Prof. Electra Gizeli holds a B.Sc. in Chemistry from
the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece; M.Sc. from UCL, U.K.; and Ph.D. from the Univ. of Cambridge,
U.K. In 1995 she obtained a David Philips BBSRC Junior Research Fellowship and was appointed College Lecturer at the
Univ. of Cambridge. In 2003 she joined the Dept. of Biology at the Univ. of Crete and IMBB-FORTH where currently, she is
a full Professor. She is the (co-)author of 75 publications, 4 book chapters, 2 edited books and 4 patents (h: 29;
citations>2800). She has delivered keynote and invited oral presentations in international conferences/workshops. She has
coordinated multidisciplinary competitive projects funded by international (HFSP), European (FP6, FP7, Horizon 2020) and
national (BBSRC, Royal Society, GSRT) organizations, attracting total funding of over 10M euros (4.5M euros for
Biosensors lab). Recent work in her group on novel diagnostic platforms has been awarded the “Proof-of-Concept”
innovation award to establish a start-up, exploiting findings related to a digital colorimetric platform for POC applications.
Previous innovations were recognized through the 2013 “Greece Innovates” Award (top 10 finalists), the 2015 “Nokia Open
Innovation Challenge” Award (top 3) and the 2016 “Excellence in Innovation and Entrepreneurship” Competition, Greece
(1st Award). In 2008, EG was appointed “Adjunct Professorship” at the Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering at
Marquette Univ. in Milwaukee; in 2014 she received the Leviner Distinguished Visiting Fellowship from Ben Gurion Univ. in
Israel; in 2016 she was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. During the last 25 years, she has trained more
than 60 students and post-docs in her lab, many of whom are currently leading independent careers in academic and
industrial settings in Europe. She has been actively involved in the technology transfer of concepts developed in her lab
and has served as a reviewer and consultant in several European/ international organizations and industrial advisory boards.
She is the co-founder of AWSensors Diagnostics
, a spin-off company specialized in point-of-
care acoustic wave diagnostic systems. Her role in the current project will be to coordinate research, financial and
management activities, participate in four R&D WPs and be actively engaged in the exploitation and dissemination WPs.
The Biosensors Lab
focuses on research related to the broad field of biosensors and their
applications to molecular biology, nano-biotechnology and biophysics. Current research includes: (i) the development of
isothermal molecular biology assays for the point-of-care, based on acoustic and colorimetric detection asays, with
application in healthcare (e.g., cancer mutations, circulating tumor DNA) and agro/food-safety (Salmonella in milk, viroids
in plants); (ii) the design of acoustic biosensors integrated with microfluidics for lab-on-chip diagnostics; (iii) the use of 3D-
printing for the creation of rapid and low cost point-of-care devices suitable for home-testing; and (iv) biophysical acoustic
and optical (SPR, ellipsometry) approaches for the structural analysis of biomolecules and their interactions. The group is
highly multidisciplinary with strong emphasis in innovation and transfer of novel concepts from the lab to the market.
Currently it hosts 15 members.
- Prof. Electra Gizeli, FRSC
- Dr. George Papadakis
- Dr. Alexandros Pantazis
- Maria Megariti, M.Sc.
Lead beneficiary for:
WP1: Molecular tools for temperature-free detection of Influenza, HIV & Xyllela
biotechnology is the in-house ISO 9001:2008 certified biotechnology production facility of
IMBB-FORTH and has over 30 years of experience in production of bacterial-derived proteins. Mb produce a wide array of
high purity and superior quality Molecular Biology Enzymes (>75) and is highlighted as one of the 16 international suppliers
of Restriction Enzymes (REs) in the largest database on REs (REBASE, rebase.neb.com). MINOTECH biotechnology
products are supplied to customers directly or under OEM agreements through major European, Asian and North American
distributors. Mb research activities focuses at the identification of novel DNA/RNA modifying enzymes, all of them of high
biotechnological value. Our enzyme discovery portfolio includes the identification of these groups of macromolecules from
extremophilic microorganism (psychrophiles and halophiles). The research pipeline of Minotech includes identification/
cloning/heterologous expression/purification of target enzymes and their commercial exploitation. Minotech is in the process
of becoming a spin-off in the field of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. Negotiations with a Venture Capital fund are in
the final stage (term sheet exchange stage), while 3 companies (immunodiagnostic and agro/food market) have expressed
their interest to invest in a future private entity. Minotech currently has 8 personel-members.
- Dr Dimitrios Koutsioulis
- Dr Giannis Vlatakis
Lead beneficiary for:
WP7: Exploitation and IP Management
The Bioimage Analysis (BIA) unit led by Prof. Jean-Christophe Olivo-Marin has developed a leading expertise in image
processing and analysis, open software and mathematical microscopy. The scientific project of the Bioimage Analysis unit
is to develop image analysis and computer vision tools for the processing and quantification of biological images, with a
strong focus on multi-channel temporal 3D sequences. The research over the last years has been centered on developing
new algorithms for multi-particle tracking, social behavior analysis, active contours models, digital pathology, colour image
analysis, statistical spatial analysis and mathematical imaging. The group currently hosts 15 persons.
