Zisis Kozlakidis

Zisis Kozlakidis

Head of Laboratory Services and Biobanking IARC


A versatile and experienced professional, past-President and current Board and Committee Member on international organizations. Responsible for recommending changes to policy and implementation, as well as business feasibility assessment. Exceptionally high achieving with consultancy experience, numerous industry and research awards for developing of strategic business collaborations and over 130 scientific publications.


  • President (2017 – 2018) and Board Member (2016 – 2022) of the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER). Responsible for the initiating and overseeing strategic initiatives in Asia in biobanking and in the development of global
  • Fellow of the Linnean Society, Royal Academy of Sciences, UK. UCL CASMI Fellow; and Turnberg Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical
  • Management Council member, pan-EU Biobanking and BioMolecular resources Research Infrastructure – (BBMRI-ERIC); Pool of experts member at the UK Parliament (Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology); Co-chair EOSC ‘Upskilling Countries’ Taskforce; Member ISOTC276: Biotechnology.
  • Editor-in-Chief: Innovations in Digital Health, Diagnostics and Biomarkers

Associate Editor: Frontiers Medicine -Section Infectious Diseases; Surveillance, Prevention and Treatment

  • Scientific Advisor: PTEN Research Foundation, UK and National Liver Diseases Biobank, India


June 2018 – Current

Head, Laboratory Services and Biobanking

World Health Organisation

International Agency for Research on Cancer

  • Services Development – Leading on major WHO initiatives for population cohorts, with a focus on Infection, Cancer and on genomics-based diagnostics.
  • International Standards – Leading on International Standards Development in Biobanking and Cell Oversaw the creation and implementation of the ISBER Best Practices 4th edition, now translated in seven major global languages. Represents IARC/WHO at the ISO TC276: Biotechnology.
  • International Development – Leading on the capacity and infrastructure development in Low-and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) in the creation and maintenance of medical research facilities to support local research governance and capacity. Creator of the WHO Academy course on infrastructures.

SEPTEMBER 2017 – Current

Visiting S/Lecturer – Biobanking and Cryobiology Visiting S/Lecturer–Medical Leadership & Innovation Visiting Lecturer – Infectious Diseases

 Medical School, Central South University, Changsha

Business School, City University of London

St George’s Medical School, University of London

MARCH 2014 – 2018

Innovation Fellow

Farr Institute of Health Informatics

University College London

  • Services Development – A Department of Health Project (ICONIC), £3.7m over 3 years, to develop NGS capabilities into a point of care solution, integrated in mainstream routine
  • Public Communications – Runner-up for the 2015 UCL Public Engagement Awards. ICONIC was showcased as “one of the top 10 most important British discoveries” at the British Science Festival
  • International Projects – Macao, China; Hanoi, Vietnam; Jakarta and Bali, Indonesia (UCL Knowledge Exchange Champion 2016); Washington DC, USA .


MARCH 2010 – FEBRUARY 2014
INNOVATION FELLOW King’s College London Medical School
JUNE 2008 – APRIL 2010
POST-DOCTORAL RESEARCHER Pennsylvania State University, USA
CLINICAL OPERATIONAL MANAGEMENT Military Naval Hospital of Athens, Greece
2018 Awarded UK Healthcare Innovator Award by IEET
2017 Awarded CASMI Fellow, UK Academy of Medical Sciences
2016 Awarded UCL Knowledge Exchange Champion
2016 Elected President of ISBER
2015 Elected Fellow of the Linnean Society, Royal Academy of Sciences, UK
2013 Awarded Daniel Turnberg Fellowship, UK Academy of Medical Sciences
2012 Mason Medical Research Award for research in virology.
2011 Henry Lester Trust Award for research in virology.
2005-2007 Wellcome Trust VIP Award for research in virology.
2000 Nuffield Undergraduate Award for research in molecular genetics.


2015 to 2018       Medical Research Council (MRC) appointed representative to the BBMRI-ERIC infrastructure, for the two fields of relations with China and infectious diseases.

Chair, Centre of Excellence for Infectious Diseases, BBMRI.uk

2011 to 2014       Local Research Ethics Committee: Psychiatry, Nursing and Midwifery, King’s College. Full member of the committee reviewing feasibility and ethical consequences for proposals

2011 to 2015       Steering Group For SXT Health Community Interest Company (CIC) – Adjunct Member of the steering group, advising on implementation



2013 to 2015 Cass Business School, City University Executive M.B.A.
2010 to 2012 Associateship of King’s College (AKC) With Merit
2001 to 2005 Imperial College London PhD in Microbiology
1998 to 2001 University of Leeds BSc Genetics

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS (ORCID ID: 0000-0002-3836-7209) (over 180 in total)

AlKnawy, Bandar, et al. “Digital public health leadership in the global fight for health security.” BMJ global health 8.2 (2023): e011454.

Kozlakidis, Z. “The incidence of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among vaccinated healthcare workers (HCWs): evidence for protection from hospitalisation from an Indonesian cohort.” The Lancet Regional Health– Southeast Asia 11 (2023).

Ngwa, Wilfred, Beatrice W. Addai, Isaac Adewole, Victoria Ainsworth, James Alaro, Olusegun I. Alatise, Zipporah Ali et al. “Cancer in sub-Saharan Africa: a Lancet Oncology Commission.” The Lancet Oncology (2022).

He, Yong-Qiao, et al. “A polygenic risk score for nasopharyngeal carcinoma shows potential for risk stratification and personalized screening.” Nature communications 13.1 (2022): 1-10.

