Nektarios Tavernarakis

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Nektarios Tavernarakis
Nektarios Tavernarakis.jpg
Nektarios Tavernarakis at the Foundation for Research & Technology in Heraklion Crete, Greece (ca. 2015)
Native name
Νεκτάριος Νικολάου Ταβερναράκης
Born (1967-05-02) May 2, 1967 (age 51)
ResidenceHeraklion, Crete, Greece
CitizenshipGreek Flag of Greece.svg
Alma materAristotle University of Thessaloniki (BSc, 1989)
University of Crete (PhD, 1995)
Known forAgeing, Necrosis, Neurodegeneration
AwardsEuropean Research Council (ERC) Advanced Investigator grant award (twice)
European Research Council (ERC) Proof of Concept grant award
EMBO Young Investigator award
Academy of Athens BioMedical Research Award
Alexander von Humboldt Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel research award
Galien Scientific Research Award
Helmholtz International Fellow Award
Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) long-term postdoctoral fellowship
Bodossaki Foundation Scientific Prize for Medicine and Biology
Foundation for Research and Technology Research Excellence award
Empeirikeion Foundation Academic Excellence Prize
Scientific career
FieldsBiology, Cell Biology, Ageing, Neurodegeneration, Systems Biology, Metabolism
InstitutionsFoundation for Research & Technology – Hellas (FORTH), Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB)
University of Crete, Medical School

Nektarios N. Tavernarakis (Greek: Νεκτάριος Ν. Ταβερναράκης) is a bioscientist, who studies Ageing, Cell death, and Neurodegeneration.[1][2] He is currently Professor of Molecular Systems Biology at the Medical School of the University of Crete, and the Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Foundation for Research and Technology, in Heraklion, Crete, Greece. He is also the founder and Director of the Graduate Program in Bioinformatics of the University of Crete Medical School, and has served as Director of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, where he is heading the Neurogenetics and Ageing laboratory.

Biographical information[edit]

He completed his undergraduate studies at the Department of Biology of the Aristotle University, in Thessaloniki, Greece, and obtained his PhD degree from the Department of Biology of the University of Crete, in Heraklion, Greece. He trained as a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry of Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA. He has made notable contributions relevant to cell death, neurodegeneration and ageing, documented in the scientific literature.[3][4] He is a member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council (ERC),[5] the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO),[6] Academia Europaea[7] and the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.[8] His work has received several prominent awards and scientific prizes, including two European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Investigator grant awards (in 2008 and 2016),[9][10] a European Research Council (ERC) Proof of Concept grant award,[11] the EMBO Young Investigator award, the International Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) long-term postdoctoral fellowship, the BioMedical Research Award of the Academy of Athens, the Valergakis Post-Graduate Award of the Hellenic University Club of New York, the Galien Scientific Research Award,[12] the Helmholtz International Fellow Award,[13] the Bodossaki Foundation Scientific Prize for Medicine and Biology, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel research award, the Research Excellence award of the Foundation for Research and Technology, and the Empeirikeion Foundation Academic Excellence Prize, among others.

Research and scientific achievements[edit]

Nektarios Tavernarakis has contributed to the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of necrotic cell death and neurodegeneration, the interplay between cellular metabolism and ageing, the mechanisms of sensory transduction and integration by the nervous system.[14][15] He has also contributed towards the development of novel genetic tools for biomedical research, including an RNA interference (RNAi) method that allows efficient knockdown of neuronal genes.[16] His PhD Thesis research focused on the expression and function of key stress response transcriptional activators in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and provided original insights on the regulation of these activators by nutrient limitation, and the role of DNA in determining interactions between transcription factors and co-factors.[17] His laboratory at IMBB was the first to commence Caenorhabditis elegans research in Greece. Among the notable discoveries of his team are the sophisticated molecular mechanisms, by which diverse physiological signals are integrated to modulate cellular mitochondrial content,[18] protein synthesis,[19][20] and energy homeostasis during ageing.[21] These studies revealed intricate signaling pathways that coordinate mitophagy and mitochondrial biogenesis, to determine the number of mitochondria in cells, under stress and during ageing.[22][23] Work from his lab implicated autophagy,[24] lysosomal function,[25][26] endocytosis,[27] intracellular calcium homeostasis[28] and specific proteolytic enzymes[29] as major contributors to necrosis and neurodegeneration. His group developed, for the first time, experimental heat stroke models; and identified mechanisms protecting against heat cytotoxicity and other necrotic insults.[30] He has isolated and characterized specific ion channels, involved in proprioception and coordinated locomotion,[31] in dopaminergic signalling and associative learning.[32] His team was also the first to delineate the role of autophagy in the regulation of synaptic plasticity and behaviour under nutrient deprivation and stress.[33][34]

