My undergraduate and doctoral studies at the Department of Physics at the University of Cyprus have undoubtedly been decisive and laid the foundation for my subsequent career as a postdoctoral researcher at Princeton, and now as an assistant professor at the University of Texas A&M. The undergraduate program was well-structured to provide students with the fundamental principles of basic physics such as electromagnetism, thermodynamics and quantum mechanics, which I use almost daily in both my research and teaching work. Courses related to computational methods in physics from the beginning of the degree also helped to develop a “passion” for computational research. The undergraduate courses often promoted free thinking and problem-solving imagination, nurturing students with the principles of exploration. At the same time, the choice of courses, such as biophysics and a thesis, have been a starting point for me to begin my undergraduate studies exploring the “fantastic” world of biological molecule research with physicochemical principles. Undoubtedly, for me the most important part of my studies was my doctoral studies through which I gained invaluable knowledge and experience in computational biophysics. In addition, through collaborations with various research groups in Greece, Israel and California in the US, my doctoral studies have helped enrich my knowledge and appreciate the value of interdisciplinarity in the 21st century. This knowledge, combined with the knowledge I gained at Princeton on molecular design and mathematical optimization, are the two main pillars of my research team today that are coming together in an “innovative” way to design new biological nanomaterials and potential therapeutic molecules, as well as using and developing new computational tools to understand the biological structure and interactions of molecules in key areas of biology and health.

B.Sc (2006) and Ph.D. degrees (2010)