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FCAO to honor Stelios Papadopoulos PhD at the 2021 annual Testimonial Dinner

September 7, 2021

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New York, N.Y.,  —  The Testimonial Dinner organized by FCAO - the leading organization dedicated to promoting Greek Cypriot cultural heritage in the United States—will be co-chaired by His Excellency Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, President of the Republic of Cyprus, and His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America.

Stelios Papadopoulos Ph.D. will be bestowed with the FCAO Lifetime Achievement Award to recognize his extraordinary lifetime achievements and philanthropy.

Dr. Stelios Papadopoulos was born and raised in Thessaloniki. His father had emigrated from Pontos as an infant in 1924, and his mother was born in Thessaloniki to a family that had emigrated from Asia Minor in 1923. He attended elementary school and high school in Thessaloniki and graduated in 1966 from the E’ High School as valedictorian and class president.

After taking the entrance exams, he was admitted to the Electrical Engineering Department of the National Technical University (Εθνικό Μετσόβιο Πολυτεχνείο) in Athens. After three months of studies, he left for the United States with a scholarship from the Anglo-American-Hellenic Bureau of Education. 

As a Bureau scholar, he attended Bethany College in West Virginia, where he majored in Physics and Mathematics, graduated summa cum laude, served as Student Body President, and was the founder and captain of the college’s soccer team. His six goals in a game in 1968 remain as an unbroken record. His soccer career in New York started in the early 1970s with United Cyprians in the German-American League under the leadership of the legendary Minas Ioannou. He and Minas co-found Hellas-Cyprus, a predecessor club to Atlas in the Cosmopolitan League and later Larnaca in the Long Island League. Pandemic permitting, he still plays indoors on Tuesday evenings with his friends from Paphos.

Following graduation, he attended graduate school at Carnegie-Mellon University. He continued at New York University, where he earned a master’s degree in Physics and a doctorate in biophysics/structural biology. Upon completing his studies, he joined the faculty of the Cell Biology Department at New York University School of Medicine, where he had carried out his doctoral research. As a faculty member, he became Course Director for the Cell Biology/Histology program. In 1983 he was elected Teacher of the Year by the First-Year Medical Students.

While on the Medical School faculty, he enrolled in the MBA program at New York University, and by 1984, he completed his studies with an MBA in finance. Shortly after that, Dr. Papadopoulos moved from his academic role at NYU to Wall Street as a biotechnology equities analyst at Donaldson, Lufkin, and Jenrette. Within a year, he was recruited to Drexel Burnham Lambert, and by 1987, he had moved on to PaineWebber now in an investment banking role. 

During his 13-year tenure at PaineWebber as head of the Investment Banking Health Care Team, he pioneered several creative financing vehicles. He advised most of the leading companies in the sector on strategy as well as mergers and acquisitions. He left PaineWebber in 2000 (his last role was Chairman of PaineWebber Development, a subsidiary focusing on biotechnology). He joined Cowen and Co., where, as vice-chairman in investment banking, he led the bank’s efforts in the biotechnology area. He retired from Cowen and Co. in 2006.

While serving as an investment banker, he independently co-founded or was an early investor in several biotech companies.  Most notable among them is Exelixis, Inc., a cancer-focused company he co-founded in 1994, and he has been the Chairman of the Board since 1998. He also co-founded and served as Chairman of Anadys Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (acquired by Hoffman – La Roche in 2011) and Cellzome, Inc. (acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2012).  

In 2008 he was elected by the company shareholders to the Board of Directors of Biogen, and in 2014, his colleagues on the board elected him Chairman. He remains in this role until today. He was also a founding board member of Regulus Therapeutics, Inc, and has been Chairman of the Board since 2013. Most recently, along with several colleagues, he co-founded and launched Eucrates Biomedical Acquisition Corp, where he is Chairman of the Board. Epocrates is looking to deploy its capital to merge with a company at the interface of data science and biomedicine.

In the not-for-profit sector, Dr. Papadopoulos is a member of the Board of Visitors of Duke Medicine and a member of the Global Advisory Board of the Duke Institute for Health Innovation. In 2000 along with Dr. Artavanis-Tsakonas, he co-founded Fondation Santé (, where he has served as its Chairman since its inception. Foundation Santé provides mentorship and research grants to biomedical scientists in Greece and Cyprus.

Dr. Papadopoulos is married to Dr. Esperanza Papadopoulos, a hematologist-oncologist. She is Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and Associate Vice Chair of Medicine, Inpatient Operations, Division of Hematologic Malignancies and Clinical Director, Inpatient Adult Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. They have three children: Dr. Christina Papadopoulos, a clinical psychologist; Alexandra Papadopoulos, an entrepreneur currently living and working in Spain; and Jason Papadopoulos, early in his career in the pharmaceutical industry.

About the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations

The Federation of Cypriot American Organizations (FCAO) is a non-profit umbrella organization representing 28 Greek Cypriot American organizations located throughout the United States. Its mission is to develop good relations and solidarity amongst its chapters, promote their common goals, represent their common interests, and coordinate their common, social, educational, philanthropic, and cultural activities. The FCAO undertakes and promotes charitable activities primarily within the Cypriot-American and Greek-American communities; preserves and promotes the Greek language and Greek Cypriot history in the United States; supports the leadership of the Greek Orthodox Church in the United States in the establishment and preservation of Greek American identity and the Greek Orthodox faith in the United States; and preserves and promotes the Greek Cypriot cultural heritage in the United States.

The Annual Testimonial Dinner of the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations is held every September in New York. Past award recipients include His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, then-United States Senator Joseph Biden, the former Prime Minister of Greece Mr. Costas Karamanlis, Dr. Chrysostomos Nikias, President of the University of Southern California, Nikos Kotzias, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic, Dr. Harris Pastides, President of the University of South Carolina, Dr. Symeon C. Symeonides Dean Emeritus & Alex l. Parks Distinguished Chair in Law Willamette University numerous United States Senators and members of the U.S. House of Representatives and prominent American business people and philanthropists.


For More Information:

Tasoula Manaridis

Federation of Cypriot American Organizations

Tel. (516) 399-2295


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