Georgia Drakakaki Receives Greek Diaspora Fellowship

Georgia Drakakaki from the University of California, Davis, was awarded a fellowship by The Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program to travel to Greece to work on “Chemical genomics research, training and education in plant growth and productivity” in collaboration with Prof. Polydefkis Hatzopoulos at the Agricultural University of Athens.

Georgia Drakakaki, UC Davis.

Drakakaki, an associate professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, has a research focus on endomembrane trafficking in plant cells. During this fellowship, a bilateral and synergistic technology transfer in the emerging area of chemical biology, drug discovery and advanced cell biology techniques will be established. The project, entitled “Chemical genomics research, training and education in plant growth and productivity,” is divided into three highly interconnected activities: Collaborative research, Graduate student teaching/mentoring, and Curriculum co-development.

Drakakaki will use her expertise in teaching chemical and cell biology to participate in an M.Sc. program on Systems Biology and will provide workshops on cell imaging and concepts of chemical biology. The project will be open to students from other universities or departments from the Agricultural University of Athens during June–July 2017.

The immediate impact of the proposal is the transfer of knowledge to the host institute at various levels: an updated education of the M.Sc. students and exposure to highly innovative research at the Ph.D. and postdoctoral levels. The outcome of this translates into joint research publications and future collaborations on grants.

Drakakaki is one of 21 Greek- and Cypriot-born scholars, from 16 prominent United States and Canadian universities, who will travel to Greece to conduct academic projects with their peers at Greek universities, working in areas that range from public health to chemical genomics research, and from English language curriculum to continuing education studies in urban food security. Twelve Greek universities were selected by the Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program to host the fellows for collaborative projects that meet specific needs at their institutions and in their communities.

The Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program is designed to help avert Greece’s brain drain and develop long-term, mutually-beneficial collaborations between universities in Greece and the United States and Canada. It is managed by the Institute of International Education in collaboration with the Fulbright Foundation in Greece, and funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

“The Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s generous support for these Fellowships demonstrates the Foundation’s commitment to expanding Greece’s human capital and investing in the country’s long-term economic recovery,” said Allan Goodman, President and CEO of the Institute of International Education.

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(Article by Ann Filmer, Dept. of Plant Sciences, UC Davis)

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