The winners of Cyprus Research Awards 2014 talk to CNA about their work

The winners of Cyprus Research Awards 2014 talk to CNA about their work

The Research Promotion Foundation (RPF) has presented its 2014 Research Awards to researchers in Cyprus whose work has demonstrated significant and world-class results, including achievements in the field of kidney diseases, cancer, Down syndrome, and a study on bids and mergers.

The awards were presented at a ceremony organized recently by the RPF in the framework of the Research and Innovation Week, which was sponsored by the Cyprus News Agency.

The Cyprus News Agency talked to the researchers about their work and asked them to evaluate the level of research in Cyprus.

The winner of the Cyprus Research Award/Prominent Researcher 2014 was Professor Constantinos Deltas, Professor of Genetics at the Department of Biological Sciences of the University of Cyprus, Director of the Molecular Medicine Research Center and head of the Laboratory of Molecular and Medical Genetics. The Professor won the award for his team`s achievements as regards research on kidney diseases.

“We have succeeded in creating a dynamic team with a rich presence in the local and international scene, and with an influence and contribution to the global nephrology community. Our contribution relates to the development of diagnostic methods, discovery of new genes and the understanding of cellular pathological mechanisms”, he said.

The Professor told CNA that the work of his team managed to “affect the minds of nephrologists in addressing certain hereditary nephropathies”.

“It is certain that our work has helped so that many kidney patients do not lose prematurely their kidneys”, he stressed.

Asked how he evaluates research in Cyprus, he said that this field is exceptionally high in the area of biological and medical sciences, adding that there is much productivity.

The Cyprus Research Award/Young researcher 2014 in the field Life Sciences was awarded to Dr Elisavet A. Papageorgiou, Chief Scientific Officer at NIPD Genetics Limited, for the discovery and development of a revolutionary new non-invasive prenatal diagnostic test for Down`s syndrome.

In statements to CNA, Papageorgiou said that the development of the non-invasive diagnostic test has multiple benefits for both the new parents and for society itself as it prevents spontaneous abortions and it is a painless method. The aim is to provide the diagnostic test by mid 2015 and to proceed to its enrichment.

As regards the level of research in Cyprus, she said that Cypriot researchers do significant work, adding that although funds are not much, young researchers try to excel in their field and make Cyprus known abroad.

The Cyprus Research Award/Young researcher 2014 in the field of Natural Sciences and Engineering was awarded to Dr Triantafyllos Stylianopoulos, Lecturer at the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering of the University of Cyprus, who has set up the Cancer Biophysics laboratory.

He told CNA that his research work is to study and optimize the transfer of pharmaceuticals to cancer tumors in order to maximize the efficiency of a treatment.

In relation to the level of research in Cyprus, Stylianopoulos noted that on the island there is a basic infrastructure and scientific personnel of international acclaim, mainly as a result of the funding given in previous years for research.

The Cyprus Research Award/Young researcher 2014 in the field of Social Sciences and Humanities was awarded to Dr Thomas Papadopoulos, Lecturer at the Department of Law of the European University Cyprus for his research on public takeover bids and company mergers in European and Cyprus company law, which received significant international and local publishing.

“This award is not only a reward for the efforts of many years, but also encouragement to continue my research”, Papadopoulos told CNA.

Papadopoulos said that the level of research in Cyprus is very promising.

“Cyprus is a small country, but efforts in research and innovation are commendable” he pointed out.