Makris, Konstantinos C.
Μακρής, Κωνσταντίνος
Prof. Makris group has received approximately 500,000 Euros in external funding since 2009. This funding, which was provided by the EU, the Cyprus RPF, and the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences Center at HSPH, has been used to support three postdoctoral fellows and a doctoral student. Prof. Makris, an environmental chemist, is an Assistant Professor at CUT and holds an appointment as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Environmental Health at Harvard. The group seeks to minimize human health risks associated with chronic exposure to environmental chemicals. The group has established a well-equipped laboratory and has been quite productive – with over 50 publications since 2009, h-index 17 and roughly 870 citations (Scopus citations), or h-index 21 with 1240 citations (Google Scholar citations). Prof. Makris was invited by the Cyprus Parliament Senate Committee on Environment and Health to provide expert testimony about the Mari tragedy and has served as a member of the scientific advisory committee to the Ministry of Health concerning arsenic exposures in Mammari. Prof. Makris has delivered invited research presentations at five universities in the US and EU and has presided over research symposia in five international conferences. His work has drawn the attention of the national and international media. In the past five years, ten articles reporting on his research have appeared in a variety of publications, including Phileleptheros, Politis, Kathimerini, the Huffington Post and Reuters. The water and health laboratory is equipped with state-of-the art instruments to measure extremely low concentrations of environmental chemicals in biological fluids such as blood and urine. The group has benefitted tremendously from the year that their senior researcher, Dr. S Andra, was able to spend at Harvard in research training with HSPH Professors Shine, Lu and Hauser. The extensive and productive collaboration with Harvard scientists is evident in the large number of publications that are jointly authored by scientists from CII and HSPH. Two recent studies which have generated great interest are – (i) a study of the determinants of human exposures to disinfection byproducts in Cyprus; and (ii) a study of the bisphenol A levels in the urine of young Cypriots. Exposure to disinfection byproducts has been shown to lead to elevated rates of bladder, and perhaps colon, cancer. CII’s water and health group recently found in a study conducted in Nicosia that inhalation and dermal uptake were more important routes of exposure to these compounds than ingestion. They also found that routine household cleaning activities resulted in significantly elevated exposures. While the scientific evidence is limited, exposure to endocrine disruptors, such as bisphenol A, is thought to lead to reproductive risks. The group found elevated levels of bisphenol A in the urine of young Cypriots and traced this, in part, to the use of water from polycarbonate bottles which had been stored and handled inappropriately.