Invitation – Live Webinar «Covid-19 Vaccine: Moving forward»
Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (ELIDEK) Funding of project evaluated as class A by the European Research Council
Posted on: 13/11/2020
The research project entitled “Functionality and Activity of Human Endogenous Retrovirus K” which was granted an A score by the European Research Council (ERC) will be funded by the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (ELIDEK) under the call for proposals “Aen Aristevein – Theodoros Papazoglou”. This call provides bridge-funding for project proposals graded “A” (highest score) by the ERC on account of their scientific merit, which were not funded due to budget limitations. Dr. Gkikas Magiorkinis, Assistant Professor of Hygiene and Epidemiology, is the Primary Investigator of the project.
The study will last two years and will provide insights on the possible proliferation of HERV-K HML-2 in humans. Preliminary evidence suggests that HERV-K HML-2 may be the third human Retrovirus, after Human T-Lymphotropic Virus (HTLV) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), with a proliferation potential in modern humans. The clinical implications of this work are relevant to securing the safety of advanced stem-cell treatments currently under development.
Lecture “The use of mathematics in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic”
Posted On: 13/07/2020
On Wednesday, July 15th 2020 (01:15 pm), Vana Sypsa (Associate Professor of Epidemiology & Medical Statistics, Dept. of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens) will give a lecture on the topic “The use of mathematics in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic” in a seminar organised by the Department of Mathematics of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. The seminar will be held via Zoom (https://authgr.zoom.us/j/95428351931).
WHO “Regional workshop on advancing implementation science on HIV and viral hepatitis in eastern Europe and Central Asia”
Posted On: 19/02/2020
On February 10-11 2020, a “Regional workshop on advancing implementation science on HIV and viral hepatitis in eastern Europe and Central Asia” was organised by WHO in Berlin, Germany. . Dr. Vana Sypsa, Assoc. Professor at the Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics participated as an invited speaker and gave a lecture on the “Use of social network-based HIV testing approaches for reaching key populations and their partners”. Dr. Sypsa shared her experience from interventions in Athens and Thessaloniki, Greece, employing social networks in order to screen for HIV and link to care people who inject drugs (programs ARISTOTLE, ARISTOTLE HCV-HIV and ALEXANDROS).
WHO organized European Conference on Screening
Posted On: 14/02/2020
On February 11 an 12 2020 a European Conference on Screening was organized by WHO in UN City, Copenhagen, Denmark. The Greek Ministry of Health was represented by Prof. P. D. Lagiou and V. Benetou of the Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics.
During the meeting, issues regarding the organisation and evaluation of screening programs for non- communicable diseases covering the entire lifespan were discussed and the strengths, as well as the weaknesses of these programs were addressed. Useful information on the organisation of screening programs can be found in the following links:
Participation of the Dept. of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics in the 2nd International Meeting on Teaching Epidemiology
Posted On: 14/02/2020
On January 21-22 2020, the 2nd International Meeting on Teaching Epidemiology was organised in Zurich, Switzeland by the Institute of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention of the University of Zurich.
The 2nd Meeting was a follow up of the June 2018 1st International Meeting on Teaching Epidemiology, which defined 31 core competencies for academic epidemiologists. The aim of the 2nd Meeting was to evaluate the extent to which these core competencies are represented in the curricula worldwide, and to discuss innovative teaching formats and ways to integrate the core competencies in current and future academic curricula.
The Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics of the School of Medicine of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) was represented by Dr. Vicky Benetou, Associate Professor of Hygiene and Epidemiology. Through its participation in this network of academic epidemiologists, the Department wishes to emphasize its commitment to high standards in teaching Epidemiology and Research Methodology both at the undergarduate and the postgraduate level.
Researchers at the Dept. of Hygiene conduct full-genome evolutionary analysis of the novel corona virus (2019-nCoV)
Posted on: 04/02/2020
A study conducted at the Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics (DHEMS) of the School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), provided a full-genome evolutionary analysis of the novel coronoa virus (2019-nCoV), responsible for the recent epidemic which initiated in Wuhan, China.
The results of the study suggest that the 2019-nCoV probably originated from a corona virus infecting bats. Moreover, it appears that the virus that infected humans is not the result of a recent genetic recombination, a mechanism that can alter dramatically the genetic makeup and biological characteristic of a virus.
The study entitled: «Full-genome evolutionary analysis of the novel corona virus (2019-nCoV) rejects the hypothesis of emergence as a result of a recent recombination event» was conducted by Drs. Dimitrios Paraskevis, Evangelia-Georgia Kostaki and Gkikas Magiorkinis at DHEMS, School of Medicine, NKUA; Dr. Georgios Panayiotakopoulos, School of Medicine, University of Patras and Vice Chair of the Hellenic National Public Health Organization; Dr. Georgios Sourvinos, School of Medicine, University of Crete; and Dr. Sotirios Tsiodras, School of Medicine, NKUA.
The study was published in the journal Infection Genetics and Evolution (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1567134820300447) and is also available on the bioRvix preprint server (https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.01.26.920249v1)
Relevant news reports can be found in the following links:
Event in memoriam of Christina Bamia
Posted on: 03/12/2019
One year after the passing of Assoc. Prof. Christina Bamia, the MSc Program on Biostatistics organizes an in memoriam event on December 16, 2019, 16:00-18:00, at the Amphitheater of Physiology in the premises of the School of Medicine. Attached you may find the invitation by the Director of the MSc program, Prof. Klea Katsouyanni with details on the program of the event.
Presentation of the European Dietary Reference Values for sodium intake at the 13th European Nutrition Conference (Dublin, October 2019)
Posted on: 03/12/2019
In the context of the 13th European Nutrition Conference organized by the British Nutrition Society and the Federation of European Nutrition Societies (FENS), Dr. Androniki Naska, Assoc. Professor in the Dept of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, presented the Dietary Reference Values (DRVs) for sodium intake for the European population. In her capacity as Vice-Chair of the Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Chair of the Working Group on setting DRVs for minerals and Rapporteur of the scientific opinion on DRVs for sodium, Dr. Naska coordinated the systematic literature review and the ad hoc meta-analyses that lead to setting 2g per day as the safe and adequate level for sodium intake for the European population.
The Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for Sodium (doi: 10.2903/j.efsa.2019.5778) is available at:
and related interviews at EFSA’s website:
Media coverage of the FENS 2019 Conference presentation can be found at:
Event for the promotion of breastfeeding
Posted on: 18/11/2019
On Saturday, November 2nd 2019, on the occasion of the World Breastfeeding Week, an event for the promotion of breastfeeding was organised in Athens by the Municipality of Attica with the scientific coordination of the Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics (DHEMS). The theme was “Breastfeeding: a warm embrace, a healthy way of life”. During the event, the public was informed about the multiple benefits of breastfeeding. Pregnant women and new mothers discussed their concerns and took advice from experienced pediatricians and midwives. Leaflets and other material were distributed. On behalf of DHEMS, Associate Professor Vicky Benetou, MD, pediatrician, was scientifically responsible for the event, with the support of two MSc students of the Department, Dr. Katerina Niforou, MD and Ms. Kristallia Niforou, nutritionist-dietitian.
The event was further supported by the Hellenic Forum of Public Health and Social Medicine and the NGO “Friends of Breastfeeding”.