University of Cyprus
The Center of Excellence (CoE) in Biobanking and Biomedical Research, biobank.cy is a cutting-edge medical research infrastructure operating in the University of Cyprus with 5 pillars of work that include a biobank, a biomedical research lab, a diagnostic lab, an innovation hub and an educational dimension.
The CoE biobank.cy is funded by the European Union, the Cypriot Government, and the University of Cyprus under a Horizon 2020 – Widening Teaming Action, initiated in 2019.
The Center employs approximately 50 people, which in the majority are scientists with research and support roles at various levels. The center also employs doctors and trained nurses who actively participate in the monitoring and registration of volunteers in the Biobank, as well as specialist technologists who use standard operating procedures for receiving, registering, processing and storing data and biological material in digital and physical security.
The senior laboratory staff includes molecular and cell biologists, geneticists and bioinformaticians, who on the one hand coordinate the bio-filing processes and on the other promote the research activities of the Center.
The Centre has Quality, ELSI, and IT departments that ensure the security and compliance of the CoE with ISO20387 and GDPR.
The University of Cyprus is a public education and research institute established in Nicosia Cyprus in 1989. It was founded in response to the growing intellectual needs of the Cypriot people and is well placed to fulfil the numerous aspirations of the country. Despite its brief history, the University of Cyprus has earned the respect of the international academic community and the appreciation of Cypriot society. There are currently more than 200 ongoing research programs, in collaboration with other academic, private, and governmental authorities. Additionally, more than 550 programs were completed in the period 2012-2019.
Professor Constantinos Deltas, PharmR, PhD – Director of biobank.cy CoE, University of Cyprus (Cyprus).
Prof. Constantinos Deltas studied Pharmacy at the National Kapodistrian University of Athens. He received his PhD in Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey, USA. In 1991, while at the Duke University Medical Center, NC, USA, he was invited by Dr Lefkos Middleton to return to Cyprus and be amongst the first nucleus of scientists who developed the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics.
He is Professor of Genetics at the University of Cyprus since 2002, first at the Department of Biological Sciences where he was the first faculty and Chairman and then at the Medical School, 2020. With EU and national funding, he is founder and Director of biobank.cy, a Research and Innovation Center of Excellence, focusing on Biobanking and Biomedical Research, at the University of Cyprus. Amongst others he is leading the Cyprus Human Genome project, aimed to 1000 Cypriot genomes, at first phase. He published more than 150 papers and presented his work in multiple international conferences as invited speaker. In 2014 he was honored with the Cyprus Research Award-Distinguished Researcher 2014, which is awarded to researchers with long standing experience in Cyprus and who have demonstrated outstanding research achievements with local and international impact, honoring Cyprus. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Mariel Voutounou, PhD MBA – Project Manager at biobank.cy CoE, University of Cyprus (Cyprus).
Dr Mariel Voutounou completed a BSc in Biological Sciences, an MSc in Molecular Genetics and a PhD in Genetics at the University of Leicester, UK where she focused on the elucidation of the link between Epigenetic alterations and disease.
In 2012 she worked at the European Commission at the Directorate of Research and Innovation (DG RTD), as a trainee in the Department of Health, in Brussels, Belgium.
In 2013 to 2017 Dr Voutounou worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Neuroscience Department of Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM) & Burke Neurological Institute (BNI) in New York, US. Her work focused on the development of novel strategies to promote regeneration in the Central & Peripheral Nervous System.
Prior to 2019, Mariel worked as a consultant at KMPG, Cyprus, in the area of Digital Transformation (DT) and Management Consulting and completed an MBA at the University of Cyprus.
Dr Mariel Voutounou is the Project Manager of biobank.cy Centre of Excellence in Biobanking and Biomedical Research, at the University of Cyprus (UCY).
Dr Apostolos Malatras, PhD – IT team leader at biobank.cy CoE, University of Cyprus (Cyprus).
Dr Apostolos Malatras’ interests are in the fields of bioinformatics, systems biology, health and biobank informatics. He holds a degree in Computer Science and Biomedical Informatics, a MSc in Bioinformatics and a joint PhD in Systems Biology and Bioinformatics. He has more than 10 years of experience in the proper accumulation, integration, curation, and analysis of omics data (transcript- and prote- omics).
