Vassilis Charmandaris was born in Serres Greece in 1967. He completed his undergraduate studies in Physics at the University of Thessaloniki in 1989 and continued his graduate studies in the US obtaining his PhD in Astrophysics at Iowa State University in 1995. After a postdoctoral fellowship with the ISO/CAM group at the Astrophysics section of CEA/Saclay (France) he was awarded a Marie Curie fellowship at the Observatoire de Paris (France). In 1999 he moved back to the US and spent 6 years at the Astronomy Department of Cornell University to work on the development of the Infrared Spectrograph of the Spitzer Space Telescope, which was launched by NASA in August 2003. In February 2005, he joined the faculty of the Department of Physics of the University of Crete and he is currently a Professor of Observational Astrophysics. During 2013-2018 he was the Director of the Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing of the National Observatory of Athens. Since 2013 he is on the Board of Directors of Astronomy & Astrophysics, serving on its Executive Committee since 2017. He is currently a member at the Haut Comite Scientifique of Paris Observatory (2015-2019), at the Scientific Council of INSU/CNRS (2019-2023), as well as at the Astronomy Working Group of ESA for the 2019-2021 term. In 2019 he also commenced his appointment as the Director of the Institute of Astrophysics of FORTH.
Dr. Christou obtained his BSc in Applied Mathematics for the Univ. of Athens in 1993 and his PhD in Solar System Dynamics in 1998 from the Queen Mary Univ. London.