The partners of the Twin4Promis project possess a unique combination of exceptional achievements in:
(1) academic research (strong publication record; extensive networks of collaborators in academia and industry)
(2) teaching, training and career development facilitation of young scientists (numerous students trained, academic degrees awarded, alumni later on acquiring high-profile positions in academia, industry, consultancy and other professions)
(3) innovation, technology transfer, high-tech entrepreneurship and commercial exploitation (patenting, establishment of successful spin-off companies, fundraising, new product development; establishment of commercial deals)
Institute of Chemical Biology,
National Hellenic Research Foundation, Greece
Collaborator: Dr Spyros E. Zographos
Grant Management: Mrs. Kleri Foniadaki
Science Communication: Dr. Vasiliki Michopoulou
Dr. Georgios Skretas
Principal Investigator & Coordinator
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 is inventor on four (4) patents/patent applications. He is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ResQ Biotech, a spin-off company applying biotechnology approaches to advance early-stage drug discovery against diseases caused by protein misfolding.
Dr. Spyros E. Zographos
Spyros E. Zographos is principal investigator of the Structural Biology and Chemistry Group at the Institute of Chemical Biology of the National Hellenic Research Foundation.
He is a chemist with vast experience in molecular biology, biochemistry and structural biology. He earned his Bachelor’s (1992) and Ph.D. degree from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Athens, Greece, in 1992 and 2000, respectively. He served as a visiting lecturer in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cyprus (UCY) (2000-2001) and afterwards as a Marie Curie postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Biological Sciences, UCY (2001-2004). He was awarded a Marie Curie reintegration grant and in 2004 joined IBMCB as a postdoctoral research fellow. He became an Assistant researcher in 2006, a senior researcher in 2010 and Research Director in 2018. His scientific achievements are presented in 62 peer-reviewed articles (WoS: h-index: 27, Times Cited: total 2,531), 3 reviews, 4 chapters in books, 70 oral/poster presentations in conferences and 24 short communications. He has deposited as audit author 113 protein structures at the Protein Data Bank.
Professor Michele Vendruscolo
University of Cambridge, UK
His work is aimed at establishing the fundamental principles of protein homeostasis and protein aggregation, and at exploiting these principles to develop methods for drug discovery in neurodegenerative diseases. He has published over 500 scientific papers and 20 patents, and given over 500 invited lectures at international meetings. He is co-founder of Wren Therapeutics, a drug discovery company that targets protein misfolding diseases.
Prof. Frederic Rousseau and Prof. Joost Schymkowitz
Frederic Rousseau and Joost Schymkowitz have been a scientific duo since 1998. They are Belgian structural biologists and biophysicists affiliated with the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) and the University of Leuven (KU Leuven). Joost and Frederic obtained their PhDs from the University of Cambridge, UK and completed post-doctoral research at EMBL in Heidelberg, Germany. They are currently group leaders at the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research and KU Leuven Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine.
Their research group, the Switch Laboratory, integrates computational modeling, biophysics, cell biology and chemical biology with in vivo experiments and analysis of patient tissues to investigate the mechanisms of protein misfolding and aggregation. Frederic and Joost are also scientific founders of-, and scientific advisors to Aelin Therapuetics, a privately held Belgian biotherapeutics company that develops the therapeutic applications of the Pept-inTM technology, invented in the Switch Lab. They have authored more than 170 peer-reviewed publications in high impact journals, including Nature, Cell and Science, and are inventors on more than 15 patents.
Prof. Sotirios Kampranis
Sotirios C. Kampranis is a Professor of Biochemical Engineering at the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen. His work aspires to develop biological synthesis as the method of choice for the production of complex chemicals, replacing current organic chemistry methods, or extraction from plants, which are inefficient and detrimental to the environment. To achieve this goal, he applies a multi-disciplinary approach that begins with the identification and characterization of biosynthetic enzymes, continues with the optimisation via engineering of the enzymatic activities involved, and concludes with the reconstruction of biosynthetic pathways in biological systems for the sustainable synthesis of valuable compounds. His group has pioneered the development of tools and applications in the following areas of Biochemical Engineering: (i) Identification, characterization, and optimization through protein engineering of enzymes involved in biosynthetic pathways of plant specialized metabolites;
(ii) Metabolic engineering of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae for the bioproduction of high-value plant specialized metabolites, focusing on terpenoids, cannabinoids, and alkaloids; (iii) Production of non-canonical new-to-nature plant specialized metabolites by the combination of protein and metabolic engineering; (iv) Development of yeast-based whole-cell biosensors for the determination of plant specialized metabolites; (v) Development of continuous mutagenesis-based in vivo directed evolution methods for the optimization of cell factories and biosynthetic enzymes. Prof. Kampranis is also Co-founder and Chief of R&D of the spin-off company called EvodiaBio, which uses engineered yeast cells for the sustainable production of natural aromas and flavors, including non-alcoholic beer (https://evodiabio.com).