I grew up in Thessaloniki, Greece and got my Diploma in Chemical Engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. For my Diploma Thesis, I worked with Prof. Lemonidou and Dr. Frank Haase (Shell Global Solutions) on solid biofuels for domestic heating applications.

In August 2009, I moved to sunny California to get my PhD at UC Berkeley. I worked with Prof. Dean Toste on the upgrading of fermentation products to drop-in diesel precursors under the umbrella of the Energy Biosciences Institute, a partnership of UC Berkeley, UIUC, LBL and BP. Our signature achievement was developing a selective, stable and active catalyst for the production of long-chain ketones from acetone, butanol and ethanol, which we published at J. Am. Chem. Soc.

After finishing my PhD in May 2015, I switched coasts to work with Prof. Dion Vlachos on hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of furanic molecules. We established a structure-function relationship between the thermodynamic properties of the catalysts and the rate of the HDO reaction and we showed that the HDO mechanism over oxides is radical-driven and vacancy-mediated. In collaboration with scientists from Exxon-Mobil, we also invented a heterogeneous catalyst system to produce terephthalic acid from biomass. Stay tuned for the papers - coming out soon!

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Paper published in Nature Catalysis!