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Platsoucas Awarded Honorary Doctorate by Greek University

Chris Platsoucas, dean of the College of Sciences at Old Dominion University, has been awarded an honorary doctor of science degree from Democritus University of Thrace in Alexandroupolis, Greece. The degree was awarded while Platsoucas was visiting the campus in early March to deliver a talk about his research in immunology and molecular medicine.

The Alexandroupolis campus is home to Democritus University's School of Medicine and School of Molecular Biology and Genetics.

An internationally recognized research investigator and scholar because of seminal research discoveries on the molecular and cellular immunology of human T cells, Platsoucas has authored or co-authored more than 160 research articles and reviews that are frequently cited in the scientific literature. He has been awarded $23.5 million in research grant support, about $18 million of which was for projects for which he has been or is principal investigator.

He has studied the way T cells cause and maintain chronic inflammation in humans. (T cells are white blood cells that typically protect against infection and disease and are essential to the human immune system. But in autoimmune responses, T cells can attack the body's healthy cells and trigger diseases.) The research lays the foundation for strategies against autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, abdominal aortic aneurisms, and against the human body's rejection of organ transplants.

Platsoucas has done research in the immunity against tumors and toward the development of tumor vaccines and other immunotherapy approaches, which someday may have broad use in the fight against cancer. Vaccines are designed to induce the immune system of the body to detect and destroy the cancer cells.

A native of Athens, Greece, who holds a doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Platsoucas joined ODU in 2007. He is the founding director of the university's Center for Molecular Medicine.

This article was posted on: March 11, 2009

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