Research Fellows

Maria Filippidou, MD

Maria Filippidou studied Medicine at the School of Medicine of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Upon obtaining her medical degree in 2006, she worked as a primary physician in a rural area near Volos. In 2010 she started her residency in pediatrics, first at the Asklipieio General Hospital and, then, at the First Department of Pediatrics, “Agia Sofia” Children’s Hospital. Since 2015, she has been working as an attending physician in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the First Department of Pediatrics (Head Prof. Antonis Kattamis), taking care of children and adolescents with diseases covering the full spectrum of Pediatric Hematology–Oncology. Her main field of interest is Pediatric Neuro-Oncology.  Since 2016 she is a Ph.D. candidate in the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens with her thesis focusing on Pediatric tumors of the Central Nervous System (CNS).  She has participated in several meetings and clinical trials. She is a member of the Hellenic Society of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and the European Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOPE).
Since June 2018, she works at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Department of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Immunology of the University Hospital in Heidelberg, with main subject Pediatric Neuro-Oncology.

Maria is involved in Activity 4.


Dr. Panagiota Koralli

Dr. – Ing. Panagiota Koralli obtained her Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens in 2010 and her Ph.D. in Material Science, from the same university in 2016. Since her Ph.D. work, she is cooperating with the National Hellenic Research Foundation.
Her research interests include the development and characterization of thin films, laser-matter interaction, Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) and doping of semiconducting metal oxide thin films, thin film based solar cells, chalcopyrite compounds, sol-gel techniques, laser micromachining of thin films for photovoltaic applications, laser induced plasma spectroscopy (LIPS) and electrochemical sensors.
She has participated in one international research project as a young researcher and she has received a postgraduate financial support of the Empeirikeion Foundation for the academic year 2012 – 2013 during her Ph.D., as well as an IKY Fellowship of Excellence for Postgraduate Studies in Greece – SIEMENS PROGRAM as a Post-Doctoral Researcher.
Overall, she has participated in 17 international and 13 national conferences, has 8 publications in refereed journals and 2 book chapters.
Now she is working at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg as a fellow, in order to be skilled in modern diagnostics techniques on small animals.

Panagiota is involved in Activity 5.


Dr. Christos Sachpekidis, MD

Christos Sachpekidis, MD obtained his medical degree from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece in 2008 and his doctoral degree with the title “Skeletal imaging of multiple myeloma with 18F-FDG and 18F-NaF dynamic PET/CT” from the Faculty of Medicine, Ruprecht-Karls-University, Heidelberg, Germany in 2016. 
He has worked in different clinics in Greece, Germany and Switzerland with focus in nuclear medicine. His research interests are primarily related to his more than 4-year work in the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ) and include mainly the diagnostics and treatment response evaluation of oncological entities with the use of positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT), as well as the therapeutic and diagnostic (‘theranostics’) applications of nuclear medicine. Since January 2012 he is a research member of the Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Impairment Group.
Overall, he has authored 33 articles, he is reviewer in 21 international medical journals and has 92 presentations in international and national conferences. Now he is working at the 3rd Department of Nuclear Medicine of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and he is a research associate of the Clinical Cooperation Unit Nuclear Medicine of the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg, Germany.

Christos is involved in Activity 3.


Rafail Tasakis

Rafail Tasakis received his Bachelor of Science (BSc Hons) in Molecular Biology & Genetics, from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece) in 2016, followed by a year of training in bioinformatics at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg as an Otto-Bayer fellow within 2016-2017. His previous research endeavors focused on host-microbe interactions and in particular how human genetic ‘make-up’ responds to intracellular pathogens.
Since August 2017, he has joined as a PhD student (ERC fellow) the Papavasiliou lab at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, which closely collaborates with the Athens Comprehensive Cancer Center (ACCC). His current research combines experimental and computational approaches, aiming to decipher the impact of RNA editing in Colorectal Cancer development and progression.

Rafail is involved in Activity 2.


Dr. Spyridon Tsikalakis

Dr. Spyridon Tsikalakis obtained his B.Sc. in Biology from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in 2011, his M.Sc. in the Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Programme: “Applications of Biology in Medicine” from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Department of Biology in collaboration with the School of Medicine in 2014 and his Ph.D. in Medicine from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in 2018. Both his M.Sc. and PhD theses have been carried out at the Molecular Pathology Laboratory of the 1st Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
His research interests include cancer biology, molecular oncology, cell apoptosis, deregulation of cell signalling in carcinogenesis, cancer immunosurveillance, mRNA and protein expression analysis, cancer profiling and NGS techniques.

He has participated twice in the national research project: “Epidemiology of Cancer among the Greek Population -Clinicopathological Research” and has worked as a Biologist in cancer in vitro diagnostics at the Molecular Pathology Laboratory of the 1st Department of Pathology. Overall, he has participated in two (2) international and eight (8) national conferences and has two (2) publications in international refereed journals.
At the moment, he is working at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg as a fellow, with his main research focus being the characterization of heterogenous sporadic colorectal tumours with the application of novel techniques (e.g. N.G.S.), as a future guide for targeted therapy.

Spyros is involved in Activity 2.


Efstathios-Iason Vlachavas

Dr. Efstathios-Iason Vlachavas gained his BSc Degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the Democritus University of Thrace in 2012 and his MSc Degree in Master’s Degree Program of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics in 2014. From 2014 to 2019 he conducted his PhD diploma in translational bioinformatics-Democritus University of Thrace, in collaboration with NHRF and the German Cancer Research Center. His PhD project, in the area of radiomics, targeted the efficient bioinformatics analysis of molecular and glucose kinetic data from PET-CT measurements from colorectal cancer patients, in order to derive a composite signature for patient stratification. His research was co-financed by Greece and the European Union (European Social Fund - ESF) through the Operational Programme ≪Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning≫ in the context of the project “Scholarships programme for post-graduate studies - 2nd Study Cycle” (MIS-5003404), implemented by the State Scholarships Foundation (ΙΚΥ). In parallel, he was working as a data analyst in the ENIOS APPLICATIONS IKE (NHRF Bioinformatics spinoff company), with the main focus on the development and implementation of bioinformatics algorithms for computational drug repurposing applications, using transcriptomics data. In this aspect he participated in an international, collaborative, research project, with INSERM Unit 1242 COSS, in the frames of the H2020 RISEgrant INSPIRED, that studies the regulatory role of IRE1 protein in several neoplastic and degenerative diseases.

Dr. Vlachavas joined ACCC and started working as a PostDoc fellow in February 2020, in the Division Medical Informatics for Translational Oncology under Professor Dr. Frank Ückert on topic 1 “Data Integration”. After the closure of the Division Medical Informatics for Translational Oncology, he changed to join subtopic 2 in November last year, in the Division Molecular Genome Analysis headed by Prof. Wiemann. Currently, he is working on a project with the title “Elucidation of the molecular landscape of KRAS / BRAF mutant colon cancers”. In addition, he supports the interaction and communication between the institutes in Heidelberg and Athens.

Efstathios is involved in Activity 1.