Principal Researcher (Rank B)/Lab Head at FORTH/ICE-HT
Dr. Maria I. Klapa (F), is a Principal Researcher (Rank B), founder and head of the Metabolic Engineering and Systems Biology Laboratory (MESBL) at the Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences, Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH/ICE-HT), Rio-Patras, Greece & Adjunct Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and Bioengineering Departments, University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP), USA.
She obtained a Chemical Engineering Diploma from the National Technical University of Athens (1995), her Ph.D. in Metabolic Engineering from the Chemical Engineering Department, MIT, USA, minoring in the optimization of biological networks (2001) and carried out post-doctoral research at MIT and The Institute for Genomics Research (TIGR, now The J. Craig Venter Institute, Maryland, USA) in eukaryotic genomics, DNA microarrays & integrated transcriptomic & metabolomic analyses.
The research of her laboratory focuses on metabolic network analysis, with emphasis on the development and application of methodologies for metabolomics and metabolic flux analysis, quantitative systems biology with emphasis on the integration of high-throughput (“omic”) data from various molecular levels of cellular function, and the reconstruction and mathematical modelling of biological networks, with emphasis on the integration of metabolic with protein interaction networks. MESBL was the first to establish metabolomics research inthe context of the systems biology perspective in South-Eastern Europeand has unique expertise in Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry metabolomics. Dr. Klapa has developed and being teaching bioinformatics, omic analysis and systems biology courses at the undergraduate and graduate level at the University of Patras, NTU Athens and Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania.
She has 40 publications, including 22 publications in international peer-reviewed journals (h-index: 12; 2650 citations according to Scopus), 5 chapters in books, 5 papers in peer-reviewed international conferences, 1 granted US patent & 2 international patents (one with Bayer HealthCare LLC, CA, USA). She has delivered 40 invited lectures/seminars and has co-authored 120 contributions to international and national conferences. She has been reviewer of biotechnology/systems biology research proposals for EC, US NSF, NIH, USDA and NSCRC.
She has (co-)organized international and national conferences and workshops, including the Metabolomic Series-GR workshop III: Metabolic and Protein Network Analysis in Systems Biology (2014), the 7th Chemical Engineering Conference for Collaborative Research in East-Mediterranean Countries (EMCC7, 2012) and the 2011 Annual Conference of the Hellenic Society of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (HSCBB11). The work of her research group on a metabolomic data normalization method received the 2005 Best Invention of the Year Award in Information Sciences from the UMCP Office of Technology Commercialization, and a related business plan received the second prize in the UMCP 15K competition of the same year.
She has been Editorial Board member of BMC Microbial Cell Factories since 2005.