Dimitris Nanopoulos grew up in the Athens district of Zografou, where he played junior league football for Panathinaikos before settling for science. After a degree in physics at Athens University, he obtained his doctorate at the University of Sussex. He is known for his research into quarks and is now considered one of the four best physicists in the world. In 1997, he was elected member of the Athens Academy, the youngest member in its history. Although twice nominated for a Nobel prize, in 1998 he was not deemed suitable for a professorship at Athens University. The National Research and Technology Council, of which he has just been appointed head, was set up in 1985 (law 1514, and later 2919/2001). It is the highest state advisory body for policy options in research and technology. It also submits opinions on issues, including ones referred to it by the political leadership.