Introducing Prof. Dr. George P. Patrinos  

My name is George P. Patrinos and currently serve as Professor of Pharmacogenomics and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at the University of Patras (Greece), Department of Pharmacy, and Head of Division of Pharmacology and Biosciences of the same Department. I also hold adjunct Full Professorships at Erasmus MC, Faculty of Medicine, Rotterdam (the Netherlands) and the United Arab Emirates University, College of Medicine, Department of Genetics and Genomics, Al-Ain, Abu Dhabi (UAE). Also, since March 2018, I am Chairman of the Global Genomic Medicine Consortium (G2MC), and since May 2023, Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the ASPIRE Abu Dhabi Precision Medicine Research Institute. 

What led you to go into your research field? 

During my doctoral years, I was intrigued by the fact that some β-thalassemia patients did not require blood transfusions and had a very mild profile even though they had the same genetic profile with β-thalassemia patients that required regular transfusions. Also, some sickle cell disease patients responded better to hydroxyurea treatment to augment fetal hemoglobin levels. This sparked my interest in pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine, as these differences clearly had a strong genetic basis. I have been involved in research since 1992 and became an independent researcher in 2004. 

What type of scientific research are you currently doing?  

My group has keen interest in research covering public health genomics projects, all focusing on pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine. In particular, my research interests involve discovery work and clinical implementation of pharmacogenomics, focusing on psychiatry but also cardiovascular diseases and oncology, genomics of rare disorders, and transcriptional regulation of human fetal globin genes. Moreover, my group is internationally recognized for its involvement in developing National/Ethnic Genetic databases to document the genetic heterogeneity in different populations worldwide and of genome informatics tools to translate genomic information into a clinically meaningful format. Also, our group has a keen interest in public health genomics to critically assess the impact of genomics to society and public health, including health economics and ethics in genetics. 

What is a typical day at your institution like?   

I feel blessed that I am surrounded by very bright and talented colleagues in our lab. We spend a great deal of time to discuss about our research projects. Typical daily routines involve research meetings with colleagues and collaborators, but also some can’t-escape administrative meetings, teaching undergraduate and post-graduate courses, lecturing in national and international conferences and visits to other academic institutions, universities, regulatory bodies, and occasionally corporate entities.  

What motivates you the most about your current work? 

My motivation of my current work is mostly to inspire and motivate young students by my example, not simply by saying so, and to convince healthcare professionals of the need to adopt personalized medicine and therapeutics in their daily routine. Also, I get particularly enthusiastic when addressing the general public to explain personalized medicine in lay language to raise awareness about personalized medicine. I, of course, get excited when our data get published in high profile scientific journals, when I get a very interesting results from our lab.  

What is your vision for the future of your scientific/medical specialty? 

Personalized medicine is the medicine of the future and will clearly be integrated into main clinical practice very soon for the benefit of the patients and their relatives. This will improve the quality of life, expand the lifespan and longevity, and reduce the costs of the healthcare expenditure.  

What advice would you give to a researcher or healthcare professional starting out? 

A young researcher and academic should be objective, hard-working, and persistent, as in our field we often face failures and negative results, which can be disappointing. They should also be a team-player, a problem-solver, and above all academically fair, and believe that anything is impossible! 

What motivated you to apply to become a Karger Ambassador? 

Given my academic achievements and previous editorial experience as Associate Editor for the Public Health Genomics journal, it was immediately obvious that this was something that would further boost my activities, especially encouraging and motivating young healthcare professionals and raising genomics awareness of the general public. Therefore, in 2023 I became a Karger Ambassador. 

How do you see your collaboration with Karger progressing? 

I see our collaboration getting stronger and expanding into other disciplines, such as partnering a Karger journal with scientific networks that I am involved with such as the Genomic Medicine Alliance.  

What is your vision for your future?  

God willing, I expect to have a key role in implementing personalized medicine and therapeutics in the main clinical practice for the benefit of patients.  

How do you switch off from a busy day at work?  

To unwind from my heavy daily academic routine, my day always includes working out on a continuous daily basis, going to the gym, playing tennis, or running by the seaside. I am engaged in beach sports and SUP during the summer months; this is one of the benefits by living in Greece.   

 

 

George P. Patrinos is Professor of Pharmacogenomics and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at the University of Patras (Greece), Department of Pharmacy, and Head of Division of Pharmacology and Biosciences of the same Department. He holds adjunct Full Professorships at Erasmus MC, Faculty of Medicine, Rotterdam (the Netherlands) and the United Arab Emirates University, College of Medicine, Department of Genetics and Genomics, Al-Ain (UAE). Since March 2018, he is Chair of the Global Genomic Medicine Collaborative (G2MC), and since May 2023, Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the ASPIRE Abu Dhabi Precision Medicine Research Institute. He has ample regulatory experience and served for 12.5 years as Full Member and Greece’s National representative in the CHMP Pharmacogenomics Working Party of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and is still an active member of the European Medicines Agency participating in expert panels providing scientific advice where needed.  

George is currently Director of the Laboratory of Pharmacogenomics and Individualized Therapy, the first officially established academic pharmacogenomics laboratory in Greece. His group has a keen interest in research covering public health genomics projects, focusing on pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine. 

George has more than 330 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, including The Lancet, Lancet EBioMedicine, Nature Genetics, Nature Rev Genet, Nucleic Acids Res, Genes Dev. He has co-authored and co-edited more than 15 textbooks, among which the renowned textbook “Molecular Diagnostics”, published by Academic Press, now in its 3rd edition, and he is the editor of “Translational and Applied Genomics” book series, published by Elsevier. Furthermore, since September 2020, he serves as Editor-In-Chief of the prestigious Pharmacogenomics Journal (TPJ), published by Nature Publishing Group, Associate Editor, and member of the editorial board of several scientific journals, such as Human Mutation, Human Genetics, Human Genomics, Pharmacogenomics, and has been a member of several international boards and advisory and evaluation committees. 

George is also the main co-organizer of the Golden Helix Conferences, an international meeting series on Pharmacogenomics and Genomic Medicine with more than 50 conferences organized in more than 25 countries worldwide. 

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