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Prof. Constantinos Deltas
Professor of Genetics, Chairman, Department of Biological Sciences, Head, Laboratory of Molecular and Medical Genetics, University of Cyprus, Kallipoleos 75, 1678 Nicosia, Cyprus,
Tel: +357-22-892882 (Mobile: +357-99-442042
E-mailo: Deltas@ucy.ac.cy Website:www.ucy.ac.cy/biology/staff/CDeltas/cdeltas.html

About Prof. Constantinos Deltas:
Professor Constantinos Deltas, an internationally reputed scientist and an expert in the field of Molecular Diagnostics and Human Genetics is presently working as Professor of Genetics in the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cyprus and is the Head of the Laboratory of Molecular and Medical Genetics. Prof. Deltas is also holding the coveted post of the elected Chairman of the Department of Biological Sciences in the University of Cyprus.

Professor Constantinos Deltas is graduated in 1982 from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens with a degree in Pharmaceutics. He then earned a PhD degree in Biochemistry, from Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey in the United States in 1988, for work he performed in the biochemistry and molecular biology of connective tissue disorders with emphasis on Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a collagen type 1 disorder. Between 1988-1990 be worked as Instructor in Medicine, Jefferson Institute of Molecular Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA, USA. He then worked as a Visiting Research Associate in the Division of Neurology at Duke University Medical Center, at Durham, North Carolina, USA. In 1991 he returned to his home country, Cyprus, recruited at the newly established Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics. He created and directed the Department of Molecular Genetics C' with emphasis on molecular diagnostics and genetics research, mostly engaged in inherited kidney disorders.

In 2002 Prof. Deltas was elected Professor of Genetics in the newly created Department of Biological Sciences of the University of Cyprus. He is Head of the Laboratory of Molecular and Medical Genetics and elected Chairman of the Department. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on human molecular and medical genetics and he continues research in Nephrogenetics while he is developing tools for better understanding of molecular pathomechanisms at cellular and animal level. He also has interest in molecular epidemiology and the genetics of Cypriots, and he is preparing and maintaining the Genetic Map of Cyprus. His work has been reported in 74 original peer-reviewed publications in international journals and in additional review papers in local and international journals. As invited or distinguished speaker he lectured at international and local conferences as well as at Universities abroad while he served as a referee for many reputable peer-reviewed journals. His work was awarded first place awards seven times by the local Medical Associations in Cyprus. He is a member of the Cyprus National Bioethics Committee, a representative of Cyprus to the Standing Committee of the European Medical Research Council of the European Science Foundation and a Coordinator of the Committee of the Cyprus Council of the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications (KY.S.A.T.S.), on the subject of Biology-Biochemistry.

The highlights of his past research projects were concerned with the molecular and medical genetics of numerous inherited conditions including Cystic Fibrosis and Familial Mediterranean Fever. His work was instrumental in showing that these two diseases were not rare among the Cypriot population. On the contrary, work from his laboratory showed that Cystic Fibrosis was very frequent especially in a village where the common mutation ΔF508 had a carrier frequency of 1/14, perhaps the highest worldwide, while dehydration was a prominent feature at presentation of patients in childhood. Similarly, Familial Mediterranean Fever was proved to be a frequent condition with a carrier frequency of 1/8 and reduced penetrance, which was previously misdiagnosed. The introduction of molecular testing and awareness programs raised the quality of service to the community.

In addition to the above, the main field of his research activities since 1991 has been the inherited kidney diseases. His laboratory was involved in the collaborations for the mapping and cloning of the PKD2 gene, which is mutated in Polycystic Kidney Disease type 2, with publications in Nature Genetics and Science. He was among the first to prove in human samples the two-hit hypothesis and the trans-heterozygous hypothesis for cyst formation in PKD2, reminiscent of the Knudson hypothesis and tumor formation process. He is presently involved with the development of cell and animal models for investigating the role of PKD2 gene in Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease using various approaches including miRNA technology. His team in Cyprus was the first to map the MCKD1 gene, mutations in which are responsible for the adult autosomal dominant form of Medullary Cystic Kidney Disease, by investigating families from an area at the south/west part of the island. He is also investigating the genetics, primary genes involved and genetic modifiers in Thin Basement Membrane Nephropathy in conjunction with Familial Microscopic Hematuria and Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis. His work was instrumental in establishing a previously suspected link between Thin Basement Membrane Nephropathy and Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis, by studying a large number of Greek-Cypriot families among whom many patients satisfied a dual diagnosis, as a result of heterozygous collagen IV mutations. His future work aims at the development of cell and animal models for investigating the molecular pathomechanisms of renal impairment in glomerular basement membrane expressed collagen IV pathology.

