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Spyros Artavanis-Tsakonas

Spyros Artavanis-Tsakonas

Distinguished Fellow

From 1999-2007 he was also the Isselbacher-Schwartz Professor at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. He is the founding Director of the Developmental and Regenerative Biology Program at Harvard Medical School.


He completed his undergraduate studies in chemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH in Zurich before earning his Ph.D. from Cambridge University for work carried out at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. After postdoctoral work at the Biozentrum in Basel and at Stanford University, he joined the Yale faculty in 1981 in the Department of Biology and in 1989 was concurrently, Professor at the Department of Cell Biology at the Yale School of Medicine and served as the Director of the Biological Sciences Division at Yale.


He was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator from 1987 to 1998 when he left for Harvard, where he was appointed Professor of Cell Biology. In 1999 he was elected Professor at the Collège de France, in Paris, holding the Chair of Biology and Genetics of Development until 2012 when he became Professeur honoraire. He is the Founding Director of the Department of Genetics and Developmental Biology at Institut Curie, Paris, 2007-2009. From 2012 to March 2017 he served as Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President at Biogen Inc.


His laboratory has been studying cellular interactions in development and disease and pioneered the use of genetic and molecular approaches to define and analyze the Notch signaling pathway. Currently, at his Harvard Medical School laboratory, he is using genetic model systems to dissect neurodegeneration pathways related to human disease.


He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an associate member of EMBO, and a corresponding member of the Academy of Athens and a member of the Cambridge Philosophical Society. He is the co- founder and President of Fondation Sante a charitable organization supporting Biomedical research in Greece and a co-founder of the Biotechnology companies Exelixis, Cellzome and Anadys

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