- Prof. Jean-Christophe Olivo-Marin
- Dr. Rituparna Sarkar
- Dr. Vannary Meas-Yedid
- Stéphane Dallongeville
Lead beneficiary for:
WP2: Data acquisition and bioimage analysis
(Unit of Bari) belongs to the National Research Council and was
established in 2014. The headquarter of the Institute is in Torino. The mission is on different fields of plant virology: 1)
studies on the etiology of diseases caused by viruses and virus-like agents; 2) development of molecular and serological
diagnostic tools; 3) investigations on fine mechanisms of molecular plant-virus interaction; 4) programs for crop sanitary
improvements and certification of virus-tested vegetative propagation material. The IPSP-BA research group is located at –
and works closely associated to – the Department of Soil, Plant and Food Sciences (DiSSPA, University of Bari)
The fundamental research carried out by the IPSP, includes studies on the molecular biology of plant pathogens (genome
analysis, host-pathogen and virus-vector interaction, use of recombinant DNA, production of transgenic plants, ecc), on
serological characterization of viruses (investigations on viral antigenic properties, antigenic variability). Applied research
activities include the identification of viral agents of the most important Mediterranean woody crops, epidemiology and
ecology studies, setting up advanced techniques for serological and molecular diagnosis, sanitation with traditional and
innovative techniques, application of certification protocols for woody crops.
In the recent past the use of innovative biotechnology tools allowed the IPSP-BA to achieve new important insights: (i)
production of recombinant antibody and scFv using the phage display technology; (iii) agroinfiltration to transform host plant
with virus-derived gene and transient study of their role/function; (iv) tools for sensitive and reliable virus detection by
multiplex real-time PCR assays; (v) role of small interfering RNA in the virus-induced gene silencing complex and in the
disease development; (vi) high throughput sequencing of plant nucleic acid for virus de novo discovery or characterization.
IPSP–CNR belongs to a network of Regional R&D laboratories
with the access to an Illumina
HiScanSQ platform for genomic and transcriptomic sequencing and analysis.
- Dr Angelantonio Minafra
- Dr Maria Saponari
Lead beneficiary for:
WP5: Evaluation and field testing for X. fastidiosa
Gnosis Data Analysis
PC is a spin-off company of the University of Crete founded
in 2013. Gnosis was founded by Profs Tsamardinos and Lagani, with decades long experience in the development of
machine learning methods and biomedical applications. Gnosis specializes in the development and application of advanced
statistical, machine learning, data mining, and data science methods to the analysis of data. The types of analyses primarily
include diagnostic and predictive modeling, but also clustering as well as causal discovery and modeling. In addition to
applied consulting projects, Gnosis has been developing algorithms and software tools for the automation of machine
learning and predictive modeling (AutoML tools). In particular, Gnosis created the BioSignature Discoverer plug-in that was
distributed by CLC Bio and QIAGEN for their genomics platforms. Gnosis’ latest product includes Just Add Data Bio of JAD
that has already produced several novel scientific results published in the literature (see publications below).
- Prof. Ioannis Tsamardinos
- Prof. Vincenzo Lagani
- Pavlos Charonyktakis, M.Sc.
- Dr Konstantinos Paraschakis
Lead beneficiary for:
WP3: Predictive modeling and decision support of disease outbreak
virology services have
established the Advanced Pathogen Diagnostics Unit (APDU), a late translational research unit within our fully UKAS
accredited diagnostic labs. APDU is funded with investment from the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, the UCLH
Pathology Division and the UCLH Clinical Research Fellow scheme. We have been developing innovative molecular
diagnostics and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) protocols with a Wellcome Trust grant in collaboration with the Sanger
Institute. We have sequenced over 3,000 patient samples, leveraged external grant funding and built international
collaborations participating in visiting scientists’ schemes. The aim of developing new diagnostic technologies and
incorporating them into clinical practice is to improve clinical care and outcomes by a) practicing evidence-based infection
control, b) improving outbreak preparedness and c) optimising stratified patient management with current, future and
experimental treatments. Additionally, the Unit aims at
- ensuring ongoing workforce development and education in the era of rapid developments in diagnostics including
- offering innovation in clinical diagnostic algorithms that are cost effective and improve outcomes
- establishing key collaborations with academic partners and introducing novel diagnostics in clinical practice
maintaining a vital late translational research footprint that is driven by clinical need in the new centralized high
throughput laboratories ensuring patient access to new technologies while taking advantage of economies of scale.
We were awarded the Institution for Engineering and Technology (IET) 2018 award for Healthcare Technologies.
- Dr Eleni Nastouli
- Dr Judith Heaney
- Dr Moira Spyer
Lead beneficiary for:
WP4: Evaluation in hospital and POC setting in London and Durban
The Africa Health Research Institute
(AHRI) is a multidisciplinary, independent research
institute based across two sites in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The AHRI goal is to become a source of
fundamental discoveries into the susceptibility, transmission and cure of HIV, TB and related diseases. AHRI researchers
also seek ways to improve diagnosis, prevention and treatment. To achieve this, AHRI brings together leading researchers
from different fields, use cutting edge science to improve people’s health, and help to train the next generation of African
scientists. The research is truly collaborative: AHRI works with over 60 academic and clinical institutions in South Africa,
and elsewhere in Africa and the world. AHRI’s major funders are Wellcome Trust and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
The academic partners are the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and University College London.
- Professor Ravi Gupta