The Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry (LAC) of the Chemistry Department of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) has been established in 1968 and since then has achieved and demonstrated high experience in the development of analytical instrumentation, analytical techniques and methods for a vast variety of applications, including environment, pharmaceuticals, clinical chemistry, food and industrial products. LAC is an accredited laboratory (ISO 17025) that has strong links with water and wastewater treatment industry and regulatory bodies for environmental quality issues priority pollutants and emerging contaminants, since it has close collaboration with Athens Water Supply and Sewerage Company (EYDAP SA), Public Power Corporation (PPC S.A.), the biggest power producer and electricity supply company in Greece, and the Ministry of the Environment.
Trace Analysis and Mass Spectrometry (TrAMS) group (http://trams.chem.uoa.gr/), lead by Prof. Nikos Thomaidis, is between the key research groups for the development and application of wide-scope target and non-target workflows for the determination of emerging contaminants in the environment. TrAMS group has developed cutting-edge methodologies and workflows (suspect and non-target screening) for the identification of emerging contaminants (EPs) and their transformation products (TPs) and is a key-member of the SCORE consortium for Sewage Epidemiology in Europe. Moreover, TrAMS is one of the core members of the European network of reference laboratories for monitoring of emerging environmental pollutants (NORMAN network) and is a key-member of the Cross-Working Group for non-target screening (NTS). Within NORMAN activities, TrAMS group has significantly contributed to the development of “NORMAN SusDat database” which contains more than 107,000 environmental contaminants, available for screening in the environment. Moreover, Prof. Thomaidis’ research group has contributed to the development of NORMAN non-target screening data exchange platform (Digital Sample Freezing Platform) based on the NTS data collection templates for retrospective analysis. Prof. Thomaidis has ample experience in the analysis of wastewater samples and the detection of markers (known and unknown compounds) that can be correlated to socioeconomic changes. Since 2010, his group conducts annual campaigns in the biggest wastewater treatment plant of Attica, which includes the Athens population for monitoring of illicit drugs, pharmaceuticals and emerging contaminants. After the appearance of COVID-19 pandemic which has spread rapidly all over the world, LAC started analyzing wastewater samples to detect and quantify SARS-CoV-2 viral load. The LAC is one of the laboratories with the biggest COVID-19 prevalence timeline in the world. Prof.Thomaidis provides daily the viral load as resulting by wastewater analysis and helps to reduce SARS-CoV-2 expansion. Prof. Thomaidis has collaborated with other research group in Europe, as was an active member of the international SCORE network on sewer biomarker analysis for community health assessment (COST Action ES1307, 896141). Due to the expertise of Prof. Thomaidis and the cutting edge instrumentation of his lab, he coordinates a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship entitled “NTS-EXPOSURE: The innovative wastewater-based epidemiology approach with the advances of high resolution mass spectrometry as a complementary biomonitoring tool for assessing the health status of a population”, (2020-2023) (https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/896141). Currently, Prof. Thomaidis coordinates a research team for the development of NGS and multiplex PCR methods for the reliable quantification of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater and the development of an early warning system for the detection of COVID-19 distribution within the community in Greece.