George Kastis was born in Leros in 1971. He is a Research Professor and the Acting Director of the Mathematics Research Center, Academy of Athens (MaRC). He studied Physics (minor in Mathematics) at the University of California Irvine (UCI), where he graduated in 1994 with a GPA of 3.92/4.00 (Magna Cum Laude and Honors in Physics). Also, as a third-year student, he was awarded the Herbert H. Chen Award, awarded to the best junior student of the Department of Physics. His Honor’s thesis led to an article titled “Time-Resolved Measurements of Shock-Waves and Cavitation Bubbles Generated by Femtosecond Laser Pulses in Bovine Cornea and Water” which was published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine and has acquired more than 300 citations. This seminal work (which is referenced in more than 18 US patents) led to the development of the LenSx Femtosecond Laser System which introduced femtosecond lasers for lens fragmentation and revolutionized cataract surgery.
In 1997 he obtained a M.Sc. in Optical Sciences from the Optical Sciences Center of the University of Arizona, with a GPA of 3.75, and in 2002 he obtained his Ph.D. from the same department (GPA of 3.83). In his Ph.D. thesis, under the supervision of Harrison H. Barrett, he employed semiconductor detectors to construct the first SPECT/CT scanner for small animals with a resolution of 380 μm. During his PhD studies, he received a three-year scholarship from the Onassis Foundation, an annual scholarship from the University of Arizona and many other awards. The most important was the second-place award in the field of basic research from the Journal of Nuclear Medicine for his article entitled “Quantitative Analysis of Acute Myocardial Infarction in Rat Hearts with Ischemia-Reperfusion Using a High-Resolution Stationary SPECT System”. From 2002 to 2003, he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Arizona's Department of Radiology, where he was funded by the United States National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) to organize a conference entitled “Workshop on Small-Animal SPECT”.
After his return to Greece, he worked as an Instructor at the Technical NCO Academy (2006-2011), as a Scientific Associate at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (2006-2007), as Postdoctoral Researcher at the Thorax Foundation (2005-2008) and as Lecturer at the Hellenic Air-Force Academy (2008-2009). From 2009 to 2014, he was a Researcher-Assistant Professor level at the Mathematics Research Centre of the Academy of Athens (MaRC). In 2014, he was promoted to Researcher-Associate Professor level and in 2019 to Researcher-Professor level at the same Center. Since 2009 he is the Acting Director of MaRC.
He has many years of experience in SPECT and PET of small animals, reconstruction and optimization in medical imaging, creating protocols and evaluating new radiopharmaceuticals. He has published 31 articles in international peer-reviewed journals and 4 book chapters with more than 1750 citations. He has supervised 2 doctoral theses and has been a member of the advisory board in 3 other doctoral candidates. During his stay in the USA, he participated in five NIH programs and received funding for the organization of a conference by NIBIB. In Greece, he served as the PI of a research program funded by the Onassis Foundation and 2 programs funded by the Research Committee of the Academy of Athens (RCAA). He also participated as a team member in 3 programs funded by RCAA and 1 program funded by NEXT Generation EU (RESEARCH – CREATE – INNOVATE).
Until today, he has received 16 honors and awards and has been awarded 6 scholarships. He has given many invited talks at universities and research institutes in Greece and abroad and has participated in more than 30 national and international scientific conferences with more than 50 oral/poster presentations. He was a member of the Scientific Committee of two conferences (BIOMEP 2017, Onassis Health Day 2019), a Guest Editor in 2 journals, a Topic Editor of MDPI, a reviewer in 15 scientific journals, and a reviewer in national research programs (NSRF 2014-2020) and international organizations (NSERC Canada). Since 2017 he is the Vice-President of the Scientific Council of Research Centers of the Academy of Athens (E.S.E.K.A.A.) and since 2020 he is member of the Research Council of the Academy of Athens. Since 2016 he is a Scientific Associate in the Institute of Nuclear & Radiological Sciences and Technology, Energy & Safety (INRASTES) of the NCSR “Demokritos”.