NEWS RELEASE - Athens, 3 December 2007 – The Kokkalis Foundation, in collaboration with the University of Athens and Evangelismos Hospital, inaugurated the “Professor Petros S. Kokkalis” Hellenic Center for Neurosurgery Research of the University of Athens with a special event held at the Athens Concert Hall. The inauguration was attended by an over capacity audience of distinguished guests including Deputy-Minister of Health Mr. Giorgos Konstantopoulos, former ministers, members of parliament, foreign dignitaries, business representatives, members of the Academy of Athens, and representatives from academia and the wider medical community. The “Professor Petros S. Kokkalis” Hellenic Center for Neurosurgery Research (HCNR) has been established with the aim to strengthen the joint efforts of the neuroscience and the biotechnology communities in Greece. The establishment of the research center was made possible thanks to the support of the University of Athens, Evangelismos Hospital, and the Kokkalis Foundation. In its second year of operation, the center already counts 11 publications in international journals, 19 presentations in international conferences and 3 innovative technologies. The “Professor Petros S. Kokkalis” Hellenic Center for Neurosurgical Research is active in three main research fields: the field of Neuroengineering, which studies how implantable devices and micro-systems can affect the treatment of chronic disorders such as Epilepsy, Parkinson, Dystonia, Spasticity and Chronic Pain, and also studies disabilities caused by stroke and traumatic injuries of the brain and the spinal cord; the development of Neuroinformatics; the analysis of bio-magnetic signals captured with advanced electronic and medical imaging equipment. The event started off with a speech by University of Athens Dean Professor Christos Kittas on the life and work of Professor Petros S. Kokkalis, who devoted his pioneer research work to neurosurgery and to cardiac and chest surgery. In his speech, the Vice-President of the Kokkalis Foundation Mr. Petros Kokkalis addressed the role of the Foundation in the advancement of knowledge and promotion of research in the region of Southeastern Europe. University of Houston-Texas Professor Emeritus Pericles Ktonas presented the new book Operative Neuromodulation, authored by the head of the Hellenic Center for Neurosurgery Research Professor Damianos Sakas, emphasizing that it represents the latest and most comprehensive study on electronic implants worldwide. The event concluded with a lecture by the internationally-recognized Neurosurgery Professor Damianos Sakas, the leader and mentor of the Hellenic Center for Neurosurgery Research. Professor Sakas elaborated on the latest scientific advances of the field of Neurosurgery and spoke with emotion about the vision and the activities of the “Professor Petros S. Kokkalis” Hellenic center for Neurosurgery Research. Since the summer of 2006 Professor Sakas’ team is the first worldwide to have successfully completed neurosurgical operations with electrode implants (brain pacer) on camptocormia patients as well as on patients suffering from chronic disorders such as Epilepsy, Spasticity, and Parkinson.
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