Director of Molecular Neuroscience & Neuro-Oncology Research at Rhode Island Hospital
Famous Greeks

Director of Molecular Neuroscience & Neuro-Oncology Research at Rhode Island Hospital

Nikos Tapinos is an Associate Professor at the Department of Neurosurgery and the Director of Molecular Neuroscience & Neuro-Oncology Research at Rhode Island Hospital, in the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Prior to that, he was the Head of Molecular Neuroscience Laboratory and the Director of Neurosurgery Research at Geisinger Medical Center. Dr. Tapinos became involved in medicine because of his strong interest in the nervous system.

Scientists at Brown University may have identified a new opening to intervene in the process of healing peripheral nerve damage with the discovery that an “anti-sense” RNA (AS-RNA) is expressed when nerves are injured. Their experiments in mice show that the AS-RNA helps to regulate how damaged nerves rebuild their coating of myelin, which, like the cladding around a cable or wire, is crucial for making nerves efficient conductors. Nikos Tapinos is the senior author of the study published in Cell Reports.

The discovery in lab mice that an “anti-sense” RNA is expressed after nerve injury to regulate the repair of damage to the nerve’s myelin coating could lead to a treatment that improves healing in people. The Geisinger Clinic, where the Tapinos lab was located before moving to Brown, funded the research.

Dr. Nikos Tapinos was born and raised in Athens, Greece. In 1996, he received his medical degree from The University of Athens in Greece. Subsequently, he pursued his Ph.D. from The University of Athens in 2000. His PhD dissertation was conducted in the Department of Pathophysiology with a focus on Molecular Immunology. This work culminated in cloning a strain of Coxsackie virus as the underlying trigger of an autoimmune syndrome in humans and earned several awards in international meetings.

In 2007, he completed his post-doctoral training from The Rockefeller University, which introduced him to the field of Molecular Neuroscience where he studied how pathogenic Leprosy Bacteria invade and regulate the glial cells of the peripheral nervous system to produce peripheral neuropathy. This work revealed for the first time a mechanism for non-immune mediated demyelination and uncovered new signaling pathways that regulate glial cell functions.

After his postdoctoral training at Rockefeller, he joined the Faculty at Geisinger Clinic where he established the Molecular Neuroscience and Neuro-Oncology Laboratory and held the position of Director of Neurosurgery Research.

Dr. Nikos Tapinos is affiliated with The Society for Neuroscience, The Society for Neurochemistry and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also actively involved with the non-for-profit organization called Save the Children.

He has been a recipient of various grants for funding. He is a recipient of grant funding from National Institutes of Health, Geisinger Clinic, PA State Cure Grant, SERAPH Foundation, InVivo Therapeutics, and CASIS. In addition, Dr. Tapinos has written over 25 peer reviewed publications in top scientific journals. Furthermore, he is sharing his knowledge by speaking publicly at multiple universities and scientific conferences.

During his personal time, Nikos Tapinos enjoys playing basketball and exercising. He also enjoys spending time with his wife Penny, his son, Yannis, and his daughter Mary.