Zoe Apalla
Doctor, Associate Professor of Dermatology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh)
Zoe Apalla, MD, PhD, was board certified in dermatology in 2008 at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. She was trained in Dermatopathology at the St John's Institute of Dermatology, St Thomas’ Hospital, London in 2010, and in Dermato-oncology at the Skin Cancer Unit of the Santa Maria Nuova Hospital in Reggio Emilia, Italy in 2011. She received her PhD degree at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2013. Zoe Apalla is an Associate Professor of Dermatology-Venereology, in The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece and works at the Second Dermatology Department in “Papageorgiou” General Hospital. She is in charge of the Skin Cancer Outpatient Clinic, the Supportive Oncology Outpatient Clinic, and the Psoriasis and General Dermatology Outpatient Clinics. Furthermore, she is involved in the educational and training program of the Dermatology residents and the Medical students attending the Department. Her main research fields include skin oncology, skin imaging and inflammatory dermatoses. She has published more than 180 peer-reviewed scientific articles in international journals (h-index 37, Google Scholar). She has participated as a principal investigator, as well as a sub-investigator in numerous clinical trials. She has participated as a co-author in many dermatology books published in English and Greek literature, and she has lectured at many international and national congresses and meetings. She has received the GCP certificate. Zoi Apalla is a Co-founder and the General Secretary of the Hellenic Dermoscopy Society and Section Editor of the “Dermatology Practical and Conceptual” Journal. She is an elected Board member of the International Dermoscopy Society, a regular member of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, a regular member of the European Association of Dermato-oncology, and several National and International Dermatologic Academies and Scientific Associations.
Tell us about your career path.
Why did you choose a STEM profession?
Was your interest in STEM encouraged?

STEM professions are related to the fundamental sciences of mathematics, physics and biology. They answer questions with a logical cause-and-effect relationship. I have chosen health sciences and especially Medicine as a career pathway, because from my minor years I was very interested to learn how the human body functions and the reasons why we get sick. In the overall, the anthropocentric nature of these sciences exerted a particular fascination on me.

‘’The anthropocentric nature of the health sciences is particularly fascinating’’

How was your educational/university experience? Do you have any memorable experiences to share?

My years at the University were a fascinating experience. The University has helped me broaden my horizons, it offered me, apart from knowledge, the opportunity to interact and communicate with my professors and the peer students. This interaction is always very fruitful and valuable for a young person and his/her integration to adulthood.

Where do you work?
What would you do during a typical day at work? What do you enjoy most about your job?

I work as an Associate Professor of Dermatology in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh). A typical day for me includes attending the Hospital for my clinical duties (examination of patients in outpatient clinics and wards, theoretical and practical training of students and specialist doctors, writing scientific papers and sometimes giving lectures at International and National Conferences. The interaction and exchange of opinions with my students and new doctors concerning scientific topics and real incidents that we treat in the Hospital every day, is what I enjoy the most during the day.

What are your plans and aspirations for the future?

My future plans include the development of practices that will optimize the educational process for the medicine students and the new doctors, mainly in the part of training and practical application. My inspiration for the future is my willingness to help the new generation become better than the previous one.

What do you like to do outside of work? What are your passions and hobbies?

Out of working hours, I enjoy physical activities and especially walking in nature. I love arts, preferably theater and painting, which I regularly enjoy through attending performances and visiting museums and galleries.

What advice would you give to other young girls and women who plan to pursue a STEM career?

My advice to the young women is to stay focused on their targets, to not be discouraged and overcome all difficulties and to be convinced and have faith that this choice will justify them.