Yorgos Athanasiadis

Membre Doctor


I am a biologist profoundly interested in the analysis and interpretation of the human genetic record. A main goal in my career has been to understand how historical and environmental events leave their mark on the genetic makeup of human populations. Under the broad umbrella of physical anthropology, my research combines the latest advances in massive genotyping, statistical methods, and theories of genome evolution.

My PhD at the University of Barcelona was supervised by Prof. Pedro Moral and focused on the peopling of the Western Mediterranean through the study of genes. With my postdoctoral appointments in Aarhus (2014-2017), Copenhagen (2017-2019) and Roskilde (2019-2021), Denmark, I opened up my research to evolutionary genomics and medical genetics using massive data and bioinformatic tools. Since October 2021, I hold a prestigious Serra Húnter lecturer position at the Department of Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences of the University of Barcelona.

Throughout my career, I have made important contributions to the genetic analysis of human populations in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and Aboriginal Australia. I have also contributed to the discovery of genetic variants related to osteoporosis and venous thromboembolism, and more recently to the elucidation of the phylogenetic history of the baboon genus, drawing important parallels to human evolution.

Currently I am leading two ambitious projects: (i) the thorough description of the Danish genealogy from 50 years’ worth of civil registry data and its use to study the genetic architecture of common diseases and (ii) a massive genome-wide meta-analysis study of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as a member of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC).

At the same time, I lead a project funded by GREAB’s SGR and focusing on the genomic legacy of Sephardic Jews in the Mediterranean.