An internationally recognized immunologist and cancer biologist
Dr. Iannis Aifantis is an internationally recognized immunologist and cancer biologist, specializing in the investigation of T cell acute leukemia (T-ALL), a common form of childhood leukemia. He has his own laboratory, the Iannis Aifantis Lab, which studies the molecular mechanisms driving normal stem cell differentiation and malignant transformation.
Born in Greece, Dr. Aifantis earned his BS degree in biology and an MS degree in molecular biology and genetics from the University of Crete. Afterwards he went to the University of Paris V where he got his Ph.D. in the laboratory of immunologist Harald von Boehmer. Later, he followed Dr. Harald von Boehmer to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and to the Harvard Medical School as a postdoctoral fellow and in 2003 he established his own laboratory at the NYU Langone Medical Center.
Dr. Aifantis is the Chairman of Department of Pathology of the NYU School of Medicine. His work has provided significant contributions to the understanding of T-ALL and to the development of new and better treatments for the disease. In addition, his laboratory focuses on studying the subtle molecular signalling events that shape how blood stem cells mature into a variety of cells in the immune system and how those cells can undergo malignant transformation, causing T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Α disease which afflicts thousands of children and adults each year and can attack different vital organs, including the central nervous system, with dire consequences.
Dr. Aifantis has earned numerous awards and honours. He was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist in 2009, he received the American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award, the Cancer Research Institute Young Investigator Award, the Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research Scholar Award and many more.
“Iannis is an accomplished leader, a gifted scientist and generous colleague,” said Robert Grossman, MD, dean and CEO, NYU Langone Medical Center. “He has the skill, vision, and experience to build on the long and proud history of our Department of Pathology and guide it to even greater success in the coming years.”