Dr Eleni Makarona received her BSc from the Physics Department of the University of Athens, while during her last year of undergraduate studies she received a scholarship to work as research assistant with the Microelectronics Group of IESL, Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH) in Herakleion, Crete. She continued her graduate studies at the Physics Department of Brown University (Rhode Island, USA) after obtaining a full scholarship from the university for the first year and by securing funding through research assistantships throughout her PhD. She received her MSc in Physics in 2000 and her PhD in Physics in 2004 after working extensively on the design, fabrication and characterization of III-Nitride ultraviolet opteoelectronic devices and employed several spectroscopic techniques with an emphasis on time-correlated single photon counting (TCSPC). In parallel, she contributed to the fabrication and evaluation of piezoelectric structures and J-aggregates.
Upon her return to Greece, she joined in 2005 the Institute of Microelectronics (now part of INN) of NCSR “Demokritos” as Post-doctoral Reearcher (Researcher D’) and continued her collaboration with the Institute as a Research Associate between 2009 and 2014, when she was elected as an Adjunct Researcher. Since 2018, she holds the position of Senior Researcher (Researcher B’) on Silicon Sensors and Nanosystems. After joining INN her research interests have strongly focused on the development of Silicon-based photonic sensors and Point-of-Care/Point-of-Need (PoC/PoN) systems with a special emphasis on bioanalytical determinations for food safety and quality assurance as well as health applications. While at INN, she has also worked on the development of piezoelectric energy harvesting systems and molecular electronic devices, while her current activities -apart from the integrated photonic solutions- include the development of metal oxide-based optoelectronics devices and the studies of metal oxide nanostructures and polymer nanocomposites. Between 2009 and 2013 she also taught laboratory courses at the Technical University of Piraeus (now part of the University of West Attica).
Dr Makarona has been the member of the organizing committee and program co-chair of international conferences in the field of sensors and micro/nano fabrication (Eurosensors 2011, 4th International Workshop on Multianalyte Biosensing 2011, SPIE Bio-MEMS and Medical Microdevices 2013, Europrtode 2014 and MNE 2019) and is a member of the international program committees of the MNE and Eurosensor conference series. She is a member of the editorial board of Sensors and Chips (MDPI), guest editor for the Special Issue “Optical Nanosensors for Biosensing” of Sensors (MDPI) and a managing guest editor for the Virtual Special Issue “Nanofabrication” of the Micro and Nano Engineering journal (Elsevier). She regularly acts as a reviewer for more than 20 journals in the field of sensors and nanomaterials. In addition, Dr Makaron has served as a proposal and project evaluator for the EU and the Greek, Romanian and Serbian Governments.
Dr Makarona is the author/co-author of more than 60 articles and conference papers, 3 book chapters and has more than 100 conference presentations 12 of which are invited talks. She is the co-inventor of 7 patents. Dr Makarona has supervised/co-supervised 5 internships, 5 BSc theses and 4 MSc theses. She is currently supervising 2 BSc Theses, 2 MSc Theses and 2 PhD Theses, in collaboration with the School of Applied Mathematical and Physical Sciences of the National Technical University of Athens, the Department of Chemistry of the University of Athens, the Physics Department of the University of Patras, the Department of Informatics & Telecommunications of the University of Ioannina and the Department of Conservation of Antiquities and Works of Art, University of West Attica.
Apart from the supervision of students, Dr Makarona is actively engaged in the communication of sicence and especially in outreach programs for Nanotechnology. For that reason she has given several lectures for the general audiences and has visited high schools to advise students on career choices in the field of science A strong advocate of gender equality issues, she has been engaged in promoting the presene of women in Sience and has given several interviews for the daily press, magazines and the TV.
During the past 3 years, Dr Makarona has developed a keen interest for academic entrepreneurship. She has been working on the commercialization of photonics solutions for the monitiroing of food safety and quality of products along the entire food supply chain as well as for biodiagnostics. The buisiness idea revovling around the Food Industry –pitched by her- has already won the 1st prize at the pitching competition of EIT Food Demo day that was held during the 84th TIF (September 2019) and the 3rd prize at the 1st Agritech Challenge (December 2019).
Dr Makarona is the recepient of the 2010 Greek L’ Oreal-Unesco Award for Young Women in Science.