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New scientific discovery by researchers at FORTH DNA damage triggers metabolic reprogramming, leading to aging
Inborn defects in DNA repair mechanisms are associated with cancer, aging but also complex metabolic and endocrine disorders. Integrity of the genome is critical for normal cellular function but the DNA is continually challenged by intrinsic and extrinsic genotoxic factors. To counteract DNA damage, cells have evolved DNA repair mechanisms ensuring that the genome remains functionally intact and is faithfully transmitted to progeny. Nucleotide excision repair (NER) is a major DNA repair mechanism that cells employ to remove a wide class of bulky, DNA-distorting lesions from the genome. The importance of NER defects in man is illustrated by rare syndromes that either show increased cancer predisposition or dramatic features of accelerated aging, including depletion of fat depots. However, with the exception of cancer and aging, the links between defects in NER and the rapid onset of developmental defects in humans are not well understood.
The Achilles’ heel of malaria vectors: novel insecticide resistance mechanisms expressed in their legs

Malaria has halved since 2000 (approximately 500,000 lives saved every year), with 80% of the reduction attributable to the use of insecticides. However, insecticide resistance is at a critical tipping point in public health, with some mosquito populations showing resistance to all insecticides and the strength and impact of this resistance is escalating every year. As a result, for the first time after many years, malaria cases were increased in several places after 2015, despite the far more intense use of insecticides.

Prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant awarded to FORTH Researcher Dr. Giorgos Chamilos

Giorgos Chamilos, Researcher at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology of the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH) and Associate Professor at School of Medicine, University of Crete, is awarded a Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC).

Professor George A. Garinis awarded with the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award
George A, Garinis, Professor of Genetics at the department of Biology at the University of Crete and affiliated group leader at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB) of the Foundation of Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH), is the recipient of the prestigious Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel International Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The official award ceremony will take place in Bamberg, Germany in March 2020.
Professor Nektarios Tavernarakis newly elected Member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
Nektarios Tavernarakis, Research Director at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB) of the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH), and Professor at the Medical School of the University of Crete, was elected Member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.
Dr. Nektarios Chrysoulakis earned a highly competitive ERC Synergy Grant

Dr. Nektarios Chrysoulakis, Director of Research at the Institute of Applied and Computational Mathematics of the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH) earned a highly competitive ERC Synergy Grant 2019.

Dr. Yannis Spyropoulos, Researcher at the IMS, earned a highly competitive ERC Starting Grant.

ERC Starting Grants are awarded to early-career researchers of any nationality with two to sevenyears of experience since completion of the PhD (or equivalent degree) and a scientific track recordshowing great promise. This grant is a funding scheme that supports young talented research leaders to gain independence and build their own research team in Europe.

FORTH Researcher Panagiota Poirazi has been awarded an Einstein Visiting Fellowship to investigate neuronal mechanisms of behavioral flexibility

Dr. Panayiota Poirazi, a Research Director at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology of FORTH, is the recipient of a prestigious Einstein Visiting Fellowship of the Einstein Foundation Berlin.

Researchers at IMBB-FORTH challenge the dogma that wants interneurons to be “simple”.

Computational modeling in the Poirazi lab ( at IMBB-FORTH ( shed new light on how Fast Spiking Basket Cells – a central subtype of GABAergic inhibitory neurons- integrate their incoming signals, taking advantage of their recently discovered dendritic non-linearities. The article, entitled: “Challenging the point neuron dogma: FS basket cells as 2-stage nonlinear integrators” authored by IMBB researchers Alexandra Tzilivaki, George Kastellakis and Panayiota Poirazi was recently published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

The second ERC Proof of Concept Grant for the INSPIRE Group, ICS-FORTH
Associate Professor Xenofontas Dimitropoulos, Affiliated Researcher to ICS-FORTH, ERC Starting Grant holder, and his team, the INSPIRE research group, were awarded their second ERC Proof of Concept grant for the RAVEN project. The ERC Proof of Concept Grants aim to maximize the value of the excellent research already supported by ERC, by funding further work (i.e., activities which were not scheduled to be funded by the original ERC frontier research grant) in order to explore the innovation potential of ideas arising from these projects. Proof of Concept Grants are therefore on offer only to Principal Investigators whose proposals draw substantially on their ERC funded research.
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