MSc Molecular Biomedicine students - Entry Year of 2020

Georgia Antonopoulou was born in Athens in 1997. She acquired her Bachelor’s degree from the Biology Department of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA). Her dissertation thesis entitled ‘“In vitro investigation of Hepcidin-Fpn complex internalization and study of neutralizing ability of anti-Hepcidin mAbs, using live cell imaging and flow cytometry” was completed in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology & Immunobiotechnology of the Hellenic Pasteur Institute, under the supervision of Dr. Petros Eliadis, Dr. Avgi Mamalaki and Prof. Ourania Tsitsilonis. Georgia has also done a 2-month internship in the same lab. After graduation, she performed a four-month Erasmus+ traineeship at the Radiotherapy and OncoImmunology lab of Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. The interference with sialoglycan–Siglec for the enhancement of anti-tumor immunity was the main goal of the project she participated in. Georgia is currently attending the International MSc program in Molecular Biomedicine, organized by the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), in collaboration with the BSRC "Alexander Fleming".

Athina Boumpas was born in the U.S.A in 1996. She obtained her Integrated Master's Degree (MSc) from the Department of Biotechnology at the Agricultural University of Athens in 2020. She conducted her dissertation thesis entitled "Investigation of PD-L1 expression in immune and hematopoietic progenitor cells during tumor development; evidence for an anti-tumor effect of anti-PDL1 Therapy directed towards both Myeloid-Derived Suppressor cells (MDSCs) and Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs)" at the Laboratory of Immunology of Dr. Panayiotis Verginis at the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens (BRFAA). During her undergraduate studies, she undertook a one-month summer internship at the Laboratory of Cancer Research of Dr. Apostolos Klinakis and a three-month internship at Dr. Panayiotis Verginis. Currently, Athina attends the MSc program in Molecular Biomedicine of the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), in collaboration with the BSRC "Alexander Fleming".

Iliana Boura was born in Greece in 1997. At the age of 13 she moved to South Africa and lived and studied there for nine years. She acquired a BSc in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, majoring in Genetics and Biochemistry, at the University of Stellenbosch, followed by a BSc (Med) Honours degree in Human Genetics at the University of Cape Town. She conducted her dissertation thesis in the Human Genetics Division of the University of Cape Town under Dr. Gloudi Agenbag and Dr. Emile Chimusa, titled “Dissecting genetic modifiers of Spondyloepimetaphyseal Dysplasia with Joint Laxity (SEMDJL) in South African Afrikaner families”. At the start of 2020, Iliana moved back to Greece and was accepted for an internship at the Greek Genome Centre of the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens (BRFAA), under Dr. Periklis Makrythanasis, from January till September 2020. Iliana is currently attending the international MSc in Molecular Biomedicine, organized by the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), in collaboration with the BSRC "Alexander Fleming".

Aikaterini (Katerina) Dimou was born in Athens in 1996. She obtained her BSc in Biology from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA). Between 2018 and 2020, she conducted her diploma thesis entitled “In vivo investigation of molecular and functional effects of diabetic neuropathy” in the Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Technology, at the Department of Pharmacy (NKUA) under the supervision of Prof. Michail Rallis in collaboration with Prof. Spyros Efthimiopoulos (NKUA) and BSRC “Alexander Fleming”. She conducted in the same Laboratory a four-month internship studying the effect of psoriasis induction on specific behavioral parameters of anxiety in mice, with experimental and computational approaches. She presented her work with poster and oral presentations in conferences (Interdisciplinary Conference of Psychodermatology – February 2019, Eugenides Foundation, Athens and 8th International Conference on Oxidative Stress in Skin Medicine and Biology – September 2018, Andros, Greece) and in research publications (Karamani et al., "Optimization of psoriasis – like mouse models: A comparative study", bioRxiv, 2020, and Banti et al., "Amantadine copper(II) chloride conjugate with possible implementation in influenza virus inhibition", Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry, 2020). She received an Erasmus scholarship in Biological Sciences (European University of Cyprus) and obtained Second Honors at Dean’s List for academic excellence. Katerina is currently attending the International MSc program in Molecular Biomedicine of the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), in collaboration with the BSRC "Alexander Fleming".

Dimitra Dionysopoulou was born in Athens in 1997. She received her BSc from the Biology Department of the University of Crete (UoC), with a specialization in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. Her diploma thesis was conducted in the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology-Stem Cells at the Hellenic Pasteur Institute and focused on the study of meningoencephalitis caused by Streptococcus agalactiae to highlight the mechanisms used by this pathogen in Blood-Brain Barrier crossing and its effects on adult neurogenesis in a murine model of brain infection. She also had a 3-month practical training at Embryogenesis, an Assisted Conception Unit. In the course of her academic studies, she attended various conferences, which have further enriched her passion for pursuing a career in the biomedical research field. Inspired by the revolutionary discoveries in this field and motivated to become part of the scientific breakthroughs to come, Dimitra is currently attending the International MSc program in Molecular Biomedicine of the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), in collaboration with the BSRC "Alexander Fleming".

