Nektarios Tavernarakis is Professor of Molecular Systems Biology at the Medical School of the University of Crete, in Heraklion, Greece. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Foundation for Research and Technology, and Research Director at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, where he is heading the Neurogenetics and Ageing laboratory. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina), the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, Academia Europaea, and the Academy of Athens. He is Chairman of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Governing Board, and has served as Vice President of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council (ERC).
He earned his PhD at the University of Crete, and trained as a postdoctoral researcher at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA. His work focuses on 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, and the development of novel genetic tools for biomedical research.
He has received several notable scientific prizes and awards, including two ERC Advanced Investigator Grants, and an innovation-supporting ERC Proof of Concept Grant. He is also the recipient of the EMBO Young Investigator award, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel research award, the Bodossaki Foundation Scientific Prize for Medicine and Biology, the Empeirikeion Foundation Academic Excellence Prize, the BioMedical Research Award of the Academy of Athens, the Galien Scientific Research Award, and the Helmholtz International Fellow Award.