Dimitrios was born in Larisa in Greece and raised in the city of Volos. Volos is a coastal port city located on the Greek mainland and it is the homeland of the mythological hero Jason, who boarded the ship “Argo” accompanied by the Argonauts and sailed in quest of the Golden Fleece to Colchis. His interest in biomedical research and drug discovery was triggered by his father, Charalabos Iliopoulos, MD, who was an internist. Dimitrios parents (Charalabos & Lina) in Volos and his brother (Achilleas) lives in Athens. After completing his undergraduate studies in the School of Biology at the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Dimitrios moved in the United States to pursue his dream: “Expand his knowledge and discover a new drug for cancer”.
He learned to work with novel high technologies next to a giant of molecular biology, Kevin Struhl, a professor at Harvard Medical School. At the age of 31, Dimitrios was elected as a faculty (assistant professor) at Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. At the age of 34 he got tenured at UCLA and was elected as an Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of the UCLA Center for Systems Biomedicine, a high technology center aiming to expedite the drug discovery process.
More recently, Dimitrios got his executive MBA degree and certificate in finance from UCLA Anderson School of Management. Currently, Dimitrios is a consultant for top pharma and biotech companies and investment firms. He is married to Alexandra Drakaki, MD, PhD, who is an Assistant Professor of Hematology/Oncology at UCLA and Director of the UCLA GU Oncology Medical Program and they have 3 daughters (Marilena, Hara & Tonia).