Spyros Darmanis

Group Leader, Cell Atlas



How did you become interested in science?

I like to understand how things work and I found biology to be a fascinating way for me to look “under the hood” and figure out how a series of complicated procedures within a cell translate into and affect a cell’s behavior.

When I was younger, I studied the typical sciences in school. It began with molecular biology and, to be honest, it took awhile before I really got interested in the subject. However, once I was introduced to cellular and molecular biology, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in science.

I have always liked engineering — cogs and wheels. Building and understanding molecules through molecular engineering brings together my interests in biology and engineering in pursuit of fascinating biological questions.

What was your educational path?

I was born and raised in Greece where I got my Bachelor’s degree in molecular biology and genetics at the Democritus University of Thrace.

From there I attended Uppsala University, one of the largest and oldest research universities in Sweden. I received my PhD in molecular medicine and did post-doctoral where I worked on the development of single cell protein assays.

After two years of postdoc work in Sweden, I came to the United States to join the lab of Prof. Quake at Stanford University.

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?

Aside from catching up on sleep, I enjoy the outdoors. I like being in nature, hiking, camping, or taking care of my garden. I have always wanted to sail, but the weather in Sweden was not ideal for it so when I came to the Bay Area, I remember crossing the San Mateo Bridge and looking into the bay thinking, “This is where I’m going to sail!” I find sailing very relaxing and am working on earning various sailing certifications.

What brought you to CZ Biohub?

When the chance to work at CZ Biohub was presented to me, I immediately knew it was an amazing opportunity. I am able to conduct independent research within an environment that fosters interaction and collaboration. What more could a scientist want? I also believe we have a role in scientific research to be a part of something big, important and potentially very impactful.

Educational Background

  • BA – Democritus University of Thrace
    Molecular Biology and Genetics
  • PhD – Uppsala University
    Molecular medicine
  • Post Doc – Uppsala University
    Focused on the development of single cell protein acids
  • Post Doctoral Fellow – Stanford
    Focused on single cell genomic analysis of human brain samples