I studied medicine in the Medical School of Athens University (in Athens, Greece). After obtaining my medical doctorate degree, I fulfilled my military service as a Sergeant M.D. of the Greek Airforce. My strong will to train as both a researcher and a clinician in the field of Hematology/Oncology led me leave Greece, as in my home country physician training is exclusively clinical. In search of an academic institution where I could combine training in experimental and clinical medicine, I applied for a position at the Freiburg University Medical Center in Germany. I was awarded an internal scholarship and was accepted as a research fellow at the institution. I joined the Research Group of Dr. Hendrik Veelken, who was then the Leading Physician of the Research Department. Together, we studied the capacity of the immune system to identify tumor-specific antigens of malignant lymphoid clones and to mount anti-tumor responses. This work was the basis of my thesis for the acquisition of the German medical doctorate degree, which I was awarded with the distinction of magna cum laude. It was also included in two independent publications in Blood and Haematologica. With Prof. Veelken’s recommendation, I was offered a position in the physician training program of the Freiburg University, where I completed annual rotations in the acute leukemia and the bone marrow transplantation units. This was a very challenging and rewarding experience that reaffirmed my will to combine translational research with clinical work. It also allowed me to expand my research focus and develop an interest in the biology and treatment of myeloid malignancies. With the kind assistance and support of my supervisors at the Freiburg University Medical Center, I was given the opportunity to continue my research training in the United States of America. I joined the research group of Dr. Clara D. Bloomfield at The Ohio State University in November of 2012. Since July of 2014 Dr. Ramiro Garzon has also actively participated in my mentorship. Together we have co-authored six published articles, which are mainly focused on the prognostic and biologic significance of non-coding RNAs in acute myeloid leukemia. We were the first to report on long non-coding RNA signatures that associate with clinical outcome of younger and older AML patient. We have also studied the biologic function of individual lncRNAs and have reported on the role of a HOXB-locus embedded lncRNA in ribosome biogenesis. Given my will to resume my clinical training, the Physician Scientist Training Program that The Ohio State University offers provided an excellent opportunity to pursue both of my career goals. I was fortunate enough to be accepted in the program and start my work as a resident physician in the Department of Internal Medicine in June of 2018. The experience has so far been extremely gratifying. The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center offers an excellent environment for clinical training. A wide variety of complex cases are seen and treated here, as OSUWMC is a referral center for a number of disease entities. The quality of the provided healthcare is outstanding as well as the supervision and teaching from experienced faculty. In addition, the functional relationships between the residents and the level of help and support that one gets fromone’s peers are truly remarkable. This is not a random feature; the faith in joined work and the culture of mutual support between the members of the team are embedded in the character of the institution and are indispensable parts of the Buckeye identity. With regard to the city itself, Columbus is a very charming, welcoming, and vibrant place. It is the home of a growing community of young professionals and students, who shape the city’s character and every-day life. Columbus combines the attractions and the variety of options regarding culture and entertainment of a Metropole with the personality and warmth of a mid-Western city. It is a place one can fall in love with and easily call home.
Manuscripts in Revisions