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Foundation recognizes geneticist’s promise

Photo by Terry Dagradi
Panteleimon Rompolas (left) is a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Valentina Greco (right).

Panteleimon Rompolas, Ph.D., MBA, postdoctoral fellow in genetics, is the recipient of a 2014 Blavatnik Regional Award for Young Scientists in the category of life sciences.

The award, which carries an unrestricted cash prize of $30,000, honors Rompolas’ contributions to the understanding of tissue development and regeneration. His research, conducted in the lab of Valentina Greco, Ph.D., associate professor of genetics and dermatology, includes examining hair follicle stem cell behavior.

To directly address how stem cells maintain and regenerate adult tissues, he developed a system that established for the first time the ability to visualize stem cells in their native environment in real-time in mammalian skin. This research, published in 2012 and 2013 in the journal Nature, has enhanced our understanding of stem cell function in live mammalian tissue, and the influence of cell position on cell behavior and fate.

Rompolas is a current Druckenmiller Fellow with the New York Stem Cell Foundation and in 2013 received the Merton Bernfield Memorial Award from the American Society for Cell Biology. He earned his B.Sc. at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece, and his Ph.D. and MBA at the University of Connecticut.

The Blavatnik Regional Awards for Young Scientists were established in 2007 to honor outstanding postdoctoral scientists in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey. They are administered by the Blavatnik Family Foundation, which is led by industrialist and philanthropist Len Blavatnik, and the New York Academy of Sciences, an independent non-profit group committed to advancing science, technology, and society worldwide.