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EBW24 Previews
#EBW24 previews: Chairs for panel session ‘Rare diseases’

#EBW24 previews: Chairs for panel session ‘Rare diseases’

We are pleased to confirm the chairs for the panel session ‘Rare diseases’: Professor Constantinos Deltas from the Medical School of the University of Cyprus and Professor Neşe Atabey from the Izmir Biomedicine and Genome Center (IBG). The session takes place on Thursday 16 May 2024 as part of the EBW24 programme.

Professor Constantinos Deltas

Professor Constantinos Deltas studied Pharmacy at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He received his PhD in Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at Rutgers University, NJ, USA, in January 1988. While working at Duke University School of Medicine in 1991, he was invited to join the newly established Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, where he started the first molecular genetics laboratory on hereditary kidney diseases and other disorders. In 2002 he was elected Professor of Genetics at the newly established Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cyprus, serving as first Chairperson, contributing to the preparation of curricula and the organization of the first research laboratories. Since 2020 he is Professor of Medical and Molecular Genetics at the Medical School of the University of Cyprus. Research in his laboratory led to the discovery of important new knowledge about new genes, mutations and molecular pathomechanisms that cause inherited kidney disease.

With funding from the European Union, the Republic of Cyprus and the University of Cyprus, he is Founder and Director of the biobank.cy Centre of Excellence in Biobanking and Biomedical Research, including the first Biobank in the country. With his initiatives, Cyprus became full member of the BBMRI-ERIC. He is leading the Cyprus Human Genome Project, which recently completed the first phase of the CYPROME, based on 1000 Cypriot whole exomes.

He developed a diagnostics laboratory to offer molecular testing for inherited kidney conditions acting as a referral center since 1991, and systematic genetic testing for inherited cardiomyopathies and arrhythmias, amongst others.

He published more than 150 papers and presented his work in many international conferences and Universities, as an invited speaker. Amongst others, in 2014 he was honored with the Cyprus Research Award as a Distinguished Researcher, which is awarded to researchers with many years of experience in Cyprus and have demonstrated outstanding research achievements with local and international impact. Prof. C. Deltas is a member of the Workshop Organising Committee of the Alport Syndrome Alliance, and a member of the Regional Council of Central and Eastern Europe of the International Society of Nephrology. His laboratory team had instrumental contribution in the mapping and cloning of the PKD2 gene, the two-hit hypothesis for cyst formation in polycystic kidney disease, while he published first landmark paper associating convincingly the collagen IV mutations that cause Alport syndrome and thin basement membrane nephropathy with focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis.

Professor Neşe Atabey

Neşe Atabey is a principal investigator at the Izmir Biomedicine and Genome Center (IBG) and Director of the IBG Biobank. She has also been working as a professor in the Department of Medical Biology and Genetics at the Faculty of Medicine, Tinaztepe University. Prof Atabey has been the National Node Director of BBMRI-Turkey since 2015. 

Prof Atabey has over 25 years of career in cancer research and has carried out several research projects through a translational approach. She has authored/co-authored over 60 publications and holds patents in the field of cancer biology and signaling. Her laboratory has made significant contributions to understanding the mechanisms that regulate aggressive phenotype, drug resistance, and stem cell maintenance in rare cancers and has defined novel regulatory roles of receptor crosstalk and non-coding RNAs in the regulation of growth factor signalingin liver cancer. 

Based on her interest in translational cancer research, the quality of biological samples was her focus. She initiated a Biobank at IBG and has served as NN of BBMRI.tr since 2015. During this period, she carried out activities to implementbiobank quality standards for biobanks in Turkey. She took an active role in establishing national biobanking infrastructure and implementing the ISO 20387 biobanking standards for the Turkish Accreditation Agency. Furthermore, she organised training activities for biobankers, researchers, health professionals, and medical students and carried out networking activities to establish and strengthen collaborative biobanking networks.

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