Bodossaki Distinguished Young Scientist Award 2021
Life Sciences: Biomedical Sciences
“It is a great pleasure and honour for me and my team to have our work recognized by Bodossaki Foundation. It is an equally great honour to find myself in the company of the excellent scientists who were awarded this year, as well as in the past.”
Christos Kyratsous is Senior Vice President of Research at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He is responsible for two research teams, the first aimed at discovering and developing monoclonal antibodies for infectious diseases and the second at developing new viral vectors for genetic therapies.
He was born and raised in Kozani. In 2004 he graduated from the School of Pharmacy of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and moved to New York to start his postgraduate studies, securing a scholarship from the Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. During his PhD, he worked under the supervision of Prof. Saul Silverstein. His research focused on understanding the interaction of herpesviruses with cellular functions. He graduated in 2009 with distinction and having also been honoured with the award of the Dean of the Medical School. He then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at New York University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
In 2011 he started working at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals as a researcher in the Department of Infectious Diseases. He is currently the company’s Vice President of Research and has the full supervision of two research teams – the first one being the Infectious Diseases department and the second one being the Viral Carrier Technologies department, of which he is a founding member.
The research caried out by the team of the Infectious Diseases department aims to develop monoclonal antibodies, mainly for viral and bacterial infections. Under the supervision of Christos Kyratsous, Regeneron discovered and developed a combination of antibodies against the Ebola virus, which was successfully tested in a clinical trial in the Republic of Congo, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation. Based on the results of the clinical trial, these antibodies were the first drug to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the treatment of this disease. Using similar technologies, Regeneron has discovered and developed, under his supervision, monoclonal antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, which to date are the only drug with action as prevention, treatment in early stages of the disease and treatment in advanced stages. For his contribution to the development of these two drugs, Christos Kyratsous has received major distinctions, including being listed in the Fortune’s “40 under 40” list and Business Insider’s “30 under 40 in healthcare” list, being named “Inventor of the Year” by NYIPLA etc.
The research carried out by the team of the Viral Carrier Technologies department aims to develop new genetic therapies. The treatments are at various stages of research and/or development, the most recent example being the department’s participation in a collaborative research project on achieving the first drug-induced genome change for treating a genetic amyloidosis disease.