University of Cyprus: Professor Leontios Kostrikis, Professor at the University of Cyprus, was elected member of the Academia Europaea – Academy of Europe, for his work in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

A distinction for the Cypriot academic community around the world and evidence of its dynamic development is the participation of eight academics in the Academia Europaea – European Academy of Sciences, four of whom are from the University of Cyprus.

The Academia Europaea

Founded in 1988, Academia Europaea is an international non-governmental organisation, with distinguished researchers of international standing from all fields of science, including Nobel Prize winners. The sole criterion for selection is ‘proven scientific excellence in the candidate’s field’. The Academy aims to support European research, to advise policy makers and international organisations on scientific issues and to promote interdisciplinary and international research. The new members are proposed following a proposal from two existing members of the Academy.  A rigorous evaluation and selection process is then followed by existing members of the respective Class. The formal address for all 2024 elected members will take place at the 35th Annual Congress of Academia Europaea from 26-28 November in Wroclaw, Poland.

Professor Leontios Kostrikis

Professor Leontios Kostrikis is a prominent academic in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Cyprus and a founding member of the Cyprus Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts. He was born and raised in the occupied village of Assia in Messoria, Famagusta District, starting an outstanding scientific career. He studied at New York University in the United States on a Fulbright scholarship, focusing on the scientific field of Iology.

His innovative work as a researcher in the field of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, led him to the prestigious Rockefeller University in the United States, where he was a Professor. However, his love for his country led him back to Cyprus in 2003, where he currently serves as Professor of Molecular Virology. During his career, Professor Kostrikis has received numerous awards and honours from the United States, the European Commission, Cyprus and international charities. For example, in 2005, he was awarded the Fulbright Honorary Award for his contributions to the betterment of the world. In 2020, he received the Cyprus Distinguished Researcher Award in Life Sciences from the Cyprus Research and Innovation Foundation in Cyprus.

Professor Kostrikis is not only an outstanding researcher but also a prominent member of several respected Academies. In 2019, he was elected a Founding Member of the Cyprus Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts. In addition, in 2020, he was elected Member of the Steering Committee for Life Sciences of the Scientific Council of the European Academies and Member of the International Institute of Engineering and Technology. In 2024 he was elected Member of the European Academy (Academia Europaea). As Head of the Molecular Virology Research Laboratory at the University of Cyprus, Professor Kostrikis leads pioneering studies on COVID-19 virus mutations using advanced scientific methods developed in his laboratory. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Cyprus, from March 2020 to January 2021, he played a central role as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the President of the Republic of Cyprus. This committee was instrumental in designing scientific recommendations and guidelines for the containment and management of the epidemic in Cyprus.

With his dedication to scientific progress and the treatment of infectious diseases, Professor Leontios Kostrikis continues to inspire admiration and acceptance in the scientific community and beyond.

Professor Leontios Kostrikis and Professor Despo Fatta-Kassinou are the scientists from the University of Cyprus who have been elected to the Academia Europaea in 2024, which also includes Sir Christopher Pissarides, Professor Marios Polycarpou, Professor Marios Pissarides and Professor Marios Polycarpou.

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