Constantine Efthymiou PhD

Title: Retired Professor of Microbiology
Company: St. John’s University
Location: Oakland Gardens, New York, United States

Constantine J. Efthymiou PhD, Retired Professor of Microbiology at St. John’s University has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who for dedication, achievements, and leadership in microbiology and cultural contributions.

Dr. Efthymiou earned a Bachelor of Science with excellence from the Agricultural University of Athens. He then came to the USA for graduate study at the University of Maryland, where he received a Master of Science in dairy technology (1958) and a Doctor of Philosophy in microbiology (1961). Upon coming to the United States in 1955, he intended to receive specialized education so that he could help his country. He discussed his interests with his professors at College Park and they suggested what he should do. He began to work on the manufacture and ripening process of his native cheese Feta. When he completed his graduate work, he returned to Greece to seek suitable employment, which, however, was not available. He then returned to the USA and chose to enter an academic career. He was hired as an assistant professor of microbiology at Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh (1961); from that institution, he moved to St. John’s University in NYC in 1964; he was promoted to associate professor (1968) and to professor (1981) until his retirement (1998).

Early in his career, Dr. Efthymiou produced an experimental Domestic Feta Cheese from cow’s milk; following the presentation of his results at scientific conferences and research publications, production and consumption of this cheese in the USA increased phenomenally. In his work as microbiology professor centered mainly on immunology: In collaboration with medical doctors in Queens NY, at a time the causative agent of Cervical Carcinoma had not yet been established, he applied a serocytology method in combination with fluorescence microscopy to obtain diagnostic results of improved sensitivity over the conventional cytology method. Inter alia, with his graduate students he did work on secretory immunity and initiated studies on a possible immunological component in the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) pathology. To his credit is the determination by antigen analysis of the neotype of Lactobacillus acidophilus, considered by the scientific community the primary probiotic species of bacteria.

During his career and continued since his retirement, Dr. Efthymiou has been active in cultural and civic activities; as President of Hellenic Link, Inc., he led a collective professional effort to standardize the teaching of Modern Greek language in the USA and to promote its learning by helping partnering USA (University of Delaware) and Greek (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) academic institutions. He was appointed as Trustee of Hellenic College at Brookline MA (2012-2018).

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