Press Release
Athens, 26 November 2012

The Greek “L'OREAL-UNESCO Award 2012 for Women in Science” is awarded for the third time to a NCSR “Demokritos” researcher


On November 26th 2012, Dr. Georgia Sfyroera, Marie Curie Fellow-Collaborating researcher at the Institute of Nuclear and Radiological Sciences, Energy, Technology and Safety of the NCSR “Demokritos”, was awarded the “L'OREAL-UNESCO Award 2012 for Women in Science”. Dr. Sfyroera was honored with the Life Sciences award for her research on the mechanism by which Staphylococcus aureus – the well-known bacterium associated with frequent and aggressive hospital infections- tricks the immune system and establishes infections in the human body. The long-term goal of Dr. Sfyroera’s research is the development of novel antibody-based vaccines that will confer protection against staphylococcus-associated diseases. These vaccines will target and neutralize S. aureus proteins that have been shown to promote pathogen virulence by allowing this bacterium to escape from the host immune system. Besides its complex immune suppressive strategies, S. aureus shows great resistance to antibiotics and inflicts a huge burden on society by causing a significant number of deaths on an annual basis.

Nevertheless, it is not the first time that women researchers from the NCSR “Demokritos” are honored this award. NCSR “Demokritos” is the only Greek research center that has been awarded three times with the “L'OREAL-UNESCO Award for Women in Science”. In 2009, Dr. Aggeliki Chroni, Senior Researcher at the Institute of Biosciences and Applications of the Center, was honored for her research on the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. A year later, Dr. Eleni Makarona, post-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Microelectronics* of the Center, received the same award for her research activity in micro/nanotechnology.

The Greek L'OREAL-UNESCO Awards, as an extension of the international program L'Oreal-UNESCO "For Women in Science", every year honor distinguished women scientists for their scientific contribution and encourage them to carry out their research in their country of origin. Since 1998, 1292 L'OREAL -UNESCO International Award Laureates from 106 countries have been recognized for careers of scientific excellence, which have opened up new and sometimes revolutionary ways of improving human well-being.

The Greek Awards, since their founding in 2006, have honored 20 young women researchers, under 38 years old, who conduct research in the life or physical sciences and work in Greek universities or research centers. Each year, three women researchers receive this prestigious honor, which is accompanied by a financial prize of 10,000 euro each. The two other winners of this year’s prize are Dr. Marianthi Georgitsi, researcher at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Immunology of the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Patras and Dr. Eleni Katragkou, lecturer in the Department of Meteorology and Climatology of the School of Geology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

* According to Law 4051/2012, the Institute of Microelectronics, the Institute of Materials Science and the Institute of Physical Chemistry have been merged into the Institute of Advanced Materials, Physicochemical Processes, Nanotechnology and Microsystems.

Relative links:
Dr. Georgia Sfyroera’s CV
L'Oreal-UNESCO "For Women in Science" International Program:






 Dr. N. Kanellopoulos, Director and President of Board of Directors of the NCSR “Demokritos”, delivers the award to Dr. Georgia Sfyroera






 Dr. Georgia Sfyroera with her co-worker Dr. Dimitris Mastellos and the postgraduate student Maria Georgoutsou, in their laboratory at the Institute of Nuclear and Radiological Sciences, Energy, Technology and Safety of the NCSR “Demokritos”

For the N.C.S.R. "Demokritos"

The National Center for Scientific Research (NCSR) "Demokritos" is the largest multidisciplinary research center in the country with substantial scientific research, technological and educational activities in the areas of: Health, Biology and Biotechnology, New Materials Micro & Nanotechnology, Environment - Energy and Sustainable Development, Information Technology & Telecommunications, Nuclear Physics & Elementary Particle Physics, Nuclear Technology & Radiation Protection, Cultural Heritage.


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N.C.S.R. "Demokritos"
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