Selected awards and distinctions[edit]

  • Member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts (2018)[8]
  • Helmholtz International Fellow Award (2017)[13]
  • Galien Scientific Research Award (2017)[12]
  • Honorary Education Business Award (2017)[35]
  • Member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council (ERC) (2016)[5]
  • European Research Council (ERC), Advanced Investigator Grant award (2016)[10]
  • Research Support Award, Fondation Santé (2015)[36]
  • BioMedical Research Excellence Award, Academy of Athens, (2014)[37]
  • Member of Academia Europaea (2014)[7]
  • Empeirikeion Foundation, Academic Excellence Prize (2012)
  • Excellence Professor, Medical School, University of Crete (2010)
  • Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) (2009)[6]
  • European Research Council (ERC), Advanced Investigator Grant award (2008)[9]
  • Foundation for Research and Technology, Research Excellence award (2007)
  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research award (2007)[38]
  • Member of the Faculty of 1000 in Biology/Medicine, section on Cellular Death & Stress Responses (2006)[39]
  • Bodossaki Foundation, Academic Prize in Medicine and Biology (2005)[40]
  • European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Young Investigator (2002–2005)[41]
  • International Human Frontier in Science Program Organization (HFSPO) fellow (1996–2000)[42]
  • State of New Jersey, Commission on Cancer Research fellow (1996)
  • Hellenic University Club of New York, Frederick Valergakis, Academic achievement award (1996)

Selected publications[edit]


