakis is the Director of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, at the Foundation for Research and Technology, and a Professor of Molecular Systems Biology at the Medical School of the University of Crete, in Heraklion, Greece. He is also heading the Neurogenetics and Ageing laboratory of the Institute. 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 studies of neuronal function and dysfunction. His main interests are the molecular mechanisms of necrotic cell death in neurodegeneration and senescent decline, the molecular mechanisms of sensory transduction and integration by the nervous system, the interplay between cellular metabolism and ageing, and the development of novel genetic tools for biomedical research. For his scientific accomplishments, Nektarios Tavernarakis has received several notable scientific prizes including a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Investigator grant award, the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Young Investigator award, the International Human Frontier in Science Program Organization (HFSPO) long-term postdoctoral fellowship, the Dr. Frederick E. G. Valergakis Post-Graduate Research Grand Program Academic achievement award of the Hellenic University Club of New York, the Bodossaki Foundation Scientific Prize for Medicine and Biology, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel research award, the Empeirikeion Foundation Academic Excellence Prize, and the Research Excellence award of the Foundation for Research and Technology. Prof. Tavernarakis is also an elected member of EMBO and Academia Europaea.

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5 Representative Publications

  • Kourtis N., Nikoletopoulou V. and Tavernarakis N. (2012) Small heat shock proteins protect from heat stroke-associated neurodegeneration. Nature, 490: 213-218.
  • Artal-Sanz M. & Tavernarakis N. (2009) Prohibitin couples diapause signaling to mitochondrial energy metabolism during ageing in Caenorhabditis elegans. Nature, 461: 793-797.
  • Eisenberg T. et al. (2009) Induction of autophagy by spermidine promotes longevity. Nature Cell Biology, 11: 1305-1314.
  • Syntichaki P. Troulinaki K. & Tavernarakis N. (2007) eIF4E function in somatic cells modulates ageing in Caenorhabditis elegans. Nature, 445: 922-926.
  • Syntichaki P., Xu K., Driscoll M. & Tavernarakis N. (2002) Specific aspartyl and calpain proteases are required for neurodegeneration in C. elegans. Nature, 419: 939-944

Fellowships, Awards and Honours

2014         Elected Member of the Academy of Europe (Academia Europaea)
2012               Academic Excellence Prize, Empeirikeion Foundation, Greece
2012               Science Excellence Award, Ministry of Education, Greece
2011               Principal Investigator, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
2010               Elected Excellence Professor, Medical School, University of Crete
2009               Elected EMBO Member (European Molecular Biology Organization)
2009               ERC Advanced Investigator Grant Award (European Research Council)
2008               External Senior Research Fellow, FRIAS, Freiburg University, Germany
2007               Research Excellence Award, Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas, Greece
2007               Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Award, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany
2007               Research Support Award, Empeirikeion Foundation, Greece
2006               Member, Faculty of 1000 (Biology/Medicine: Cellular Death & Stress Responses)
2005               Academic Prize in Medicine and Biology, Bodossaki Foundation, Greece
2002               EMBO Young Investigator Award (European Molecular Biology Organization)
1996               HFSP Long-term Postdoctoral Fellowship (till 2000)
2000               Long-term Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Institutes of Health, USA (till 2001)
1995               Long-term Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Institutes of Health, USA (till 1996)
1996               Long-term Postdoctoral Fellowship, NJCCR Research Fellow, USA
1995               Ph.D. Excellence Award, University of Crete, Greece
1992               Long-term Doctoral Fellowship, National Fellowship Foundation of Greece (until 1995)
1991               Short-term Visiting Fellowship, National Cancer Institute, Frederick, Maryland, USA
1990               Long-term Graduate Studies Fellowship, IMBB, Crete, Greece,
1986               Long-term Undergraduate Studies Fellowship, National Fellowship Foundation (till '89)