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Dr. Iakovos Saridakis

B.Sc., University of Crete, 2015

M.Sc., University of Crete, 2017

Ph.D., University of Vienna, 2023

Iakovos was born in Athens and grew up in the most stunning island in Greece (Crete). He received his B.Sc. in Chemistry in 2015 from the University of Crete, while as an undergraduate student visited the University of Heidelberg, Germany, to work in homogeneous gold catalysis with Stephen Hashmi. Back in the University of Crete, he continued working with gold catalysis—this time heterogeneous—to obtain his M.Sc. Subsequently, he joined the research group of Nuno Maulide at the University of Vienna to pursue his PhD. There, he worked on the chemistry of sulfonium ylides, the total synthesis of immunosuppressive natural products, the development of novel fluorescent dyes, the nucleophilic fluorination of amino acids for deployment in PET imaging, and the synthesis of linkers for cross-linking mass spectrometry (and many ideas which were too crazy to work, hence binned). Despite the research diversity of his PhD, Iakovos wanted a taste of photochemistry and joined the group of Daniele Leonori at RWTH, Aachen, as an exchange student, where he worked on the photoexcitation of nitroarenes. After graduation and a nice summer break across Europe and Asia, Iakovos joined the MacMillan lab in October 2023. Outside of lab, he enjoys being around and travelling with his friends, sleeping whenever possible as well as hiking, playing basketball and reading.

Fun Facts
  • Iakovos believes that hiking is worth it mostly because the food tastes better at the top of the mountain and with a nice view (and one beer or two Radler).
  • Whilst with zero knowledge in music, convinced by the lockdown and influenced by Vienna, he ordered an e-piano at home where he followed courses through YouTube. He knows one and a half (easy) pieces by heart.
  • While at high school at the age of 17, he walked through the school principal’s office and requested to reduce the duration the bell was ringing after each break (was seven seconds. Seven!)