Division of Basic Sciences - (Research Activities)


(C. Stournaras, V.I. Zannis, D. Kardassis, P. Theodoropoulos, E. Papakonstanti)
Master’s students=3, Technicians=1, Undergraduate students=4, Post-doctoral fellows=1, Administrative personnel=1, PhD students=8 Functions and regulation of cytoskeletal proteins. The role of cytoskeleton dynamics in the acquisition and the processing of intracellular signals. The role of cytoskeletal proteins in cell differentiation and signaling. Structure and functions of human apolipoproteins and the regulation of their expression. The role of apoA-I on the biogenesis and the functions of HDL. The role of apoE in atherogenesis and Alzheimer’s Disease. Transcriptional regulation of genes involved in the biogenesis and remodeling of HDL by nuclear receptors and cytokines. Mechanisms of signal transduction by the Transforming Growth Factor β (TGFβ). Structure, function and regulation of Smad proteins. Structure, organization and functions of the nuclear envelope. Tubulin-microtubule dynamics. Effects of microtubule-targeting drugs in cancer and stem cells. The role of PI3 kinase isoforms in the nucleus and in the transfer of signals from cell membrane to the nucleus. Cross talk between PI3K isoforms in the nucleus and cytosolic signaling in the context of small Rho GTPases. The role of p110d→RhoA→PTEN feedback inhibition mechanism in cancer and metastasis.



(A. Gravanis, K. Thermos, G Liapakis, V. Zachariou, I. Charalampopoulos)
Graduate Students: 14. Technicians: 1, Post-doctoral fellows: 1 Molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration and neurogenesis: the role of neurotrophins and neurosteroids and development of new neuroprotective and neurogenic compounds. Structure-function studies of the pan-neurotrophin receptor p75NTR. Τhe role of hormonal micro-environment (Stress neuropeptides, Neurosteroids) in microglia activation. Functional mapping of somatostatin receptors in the central nervous system. The role of somatostatin in in vivo and in vitro models of retinopathies. Elucidation of the structure and function of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), and particularly the beta2-adrenergic and the corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) receptors. Molecular mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disorders. Regulators of G protein signaling. Genetic animal models for neurological and psychiatric diseases. Pharmacogenomics for personalized pharmacotherapy.



(A. Moschovakis, E. Savaki, C. Christakos, Y. Dalezios, V. Raos, G. Gregoriou)
Study of the structure and function of the central nervous system focused on eye movements and with particular emphasis on:
- Recording and analysis of movements evoked in response to central microstimulation and of movement related spike trains.
- Computer assisted light microscopic analysis of neuron morphology.
- Simulations of crucial oculomotor structures such as the neural integrator, the burst generator, the metric computers in the superior colliculus and the construction of compartmental models of the neurons that comprise these circuits.


Functional Brain Imaging
- Investigation of the cortical cerebral pathways associated with voluntary arm-reaching movements of monkeys executing learned visuo-skeletomotor tasks. Representation of the visual and somatosensory guidance of arm movements.
- Cortical regions, related to saccadic eye-movements in the monkey brain. How are saccade parameters (direction, amplitude, eye-position and trajectory) coded in distinct cortical areas.
- Cortical areas involved in execution and observation of grasping movements. Mirror-neurons circuit in the monkey brain.


Systems Physiology
Signal and systems theory methods in the study of:
- Rhythms and synchrony in neural populations (computational techniques)- with applications to activities of motor units, respiratory neurons etc.
- Mechanisms of genesis of physiological and pathological muscle and limb tremors.
- Mechanisms of generation of voluntary muscle contractions, with emphasis on rhythmical motor control and the role of the tremor rhythm.


Cellular Physiology
Study of the synaptic organization of neural networks in cortical and subcortical oculomotor areas/nuclei, the neocortex and hippocampus.


Motor Control
- Functional Brain Imaging, Neurophysiology, Neuroanatomy.
- Neurophysiology of premotor cortical areas with emphasis on the control of grasping movements.
- Brain imaging during observation and execution of visually- and memory- guided reaching-to-grasp movements.


Higher Brain Functions
Neuronal mechanisms of selective attention and eye movements.



(Χ.Σαββάκης, Α.Ηλιόπουλος, Ι.Ηλιόπουλος, Γ.Μαυροθαλασσίτης, Δ.Καραγωγέως)
Drosophila and other insect, molecular genetics. Genetic engineering of insects of medical and commercial importance. Structure and function of transposable elements. Molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis. Regulation of the TRAF (TNFReceptor-associatedfactor) signalling pathway. Study of apoptotic regulation in cancer gene therapy. Signal transduction and gene regulation. The role of ETS oncogenes within the ras/MAPK pathway in cellular proliferation and differentiation. Molecular and cellular biology of axon guidance and neuronal migration. