History

The Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology (DBB) is located in Larisa and is a division of the School of Health Sciences of the University of Thessaly (UTh). The DBB was established in 2000 as the first Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology in Greece. That period in Greece, unlike the rest of EU countries, no other University department offered comprehensive undergraduate studies focused on these two scientific areas. In parallel, the foundation of the Department came as a response to the increased demand for Biochemists and Biotechnologists, based on the statisticically significant numbers of greek graduates that were acquiring degrees in similar disciplines abroad.

The Department was initially housed in the building of Larissa Pedagogical Academy Building (26 Ploutonos & Aiolou) and later for its needs a second building was leased. (Ipsilantou & Byzantiou).

 

   
 Premises of the DBB form 2000-2016
                      The new building of the DBB in Biopolis 

The first course of undergraduate studies was designed in 1999 while the administration of the Department and the organization and development of the undergraduate course of studies were funded by the Reconstruction Programs EPEAEK I and EPEAEK II, managed by the European Union and the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs.

The first undergraduates were enrolled in the academic year 2000-2001.

From 2000 to 2008, a Temporary General Assembly chaired by a Vice Rector of the University was exercising administrative duties for the Department. In March 2008 the DBB became administratively autonomous. (1st General Assembly 5/3/2008)

The DBB participated for the first time to the programs ERASMUS/SOCRATES in 2003 and since then it has concluded numerous collaboration agreements with foreign Universities and it also participates in agreements of other departments of University of Thessaly.

 In 2006, the first Program of Postgraduate Studies (MSc) of the Department was launched with title “ Biotechnology - Quality to Nutrition and Environment” and in 2008 the MSc Program  with title “Applications of Molecular Biology-Molecular Genetics-Diagnostic Markers” was also launched.

Certified professional rights for the graduates of the Department were by law recognized (ΠΔ104/2009) in 2009 while by a subsequent Act (148/4-12-2017, ΦΕΚ 193/Α/13-12-2017) the graduates of the Department were chartered to the professional sector of  biology professors for Secondary Education.

A tragic loss for the Department was the early death of the Assistant Professor Vasileios Bagiatis in 2013. Vasilis organized and taught the courses of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics since 2004. All this time he worked with zeal and enthusiasm for the Department. The Bionformatics Teaching Room is named “Vasileios Bagiatis” in his memory.

In 2015, the MSc in Toxicology and the MSc in Bioentrepreneurship, in collaboration with the National Hellenic Research Foundation were launched. The (MSc) in Bioentrepreneurship was one of the first inter-institutional MSc degree of the University of Thessaly.

 A milestone for the Department was the reform of the undergraduate course of studies in 2015, where a pioneering rule was introduced according which the acquisition by students of 75% of ECTS units from of 1st and 2nd year courses is a pre-requirement for the continuation of their studies to the 3rd year.

 In 2016, the DBB moved to a modern building of 5.200 sq m, in the University Campus of Biopolis along with the nearby Faculty of Medicine. Its construction was funded by the Operational Programme of the Region of Thessaly (ESPA ή NSRF 2007-2013)

The fifth MSc of the Department was launched in 2017. All MSc Programs of the DBB were revised under the new regulation 4485/2017.

In 2019, the undergraduate course of studies was evaluated with high grade and received accreditation by the Hellenic Authority for Higher Education.

The DBB has currently 23 faculty members, 6 members of laboratory teaching and technical staff and 8 administrative staff members. More than 800 Biochemists –Biotechnologists have graduated while more than 580 postgraduate degrees and  65 doctorates have been awarded to date.

Former Chairs of the Department

Professor Constantine Bagiatis, Vice Rector of the University of Thessaly (2000 -2005)

Professor Constantine Gourgoulianis, Vice Rector of the University of Thessaly (2005- 2008).

Professor Zissis Mamouris (2008- 2012)

Associate Professor Demetres Leonidas (2012- 2016)

Professor Constantine Mathiopoulos (2016-2020)

 Former Faculty  Members of the Department

Constantine Stathopoulos, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry with emphasis in Metabolic Regulation (2002-2009).

Vasileios Bagiatis, Assistant Professor of Data Analysis- Informatics (2006-2013)

Panagiotis Markoulatos, Professor of Applied Microbiology with emphasis in Biotechnology (2004-2020)

 

 

 

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