Christina Papanikolaou is a doctor, clinical biologist, graduate of the Medical School of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Her postgraduate studies are in the fields of Hematology, of Human Biology and of Cancerology in the Universities of Paris V and Paris VII.
She worked from 1978 to 1985 as a medical resident, as an internal assistant and as a scientific collaborator in the hospitals of Assistance Publique in Paris, “St Joseph”, “Necker enfants malades” and “Pitié-Salpêtrière”. In 1986, she returned to Greece as a doctor of ESY (National Health System) in the Unit of Thalassemia of the Hospital “Laikon” in Athens, specialized in Laboratory Hematology and in Public Health. In 1998, she was appointed as Secretary General for Consumer Protection in the Ministry of Development.
From 2000 to 2004 she served as President of the Management Board of the Hellenic Food Safety Authority (EFET), having the supervision of food safety law enforcement and of the harmonization of Community legislation to the National law. She contributed to the establishment of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and to the formation of the new Community regulative framework in the field of food safety. During the same period she was member of the European Food Safety Scientific Advisory Forum. From 2010 to July 2012, she was Director of the 2nd Health District that includes the regions of Piraeus and Aegean islands.
From August 2012 until January 2015 she was Secretary General of Public Health in the Hellenic Ministry of Health.