Antonis Giannelos was born in Greece in 1996. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the Democritus University of Thrace in 2020. During his third year, he became an intern at the Division of Neurosciences at the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens (BRFAA) to engage in research. Under the supervision of Dr. Kostas Vekrellis, he learned several lab techniques, improved his critical thinking and also conducted his research thesis on α-synuclein ("Mechanisms of α-synuclein secretion – Correlation with Parkinson’s disease"). Specifically, he investigated α-synuclein propagation through exosomes and characterized it biochemically from SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells. Moreover, he studied how exosomes affect α-synuclein degradation and spreading in mouse primary glia. He participated, as a poster co-author, in the Synuclein Meeting 2019 held in Porto, Portugal and was also regularly mentoring students who were visiting the laboratory. Antonis' interests, which are particularly focusing on the functioning of the human organism and on the mechanisms that govern diseases, led him to enroll in the International Master's Program in Molecular Biomedicine of the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), in collaboration with the BSRC "Alexander Fleming", which he is currently attending.

Emilia Kafalidou was born in Greece in 1995. She obtained her BSc from the Department of Biology of the University of Patras, Greece in 2020. She conducted her dissertation thesis entitled “Study of protein-protein interaction networks of STAT5” under the supervision of Dr. Elena Katsantoni at the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens (BRFAA), where she had the opportunity to familiarize with bioinformatics tools for the creation of predicted protein-protein interaction networks, as well as learn cell culturing, immunoprecipitation, western blotting and molecular cloning techniques. Currently, Emilia is attending the International MSc program in Molecular Biomedicine of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), in collaboration with the BSRC "Alexander Fleming".

Maria Kokkori was born in Athens, Greece in 1997. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Crete (UoC) in 2019. She conducted her research at the Medical Chemistry Laboratory – Department of Medicine of the University of Crete under the supervision of Prof. George Mavrothalassitis, with the aim of better understanding the molecular mechanism involved in a childhood disease called craniosynostosis. Her dissertation thesis' title was “The effect of the transcription factor Erf on the development of musculoskeletal system”. As she had always been intrigued to perform research in leading labs in the field, through a spherical training in disease mechanisms and their medical approach in the new era of personalized medicine, Maria naturally enrolled in the International MSc program in Molecular Biomedicine of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), in collaboration with the BSRC "Alexander Fleming", which she is currently attending.

Charikleia (Chara) Konstantakopoulou was born in Lamia, Greece in 1995. She graduated from the department of Biological Applications and Technology of University of Ioannina, Greece after a 5-years course, obtaining an integrated Master’s degree in November 2019. Her dissertation thesis was conducted at the Biological Chemistry Laboratory of the Biomedical Research Division (BR) – Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB) in Ioannina and was entitled “Induction and purification of Myc, Max proteins and establishment of a protocol for their complex formation”. Chara conducted her research under the supervision of the current director of the IMBB-BR, Prof. Savvas Christoforidis. She also did a 2-month summer internship in the same laboratory, getting the opportunity to become familiar with more techniques. Chara is presently attending the International MSc program in Molecular Biomedicine of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), in collaboration with the BSRC "Alexander Fleming".

Despoina Korrou Karava was born in Athens, Greece in 1998. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree with honours in Biological Sciences from the University of Surrey in the UK in 2020. She conducted research and wrote her dissertation thesis on the “Restoration of peroxisomal biogenesis in genetically-rescued Zellweger cell lines” in the molecular laboratory of University of Surrey, under the supervision of Dr. Peter Mayerhofer (2019-2020). During her degree she attended the Utrecht University in the Netherlands, as a six-month Erasmus intern, researching the “Individual differences in the social play behaviour of rats and their motivation to play” under the supervision of Dr. Marijke Achterberg (2018-2019). Currently, Despina is continuing her studies in the International MSc program in Molecular Biomedicine of the Medical School of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), in collaboration with the BSRC “Alexander Fleming”.

Erifili Lianopoulou was born in Greece in 1993. She received her BSc degree in Biology from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA). During her undergraduate studies she undertook a one-year internship at the Laboratory of Genetics of the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens (BRFAA), where she studied the RISC-mediated gene regulation on thyroid gland. In the same laboratory, under the supervision of Dr. Ema Anastasiadou, she conducted her undergraduate thesis, which focused on the cell biological study of Argonaute proteins in normal and pathological conditions of the thyroid gland. Currently, Erifili is attending the International MSc program in Molecular Biomedicine of the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), in collaboration with the BSRC "Alexander Fleming".