Liu, Ning-Ning, et al. “Multi-kingdom microbiota analyses identify bacterial–fungal interactions and biomarkers of colorectal cancer across cohorts.” Nature microbiology 7.2 (2022): 238-250.

Al Knawy, Bandar, et al. “Successfully implementing digital health to ensure future global health security during pandemics: a consensus statement.” JAMA Network Open 5.2 (2022): e220214-e220214.

Bogaert, B., Buisson, V., Kozlakidis, Z., & Saintigny, P. (2022). Organisation of cancer care in troubling times: a scoping review of expert guidelines and their implementation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology, 103656.

Vandenberg, Olivier, Delphine Martiny, Olivier Rochas, Alex van Belkum, and Zisis Kozlakidis. “Considerations for diagnostic COVID-19 tests.” Nature Reviews Microbiology 19, no. 3 (2021): 171-183.

Al Knawy, Bandar, and Zisis Kozlakidis. “‘Quaranta giorni’leadership test: time to transform healthcare.” BMJ Leader

5, no. 1 (2021).

Aisyah, Dewi N., Chyntia A. Mayadewi, Gayatri Igusti, Logan Manikam, Wiku Adisasmito, and Zisis Kozlakidis. “Laboratory Readiness and Response for SARS-Cov-2 in Indonesia.” Front. Public health (2021): 969.

Aisyah DN, Mayadewi CA, Diva H, Kozlakidis Z, Adisasmito W. A spatial-temporal description of the SARS-CoV-2 infections in Indonesia during the first six months of outbreak. PloS one. 2020 Dec 22;15(12):e0243703.

Vandenberg O, Martiny D, Rochas O, van Belkum A, Kozlakidis Z. Considerations for diagnostic COVID-19 tests.

Nature Reviews Microbiology. 2020 Oct 14:1-3.

Kozlakidis Z, Abduljawad J, Al Khathaami AM, Schaper L, Stelling J. Global health and data-driven policies for emergency responses to infectious disease outbreaks. The Lancet Global Health. 2020 Aug 10.

Vandenberg O, Durand G, Hallin M, Diefenbach A, Gant V, Murray P, Kozlakidis Z, van Belkum A. Consolidation of clinical microbiology laboratories and introduction of transformative technologies. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 2020 Mar 18;33(2).

Kozlakidis Z, Nigam A. Ten minutes with Zisis Kozlakidis, Head of Laboratory Services and Biobanking at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization. BMJ Leader. 2020 May 19:leader-2020.

Kozlakidis Z, Vandenberg O, Stelling J. Clinical Microbiology in Low Resource Settings. Front. Medicine. 2020;7.

Di Lorenzo G, Di Trolio R, Kozlakidis Z, Busto G, Ingenito C, Buonerba L, Ferrara C, Libroia A, Ragone G, dello Ioio C, Savastano B. COVID 19 therapies and anti-cancer drugs: A systematic review of recent literature. Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology. 2020 May 21:102991.

Budayanti NS, Aisyah DN, Fatmawati NN, Tarini N, Kozlakidis Z, Adisasmito W. Identification and Distribution of Pathogens in a Major Tertiary Hospital of Indonesia. Front. Public Health. 2020 Jan 31;7:395.

Aisyah DN, Ahmad RA, Artama WT, Adisasmito W, Diva H, Hayward AC, Kozlakidis Z. Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors on Utilizing Mobile Health Technology for TB in Indonesia: A Qualitative Pilot Study. Front. Public health. 2020;8.

Al Knawy B, Kozlakidis Z. ‘Quaranta giorni’leadership test: time to transform healthcare. BMJ Leader. 2020 Oct 22:leader-2020.

Kozlakidis Z. Strides forward in biobanking ethics. The Lancet Public Health. 2019 Oct 1;4(10):e495.

Smith CM, et al. (2019) An interactive data visualisation application to investigate nosocomial transmission of infections Wellcome Open Res 4:100 (epub – ahead of print)

Antoine-Moussiaux N, et al. (2019) Valuing Health Surveillance as an Information System: Interdisciplinary Insights. Front. Public Health 7:138. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2019.00138

Van den Wijngaert S, et al. (2019) Bigger and Better? Representativeness of the Influenza A Surveillance Using One Consolidated Clinical Microbiology Laboratory Data Set as Compared to the Belgian Sentinel Network of Laboratories. Front. Public Health 7:150. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2019.00150

Garattini C, et al. (2019) Big Data Analytics, Infectious Diseases and Associated Ethical Impacts. Philosophy Technology 32(1):69-85. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13347-017-0278-y

Coltart CEM, et al. (2018) Ethical considerations in global HIV phylogenetic research. Lancet HIV, 5(11):e656- e666. doi: 10.1016/S2352-3018(18)30134-6

Houlihan CF, Frampton D, et al. (2018) Use of Whole-Genome Sequencing in the Investigation of a Nosocomial Influenza Virus Outbreak, J Infect Dis, jiy335, https://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiy335

Sandmann F, et al. (2018) Estimating the true hospital burden of norovirus-associated gastroenteritis in England and its opportunity costs for non-admitted patients. Clin Infect Dis, ciy167, https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciy167

Yebra G, et al. (2016) Using nearly full-genome HIV sequence data improves phylogeny reconstruction in a simulated epidemic. Nature Scientific Reports 23 Dec 2016: 6(1):1-