Dr. Stylianos Nicolaïdis

In Memory


Dr. Stylianos Nicolaïdis, an early member and once president-elect of SSIB, passed away on January 1, 2024 at age 90. He is survived by his wife, daughter, son, and grandchildren. Dr. Nicolaïdis, known to most as Stelios, arrived in Paris from Greece at age 18 intending to become a conductor and jazz pianist. He apparently found the competition in that field formidable and ‘settled’ for Medical School, graduating with MD and PhD degrees. He became a neurosurgeon and neuroscientist with distinguished clinical and research careers spanning more than 50 years. In that period he published more than 250 papers. His scientific endeavors centered on the physiology and neural bases of energy, water, and electrolyte balance and metabolism, all subjects central to the interests of SSIB. In pursuit of these interests he fostered the careers of dozens of PhD candidates, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting scientists (myself included). He joined our organization in its second year but, for years prior to that, his laboratory in the College de France was a home for many of our members when they were in Paris. He was elected to the Board of Directors of SSIB in 1995 and elected President in 1998 to begin his term the following year. Unfortunately, he suffered an accident while skiing early in 1999 that left him partially tetraplegic, so he was unable to undertake the office.

Both before and after his service to SSIB, Stelios’s involvement with the field and with science in general was legendary. For more than 30 years, he organized, hosted, and raised funds for the European Winter Conference on Brain Research. He also was essential to a triennial conference sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania in La Napoule, France. His reputation was such that he was chosen to lead an initiative by the French Center for National Science Research (CNRS), the Danone Group, and the Burgundy Region to establish the first European Center for Taste Research in Dijon. He assisted with the design of the building and, once complete, he oversaw hiring scientists from across the European Union to staff its nine laboratory groups. Shortly after the Center opened, his accident forced him to resign as its director. Despite partial paralysis and enduring pain, he continued his writing culminating in a book length manuscript on the relationship between Art and Science. It was finished a few weeks before his death. His children, Kalypso and Dimitri, are arranging for its publication. They also have established a Google Scholar site containing his bibliography [https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=UA7-bjcAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao].

Dr. Nicolaïdis leaves students, colleagues, and friends around the world, all of whom were enriched through his intellect, insight, and generosity.