The Ragon Institute is happy to announce that Dr. Filippos Porichis has been appointed the new Director of International Programs at Ragon. This position was previously held by Dr. Marylyn Addo who vacated the position this summer to accept a position as Director of the Division of Emerging Infections, Department of Medicine, at the University of Hamburg, Germany.
The Ragon Institute has been actively involved in international research, with a focus on Africa, since its inception. It operates on the premise that the best research can and should be done in areas where HIV/AIDS is the most prevalent.
The primary role of the Director of International programs is to facilitate communication and co-ordinate research efforts between the Ragon Institute and our partner research collaborators in Durban, South Africa— the HIV Pathogenesis Programme (HPP), the KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for TB and HIV (K-RITH) and the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA)—as well as providing research mentorship to students.
Throughout his research career, Dr. Porichis has been actively involved in mentoring students, including students doing research in South Africa. “I am always keen to assist in training the new generation of researchers who work on a continent devastated by HIV/AIDS,” he said.
Dr. Porichis’ international work includes strong ties with South Africa in collaboration with HPP and K-RITH. Last year, he was awarded a global health grant which allowed to him to begin generating preliminary data on how immunoregulatory networks regulate function of HIV and Mycobacterium tuberculosis specific CD4 T cells in HIV/ MTB co-infection which is an enormous problem in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 50-80% of TB patients in parts of sub-Saharan Africa have HIV co-infection, compared to 14.8% in the rest of the world. [source]
Dr. Porichis was born in Athens but was raised in the small island of Limnos in Greece. He received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Portsmouth in the UK and his PhD from the University of Crete. He joined the Ragon Institute as a Research Fellow under the mentorship of Dr. Daniel Kaufmann in 2008.