  1. ^ Search Results for author Tavernarakis N on PubMed.
  2. ^ "Nektarios Tavernarakis - Google Scholar". Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  3. ^ "Nektarios Tavernarakis B-9684-2013". 2014-01-02. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  4. ^ "Nektarios Tavernarakis (0000-0002-5253-1466) - ORCID | Connecting Research and Researchers". ORCID. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  5. ^ a b "ERC Scientific council".
  6. ^ a b "EMBO members". Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  7. ^ a b "Academy of Europe: Tavernarakis Nektarios". Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  8. ^ a b "European Academy of Sciences and Arts members".
  9. ^ a b "European Commission : CORDIS : Projects & Results Service : Molecular Basis of Neuronal Ageing". Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  10. ^ a b "ERC Advanced Grants: €647 million from the EU to 277 senior research leaders" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  11. ^ "ERC Proof of Concept Grants: 45 ERC grantees receive top-up innovation funding" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  12. ^ a b "Prix Galien: Galien Scientific Research Award". Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  13. ^ a b "Helmholtz International Fellow Award".
  14. ^ pubmeddev. "Tavernarakis N - PubMed - NCBI".
  15. ^ "Nektarios Tavernarakis - Google Scholar".
  16. ^ Tavernarakis, Nektarios; Wang, Shi L.; Dorovkov, Maxim; Ryazanov, Alexey; Driscoll, Monica (1 February 2000). "Heritable and inducible genetic interference by double-stranded RNA encoded by transgenes". Nature Genetics. 24 (2): 180–183. doi:10.1038/72850. PMID 10655066 – via
  18. ^ Palikaras, K.; Lionaki, E.; Tavernarakis, N. (1 September 2015). "Balancing mitochondrial biogenesis and mitophagy to maintain energy metabolism homeostasis". Cell Death & Differentiation. 22 (9): 1399–1401. doi:10.1038/cdd.2015.86. PMC 4532782. PMID 26256515 – via
  19. ^ Syntichaki, Popi; Troulinaki, Kostoula; Tavernarakis, Nektarios (22 February 2007). "eIF4E function in somatic cells modulates ageing in Caenorhabditis elegans". Nature. 445 (7130): 922–926. Bibcode:2007Natur.445..922S. doi:10.1038/nature05603. PMID 17277769 – via
  20. ^ Rieckher M, Markaki M, Princz A, Schumacher B, Tavernarakis N (2018). "Maintenance of proteostasis by P body-mediated regulation of eIF4E availability during ageing in Caenorhabditis elegans". Cell Reports. 25 (1): 199–211. doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2018.09.009. PMC 6180348. PMID 30282029.
  21. ^ Artal-Sanz, Marta; Tavernarakis, Nektarios (8 October 2009). "Prohibitin couples diapause signalling to mitochondrial metabolism during ageing in C. elegans". Nature. 461 (7265): 793–797. Bibcode:2009Natur.461..793A. doi:10.1038/nature08466. PMID 19812672 – via
  22. ^ Palikaras, Konstantinos; Lionaki, Eirini; Tavernarakis, Nektarios (28 May 2015). "Coordination of mitophagy and mitochondrial biogenesis during ageing in C. elegans". Nature. 521 (7553): 525–528. Bibcode:2015Natur.521..525P. doi:10.1038/nature14300. PMID 25896323 – via
  23. ^ Palikaras K, Lionaki E, Tavernarakis N (2018). "Mechanisms of mitophagy in cellular homeostasis, physiology and pathology". Nature Cell Biology. 20 (9): 1013–1022. doi:10.1038/s41556-018-0176-2. PMID 30154567.
  24. ^ Samara, C.; Syntichaki, P.; Tavernarakis, N. (28 September 2007). "Autophagy is required for necrotic cell death in Caenorhabditis elegans". Cell Death & Differentiation. 15 (1): 105–112. doi:10.1038/sj.cdd.4402231. PMID 17901876 – via
  25. ^ Artal-Sanz, Marta; Samara, Chrysanthi; Syntichaki, Popi; Tavernarakis, Nektarios (24 April 2006). "Lysosomal biogenesis and function is critical for necrotic cell death in Caenorhabditis elegans". J Cell Biol. 173 (2): 231–239. doi:10.1083/jcb.200511103. PMC 2063814. PMID 16636145 – via
  26. ^ Syntichaki, Popi; Samara, Chrysanthi; Tavernarakis, Nektarios (12 July 2005). "The Vacuolar H+-ATPase Mediates Intracellular Acidification Required for Neurodegeneration in C. elegans". Current Biology. 15 (13): 1249–1254. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2005.05.057. PMID 16005300 – via ScienceDirect.
  27. ^ Troulinaki, Kostoula; Tavernarakis, Nektarios (1 February 2012). "Endocytosis and intracellular trafficking contribute to necrotic neurodegeneration in C. elegans". The EMBO Journal. 31 (3): 654–666. doi:10.1038/emboj.2011.447. PMC 3273398. PMID 22157748.
  28. ^ Xu, Keli; Tavernarakis, Nektarios; Driscoll, Monica (27 September 2001). "Necrotic Cell Death in C. elegans Requires the Function of Calreticulin and Regulators of Ca2+ Release from the Endoplasmic Reticulum". Neuron. 31 (6): 957–971. doi:10.1016/S0896-6273(01)00432-9 – via ScienceDirect.
  29. ^ Syntichaki, Popi; Xu, Keli; Driscoll, Monica; Tavernarakis, Nektarios (31 October 2002). "Specific aspartyl and calpain proteases are required for neurodegeneration in C. elegans". Nature. 419 (6910): 939–944. Bibcode:2002Natur.419..939S. doi:10.1038/nature01108. PMID 12410314 – via
  30. ^ Kourtis, Nikos; Nikoletopoulou, Vassiliki; Tavernarakis, Nektarios (11 October 2012). "Small heat-shock proteins protect from heat-stroke-associated neurodegeneration". Nature. 490 (7419): 213–218. Bibcode:2012Natur.490..213K. doi:10.1038/nature11417. PMID 22972192 – via
  31. ^ Tavernarakis, Nektarios; Shreffler, Wayne; Wang, Shiliang; Driscoll, Monica (1 January 1997). "unc-8, a DEG/ENaC Family Member, Encodes a Subunit of a Candidate Mechanically Gated Channel That Modulates C. elegans Locomotion". Neuron. 18 (1): 107–119. doi:10.1016/S0896-6273(01)80050-7 – via ScienceDirect.
  32. ^ Voglis, Giannis; Tavernarakis, Nektarios (17 December 2008). "A synaptic DEG/ENaC ion channel mediates learning in C. elegans by facilitating dopamine signalling". The EMBO Journal. 27 (24): 3288–3299. doi:10.1038/emboj.2008.252. PMC 2609744. PMID 19037257 – via
  33. ^ Nikoletopoulou V, Sidiropoulou K, Kallergi E, Dalezios Y, Tavernarakis N (2017). "Modulation of autophagy by BDNF underlies synaptic plasticity". Cell Metabolism. 26 (1): 230–42. doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2017.06.005. PMID 28683289.
  34. ^ Nikoletopoulou V, Tavernarakis N (2018). "Regulation and roles of autophagy at synapses". Trends in Cell Biology. 28 (8): 230–42 646–661. doi:10.1016/j.tcb.2018.03.006. PMID 29731196.
  35. ^ "Education Business Award". Retrieved 2017-05-17.
  36. ^ "Fondation Santé". 2015-10-01. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  37. ^ "Ακαδημια Αθηνων". Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  38. ^ "Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation - Researching the Network". Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  39. ^ "Nektarios Tavernarakis: Faculty Member in Cellular Death & Stress Responses - F1000Prime". 2006-07-18. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  40. ^ "Scientific Awards | Bodossaki Foundation" (in Greek). Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  41. ^ "Search the YIP database". Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  42. ^ "Awards Archive | Human Frontier Science Program". Retrieved 2015-11-23.

External links[edit]