He developed several online tools and databases, including: HGCA, CellWhere, and MyoMiner. He is currently working at the biobank as IT manager and bioinformatician to manage, secure, analyze, and standardize clinical and genomics (sequencing) data. He has developed, designed, and is the database administrator of several genomics and biobank applications and databases, gaining in-depth knowledge of Biobanking software and skills that are utilized in biobank.cy, including federated dataset management and analysis from multiple pathologies, homogenization of clinical and experimental data, expertise in various statistical and data analysis methods relating to stratified medicine, optimizing knowledge on hosting platforms for biobank software solutions, identification and planning of appropriate data storage and High-Performance Computing resources necessary to support dataset storage and analysis.
Ms. Stella Antoniou, MSc – Quality Manager at biobank.cy CoE, University of Cyprus (Cyprus).
Ms. Stella Antoniou has a BSc in Biological Sciences from the University of Leicester and an MSc in Molecular Medicine from Imperial College London. Following her MSc graduation, she worked as a research scientist at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine at University of Oxford in a laboratory researching developmental haematopoiesis.
Due to an interest in drug development, she moved to work in clinical trial management with different Clinical Research Organizations (CROs) and pharmaceutical companies. As a Clinical Research Associate, she monitored clinical trials in the UK, Ireland, Greece, and Cyprus.
Stella is currently the Quality Manager at biobank.cy Center of Excellence in Research and Innovation at the University of Cyprus and has worked on the development of a Quality Management System and the alignment of the center with applicable ISO standards (ISO9001, ISO20387, and ISO15189). She has recently completed an MSc in Biobanking at the Medical University of Graz.
Dr. Georgia Charalambidou, PhD – ELSI Special Scientists / Researcher at biobank.cy CoE, University of Cyprus (Cyprus).
Dr. Georgia Charalambidou holds an LLB (Laws) from the University of Nicosia and University of London, an LLM in Medical Law and Ethics from the University of Edinburgh, and a PhD in Bioethics and Medical Jurisprudence from the University of Manchester. Georgia is an ELSI Special Scientist/Researcher at the Center of Excellence in Biobanking and Biomedical Research of the University of Cyprus. She taught Medicine and the Law and Family Law at a private University in Cyprus, and she is currently teaching Law and Ethics for the MSc in Biobanking of Graz University. She is also a register lawyer, the President of Kyrenia School Board, and the NCP of European Health Association for Cyprus. Georgia’s primary research interests are: the legal and ethical regulation of medical research, the right to privacy, the right to science, consent, minors’ consent, researchers’ integrity, research ethics, family involvement in medical decision making, health data protection, GDPR, patients’ rights and bioethics. Email: email@example.com
Maria A. Tsiarli, M.Sc., Ph.D.
Maria A. Tsiarli is an Associate Researcher at Brown University, USA and a Special Research Scientist at biobank.cy, Center of Excellence in Biobanking and Biomedical Research Molecular Medicine Research Center, Cyprus.
She received her B.S. degree in Biology at the School of Biology, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece, her M.Sc. in Neuroscience by the University College London (UCL), London, UK and her Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the School of Arts and Sciences, University at Pittsburgh, PA and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Pittsburgh, PA. She has conducted postdoctoral research in transcriptional regulation dynamics at Brown University, Providence, RI, USA alongside Dr. Erica Larschan. Additionally, she was awarded a Fix Postdoctoral Fellowship by the Harvard Medical School to conduct novel research on the neuro-developmental mechanisms of aggression with Dr. Edward Kravitz. Her research interests include cancer neuroscience, tumor microenvironment, transcriptional and molecular mechanisms of neurodevelopment in health and disease and stem cell dynamics. Dr. Tsiarli is an elected Board Member of the Cyprus Biological Society (CBS) since 2020 and is highly interested in science education and public outreach of scientific research. Since her return to Cyprus from the United States, she has established and hosts the online series of scientific lectures, “Excellence in Biology”, which features prominent researchers from around the world, with an emphasis of bringing to the frontline Greek scientists. Additionally, she has established and organized CyBioS, the yearly scientific conference on Cancer, Molecular Biology and Neuroscience, hosted by the CBS. The inaugural CyBioS event, which was the first of its kind in Cyprus and was under the auspices of the Cyprus Health Minister, was entitled CyBioS Mini Symposium 2023| CancerNow: From Benchside to Clinical Applications, was welcomed with high remarks from members of the scientific community as also, from members of the EU Mission on Cancer.