The news of the passing away of the internationally acclaimed Professor of Psychiatry of the University of Athens, Academician, former Minister and Honorary Member (Emeritus) of the Board of Trustees of the Cyprus Institute, Costas Stefanis was received by the Cyprus Institute community with deep sorrow.
Costas Stefanis studied at the Athens University Medical School, where he acquired the specialty of Neurology-Psychiatry and received his PhD in 1960. From 1960-1965, he did post-doctoral research at McGill University of Montreal, Canada, and at the National Institute of Psychiatric Health in the U.S.A
He served as director of the Psychiatric Clinic of the University of Athens, the department of Social Medicine, Psychiatry and Neurology, the Athens University Psychiatric Health Research Institute, as well as the Cooperative Centre of the World Health Organization for Research and Education in Psychiatric Health.
He has also served as president of the Hellenic Psychiatry and Neurology Society, and was a lifelong member of the Council and President of the World Psychiatry Society (1983-1990), president of the Section of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction of the Society, president of the International Society for the Prevention and Therapy of Depression, member and president of numerous committees of the World Health Organization and international Scientific Societies. In 1994 he was elected member of the Athens Academy, in which he also served as President.
In September 1996 he was elected member of the Greek Parliament under the national slate of the Socialist Party. He also served as Minister of Health, 2002-2004, offering important services not only in the health sector, but also in the domain of education and research.
Costas Stefanis played a defining role in the establishment of the Cyprus Institute, as a member of the first Board of Trustees of the Cyprus Research and Educational Foundation (2004-2010) and as member emeritus ever since. He contributed greatly to shaping the vision and mission of the Institute and with his scientific approach, academic and political contacts supported the Cyprus Institute from the start of its operation.
In his address for the celebrations of the Institute's tenth anniversary (June 2016) he stated that:
"The creation of a Cyprus based international institute with the aim to develop to an advanced, innovative research center, focused on the interests of the region was dream of a handful of Cypriots. A dream that came true. ….. I was truly highly gratified that as Board member I experienced the unprecedented growth of CyI to a Center of Excellence”.
The Board of Trustees of the Cyprus Research and Educational Foundation, the management and the members of the Cyprus Institute express their deep sorrow and extend their sincere condolences to his family.