Dorothea Maneta was born in Greece in 1995. She graduated from the School of Applied Mathematical and Physical Sciences of the National and Technical University of Athens (NTUA) in 2020. She developed an interest in biological sciences, which led her to enroll in a two-month internship at the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens (BRFAA) and attend an introduction to bioinformatics with the guidance of Dr. Ioannis Michalopoulos. Her thesis project entitled “Development of a computational prediction model on the effects of ionizing radiation (X, γ) on human cancer cells by the use of machine learning algorithms” was realized under the supervision of Dr. Alexandros Georgakilas at NTUA. As she aspires to pursue a carrier in the field of Biosciences, Dorothea is currently attending the International MSc program in Molecular Biomedicine of the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), in collaboration with the BSRC "Alexander Fleming".

Maria (Mary) Martinou was born in Athens, Greece in 1996. She graduated from the department of Biotechnology of the Agricultural University of Athens. During her undergraduate studies, she did a 3-month internship at the Laboratory of Immunology of the Hellenic Pasteur Institute. She was later an intern at the Genetics Laboratory of the Agricultural University of Athens for a year. In this lab, she conducted her dissertation thesis titled “Study of the microbiome of wild and laboratory populations of the olive fruit fly” under the supervision of Dr. Nikolaos Kosmidis. Currently, Mary is attending the International MSc program in Molecular Biomedicine of the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), in collaboration with the BSRC "Alexander Fleming".

Evangelia (Evelina) Nakou was born in Athens in 1998. She obtained her BSc degree in Biology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) in 2020, with grade “Excellent”. At the end of the third year of her undergraduate studies, she did an internship in the Laboratory of Dr. Mihalis Verykokakis at the Biomedical Sciences Research Center "Alexander Fleming". She conducted her diploma thesis in the same laboratory, under the supervision of both Dr. Verykokakis and Prof. Ourania Tsitsilonis, and investigated the role of Smyd2 methylase in the regulation of T lymphocytes in hepatocellular carcinoma. Currently, Evelina is attending the International MSc program in Molecular Biomedicine offered by the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), in collaboration with the BSRC "Alexander Fleming".

Eleni Ntente was born in Maroussi, Greece in 1998. In 2019, she completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Reading in England, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology. Her senior-year thesis project was titled “Metallic copper surface-mediated killing of S. aureus SH1000 is potentially inhibited by copper sulphate”, in which, copper toxicity against pathogenic bacteria, as well as both innate and acquired cellular resistance mechanisms, were explored and recreated in the laboratory. The project was conducted at the University of Reading in the Biological Sciences department and was supervised by Dr. Simon Clarke. Following her graduation, she completed a 6-month online course on “Microbes” at the Open University of England. Eleni is currently attending the International MSc program in Molecular Biomedicine, held by the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) and the BSRC “Alexander Fleming”.

Ioannis Ntounias was born in Athens in 1996. He graduated from the Department of Biotechnology of Agricultural University of Athens in 2020. He did a 2-month internship in the Laboratory of Immunology at the Hellenic Pasteur Institute, studying cell-penetrating human autoantibodies. Additionally, he did an internship at the BSRC "Alexander Fleming" under the supervision of Dr. Eleni Douni, where he also conducted his dissertation thesis entitled “Generation of recombinant plasmids of the Slc25a46 human gene” in collaboration with the Laboratory of Genetics of the Agricultural University of Athens. Yiannis’ interests are continually expanding in the disciplines of Immunology and Cancer, especially when involving epigenetics and when combined with genetic engineering techniques. In order to broaden his knowledge and skills, and to achieve his future career goals, Yiannis is currently attending the International MSc program in Molecular Biomedicine of the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), in collaboration with the BSRC "Alexander Fleming".

Christina Paraskeva was born in Athens, Greece in 1997. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Biotechnology from University of Thessaly in 2020. She conducted her dissertation thesis in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Genomics – Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology of the University of Thessaly, under the supervision of Dr. Antonis Giakountis. Her dissertation was entitled “Studying the role of CDX2 transcription factor in regulation lncRNAs in gastric cancer”. She has also fulfilled a two-month vocational training at the Hellenic Cord Blood Bank, which operates within the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens (BRFAA), where she got acquainted with the isolation, culture and cryopreservation of mesenchymal stem cells derived from umbilical cord and hematopoietic cells derived from umbilical cord blood. Christina is currently attending the International MSc program in Molecular Biomedicine, held by the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) and the BSRC “Alexander Fleming”.

