Kevin Struhl, the David Wesley Gaiser Professor in the Departmetn of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School, visited Dr. Iliopoulos in his UCLA Center for Systems Biomedicine. Dr. Struhl was Dr. Iliopoulos post-doctoral mentor at Harvard and he is one of the most highly cited scientists in the world and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

The famous screenwriter, Mr. Evan Spiliotopoulos, visited Dr. Iliopoulos center at UCLA and was informed about our drug discovery activities.

Mr. Spiliotopoulos is best known for writing Hercules and the Huntsman and his collaboration with Walt Disney and Paramount Pictures.

In the picture, Mr. Spiliotopoulos is together with Dr. Iliopoulos and also Dr. Bakirtzi and Dr. Faure, members of the Center for Systems Biomedicine at UCLA.

Dimitrios research team at UCLA got two awards in the Annual American Gastroenterology Association (AGA) Meeting in San Diego.

Dr. Marina Koutsioumpa and Dr. Christina Vorvis, both members of Dr. Iliopoulos team received their awards during the meeting for their excellent work on pancreatic cancer and epigenetics.

This is Dimitrios with Dr. James Dewey Watson, a legend of biomedicine, who is a Nobel Laureate for the discovery of the double helix of DNA. Dr. Watson was very interested to hear about Dimitrios studies related to metformin as a anticancer agent and to see the innovative structure of Dimitrios research center (Center for Systems Biomedicine at UCLA).

Dr. Watson is the one of the co-discoverers of the structure of DNA in 1953 with Francis Crick. Watson, Crick, and Maurice Wilkins were awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material”.

Dr. Watson was intrigued by Dr. Iliopoulos’s novel approach to drug discovery, which combines the best features of university-based basic science research, hospital-based clinical research, and pharmaceutical-industry research to expedite the process.

The approach led a group headed by Dr. Iliopoulos to move the drug metformin – long used to treat diabetes – into a closely watched clinical trial for pancreatic cancer. Accompanied by Dr. Bruce W. Stillman, president and CEO of the renowned Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), and Dr. David Tuveson, CSHL Cancer Center’s director, Dr. Watson joined leaders of the Division and others in attending a talk by Dr. Iliopoulos called “Drug Discovery Strategies in the Center for System Biomedicine.” In the talk, Dr. Iliopoulos discussed the infrastructure needed and the scientific questions that must be addressed to expedite the drug discovery process, then explained how the center he heads is building a paradigm to do so. The meeting also included discussions about potential collaborations between CSHL and the Center for Systems Biomedicine.

Dimitrios is receiving the AACR Career Development Award for his innovative studies on pancreatic cancer.

The ceremony was held on the Beverly Wilshire Hotel at Beverly Hills and Dimitrios attended the ceremony with his wife.

Dimitrios graduation with an MBA degree and a certificate in Finance from the Executive MBA program at Anderson School of Management at UCLA – one of the top-ranked executive MBA programs in the world. His focus was development of new financial models for valuation of early-stage biotechnology companies.