Panagiotis Oikonomou

Panagiotis Oikonomou is a junior from Athens, Greece, majoring in Biomedical Engineering. As an engineer, Panagiotis aspires, through his work and research, to support the less fortunate of our society and also aid in humanity's incessant strive to maximize its reach. During his time at Columbia, Panagiotis has been involved in various research projects at the university’s medical center (CUMC). As a freshman, he worked at Professor Sia’s Lab on a project in the fields of microfluidics and “lab on a chip” device fabrication. Specifically, he was responsible for the evaluation and optimization of a prototype point-of-care (POC) device for plasma extraction and cell free DNA detection.

Panagiotis Oikonomou

In the following summer, he represented the university in iGEM: a global competition in synthetic biology. The project revolved around creating a “living” cancer therapeutic, i.e. a bacteria-mediated oncogene silencing approach utilizing RNAi. Through iGEM, Panagiotis also had the opportunity to engage with the community on multiple occasions, by presenting in poster sessions and coordinating workshops with local science organizations and schools.

This past summer, Panagiotis did research at the Carroll Laboratories for Orthopedic Surgery in CUMC. He worked on multiple projects during that time, primarily on developing animal models of rotator cuff tendinopathy, as well as on a mussel inspired adhesive for surgical tendon repair.

Over the past years, Panagiotis has become involved with various clubs on campus. He is a board member of Columbia’s undergraduate chapter of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), acting as Chair of Student Life. He is also a board member in the university's American Medical Student Association (CUAMSA), and a Co-Chair of CUAMSA’s Bioethics Committee, facilitating weekly conversations about current topics in medicine. In his spare time, Panagiotis loves playing basketball; during his freshman year, his team managed to win the intramural championship. He also enjoys reading non-fiction and writing Python scripts of questionable practicality.