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women in science



Constantina Theofanopoulou is an Associate Research Professor at Hunter College, City University of New York, a Visiting Associate Professor at Rockefeller University and a Visiting Scholar at New York University. She is directing the Neurobiology of Social Communication lab, which is co-funded by both Hunter College and Rockefeller University. Her overall goal is to dissect the neural circuits of complex sensory motor behaviors that serve social communication, essentially, speech and dance, and to identify possible therapies for disorders that include deficits in these behaviors.


For her Ph.D. (Universal Ph.D title: University of Barcelona, Duke University and Rockefeller University) she worked on the neurobiology of the social reward mechanisms underlying speech, specifically on the role of oxytocin in vocal learning in songbirds and humans (e.g., Theofanopoulou et al. 2017 Proceedings B). This project led her to realize that the oxytocin/vasotocin field was suffering from an inconsistent gene nomenclature that was hampering translational research. To mitigate this, during her Post Doc (Rockefeller University), she used novel genomic methods and proposed how gene nomenclature should be revisited, aiming at a universal vertebrate gene nomenclature (e.g., Theofanopoulou & Jarvis 2023 NatureTheofanopoulou et al. 2021 Nature). 



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Underrepresented Minorities

in Science

Constantina is a strong advocate for supporting women and other underrepresented minorities in Science. She is currently a STEM mentor in the New York Academy of Sciences program, teaching Life Sciences to elementary and middle school students in underserved communities throughout NYC. In 2021, she was voted networking coordinator at the Council of the Rockefeller Inclusive Science Initiative. She has also been selected as a Women on Top for mentoring voluntarily women from her home country, Greece. She has mentored young female scientists in several programs, such as the Summer Science Research Program at Rockefeller University. During her Ph.D., she received a grant from AGAUR (Agency for the Management of University and Research Grants) for a project aiming at supporting underrepresented minorities in science. During her undergraduate studies, she joined the initiative Pathways of Life, where she gave support classes to young immigrants from adverse backgrounds (war, extreme poverty, family abuse) coming to Greece for a better life.

women on science
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