Professor Emeritus, Dept of General Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Patras, Greece. BSC School of Natural Sciences, University of Athens; MSc, Genetics, Tel Aviv University and Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel; PhD , Genetics, Imperial College of Science , London, UK. Academic post: Professor in Biology and Molecular Genetics, Medical Faculty, University of Patras. Sabbatical trainings in NIMR, Mill Hill, London under an EEC Bioengineering Program and in Guy's Hospital GKT School of Medicine, Division of Medical and Molecular Genetics, London , UK , under a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship. Research was focused in the detection and study mainly of mutations involved in beta thalassemia, but also of the important, first ever mutation in familial Parkinson Disease. Current research : Development of episomal vectors for gene therapy applications. We have identified, in human genome, the replication Initiation Region (IR) as a crucial element for the persistence of S/MAR based vectors in hematopoietic progenitor cells CD34+ cells.We have produced episomal vectors (a) for the artificial ?-globin gene activator, capable for mediating ?-globin gene activation in cells CD34+, as well as murine ?-YAC cells and (b) for the beta globin gene, with transgene expression reaching therapeutic levels. Episomal vectors are also easy and cost-effective to produce, and are an excellent candidate for the development of the next generation vectors for gene therapy.