Pioneering work by a Greek scientist on the nervous systems of mammals has seen him chosen by fellow researchers to join a prestigious British organization.
Vassilis Pachnis has been elected a fellow of the U.K.’s Royal Society, a body made up of the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from Britain and the Commonwealth.
Pachnis is a group leader in the Division of Developmental Neurobiology at the National Institute for Medical Research in London.
He has been a leading international figure in research on the development of the mammalian nervous system.
Landmark work from his laboratory has identified two molecular components of a signaling pathway that has a critical role in the development of the enteric nervous system and the excretory system of mouse embryos.
Pachnis was born and raised in Greece. He graduated from the University of Athens in 1980 where he studied medicine.
From 1980 until 1986 he worked for his PhD in the laboratory of Prof. Shirley Tilghman at the University of Pennsylvania/Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.
From 1986 until 1991 he did postdoctoral work in the laboratories of Dr. Richard Axel and Dr. Frank Costantini at Columbia University in New York.
In 1991 he moved to the U.K. and since then has been a research group leader, first at the MRC National Institute for Medical Research and subsequently at the Francis Crick Institute.
Fellows and foreign members are elected for life through a peer-review process on the basis of excellence in science.