Among all these he has always been interested in developing and applying molecular diagnostics tools for inherited kidney diseases as well as other conditions such as inherited thrombophilia, Alport Syndrome, Distal Renal Tubular Acidosis and Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma. His future dreams include the creation of a larger Research Unit with genomics and proteomics directions, with the use of human clinical material and animal models. In doing so, he maintains collaborations with major groups in Europe and the United States in order to transfer expertise and know-how from larger groups and laboratories.

University of Cyprus, Kallipoleos 75, 1678 Nicosia, Cyprus.
The University of Cyprus was established in 1989 and accepted its first students in 1992. Admission to the University is highly sought, evidenced by the number and caliber of its applicants. The ratio of candidates to admissions is 10 to 1. The University was founded in response to the growing intellectual needs of the Cypriot people, and is well placed to fulfill the numerous aspirations of the country. The main objectives of the University of Cyprus are twofold: the promotion of scholarship and education through teaching and research, and the enhancement of the cultural, social and economic development of Cyprus. The University sets high standards for all branches of scholarship.

The University consists of 6 Faculties: Faculty of Social Sciences and Education (4 Departments), Faculty of Humanities (3 Departments and a Language Centre), Faculty of Letters (3 Departments and an Archaeological Research Unit), Faculty of Engineering (4 Departments), Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences (5 Departments), Faculty of Economics and Management (2 Departments and 2 Research Centres). Its objectives are the promotion of scholarship and education through teaching and research, and the enhancement of the cultural, social and economic development of Cyprus and its target is to become a centre of academic excellence for Cyprus and the Mediterranean region. The total number of students during the academic year 2007-2008 was 5322 enrolled in 73 graduate and 31 undergraduate programs (4103 undergraduate and 1219 graduate) and the total number of academic staff is around 300.

The University of Cyprus has been participating actively in the SOCRATES/ERASMUS Program since 1998/99. For the period 1998-2008, 671 UCY students studied at partner Universities in Europe, whereas UCY has welcomed 307 incoming ERASMUS students. In addition, 87 members of its academic staff took part in teaching staff assignments. For the academic year 2007-2008 UCY had 155 Bilateral Agreements with European Universities in 21 countries within the framework of Erasmus Program. Moreover, within the framework of Networks of Excellence, Thematic Networks and Marie-Curie projects UCY has hosted a number of academics, young researchers and students. It is also participating in other SOCRATES Actions (Accompanying Measures, Lingua, Comenius, Grundtvig etc), the 7th Framework Program ERASMUS MUNDUS, LEONARDO DA VINCI and Culture 2000. It also has Agreements of Cooperation with around 60 Universities in Europe, the USA, Australia and Asia. One major activity within these agreements is the mobility of students and staff. UCY is a member of the Network of the Universities from the Capitals of Europe (UNICA), the Association of European Universities (EUA), the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), the Community of Mediterranean Universities (CMU), LEO-NET and more recently the Santander Group. It has also close links with UNESCO, the Council of Europe, CEPES and ACA.

As far as the research is concerned the number of contracts for projects in 2006 was 319 with a total funding of 12.663.000 Euro and in 2007, 338, with a total funding of 13.154.000 Euro. This numbers show the emphasis given by UCY to its research activities. For the period 2002-2004 the annual average of publications per faculty member was 3,53, which places UCY among the very productive research institutions. Further more, during the first call for Starting Grants of the European Research Council in 2008, the University had 4 proposals that succeeded during the first stage of evaluation and placed in a short list of 555, out of a total of 9.167 submitted. In the final evaluation process the University of Cyprus received funding for two projects. With this success Cyprus as a country ranked first in Europe in terms of success per thousand inhabitants.

The University of Cyprus has recently received the Royal Award for Sustainable Technology Transfer, an initiative of the European Environment Agency, for work of one of its Professors in the Department of Chemistry.

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