Aikaterini (Katerina) Pravi was born in Athens, Greece in 1997. She received her Bachelor's degree in Biology in 2019 from the University of Patras, Greece. Her dissertation thesis was entitled “Determination and comparison of methylation levels in the coding and non-coding DNA chains of ZBTB7A gene in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes and in patients with β hemoglobinopathies” and was conducted at the Biology Laboratory – School of Science and Technology of the Hellenic Open University, under the supervision of Dr. Argyro Sgourou. There she gained experience in molecular biology and motivation on research work. After her graduation, she completed a five-month internship in the Molecular Biology Laboratory – Department of Hematology-Lymphomas and BMT Unit at the “Evangelismos” General Hospital of Athens. Following that, she worked at the Clinical Molecular Genetics Department of the Bioiatriki Healthcare Group. In order to gain a strong background and advance both her knowledge and skills, Katerina is currently attending the International MSc program in Molecular Biomedicine of the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), in collaboration with the BSRC "Alexander Fleming".

Sylvia Raftopoulou was born in Thessaloniki, Greece in 1998 where she obtained her International Baccalaureate diploma from Anatolia College. She received her BSc (hons) in “Biochemistry with professional placement” from the University of Bath, UK in 2020. She spent her 12-month research placement (2018-2019) at the University of Oxford, UK focusing on the “Inflammatory tumour microenvironment of colorectal cancer and its cytokine profile” under the supervision of Prof. David Kerr. Her final year project at the University of Bath supervised by Dr. Gernot Walko, aimed to “Characterise a cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma progression series using 2D and 3D cell culture assays”. Sylvia is currently attending the International MSc program in Molecular Biomedicine of the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), in collaboration with the BSRC "Alexander Fleming".

Christos Triantafylloudis was born in Corfu, Greece in 1997. He obtained his Bachelor's Degree from the Department of Chemistry of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) in 2020. He conducted his dissertation thesis entitled "Computational Study of the Peptide Bond Energy of Hydrophilic a-Aminoacids" under the supervision of Prof. Michael Sigalas at the Quantum and Computational Chemistry Laboratory of the Department of Chemistry of AUTH. During his 3rd year of studies, he completed an internship at the Chemical Water Analysis Laboratory for 2 months. Currently, Christos is attending the International MSc program in Molecular Biomedicine of the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), in collaboration with the BSRC "Alexander Fleming".

Evmorfia (Emmy) Tzitzikou was born in Thessaloniki, Greece in 1995. She graduated from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics of the Democritus University of Thrace (DUTH) in 2020. As an undergraduate student, she interned under the supervision of Prof. Ekaterini Alexiou-Chatzaki at the Laboratory of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine of DUTH, where she worked on projects researching epigenetic and pharmacoepigenetic biomarkers for diseases such as Type II diabetes mellitus and osteoarthritis. Her diploma thesis was conducted in the field of Clinical Pharmacology, regarding local antibiotic release in bone infections, under the supervision of Dr. Georgios I. Drosos, professor of Orthopaedic Surgery. During her dissertation thesis, she studied and compared the differences in the in vitro elution of gentamicin in commercially available and home-made preparations of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) bone cement and bone graft substitutes. She has an interest in the field of personalized medicine, especially in the identification of molecular biomarkers and drug development. Emmy is currently attending the International MSc program in Molecular Biomedicine of the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), in collaboration with the BSRC "Alexander Fleming", in order to further enrich her knowledge in this field and learn how to apply her skills in a clinical-research oriented environment.

Eleni Zervopoulou was born in Greece in 1997. She graduated from the Biology Department of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) in 2020. She conducted her dissertation thesis “In vitro study of the effect of natural and non-natural products on standard cancer systems” at the National Hellenic Research Foundation (NHRF), under the supervision of Dr. Vassilis Zoumpourlis and Prof. Ioannis Trougkakos. After the completion of her thesis, she conducted a four-month internship on senescence and cancer markers, in the Lab of Histology-Embryology of the Medical School of NKUA, under the supervision of Prof. Vassilis Gorgoulis and Dr. Ioannis Pateras. Then, she joined the team of Dr. André Fischer at the German Centre of Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE eV) in Göttingen, Germany, as an Erasmus intern, and investigated the association of miRNA expression with exercise and the impact of this expression on synapses. This last project was pivotal, as she developed a great interest in neurobiology and epigenetics, fields that she is determined to pursue in the future. Eleni is currently attending the Interational MSc program in Molecular Biomedicine of the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), in collaboration with the BSRC "Alexander Fleming".

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Updated: November 2020 

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