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Near-infrared (NIR) fluorophores have attracted considerable attention by the scientific community due to their diverse applications in biomedical and materials fields. NIRGraph aims at designing and synthesizing new NIR dyes based on the tricarbocyanine scaffold with increased photostability and optimum fluorescent properties for applications in vitro and/or vivo optical imaging. The new dyes will also be employed for the surface modification of exfoliated graphene, yielding novel electron donor-acceptor graphene-dye hybrids with potential interesting optical properties or applications as bioplatforms. The NIRGraph research team comprises two groups from the National Hellenic Research Foundation, belonging to the Institute of Biology, Medicinal Chemistry and Biotechnology and to the Theoretical and Physical Chemistry Institute, and two young postdoctoral fellows (age <40) who will be trained in cutting edge research in the areas of bioimaging and carbon-based nanomaterials.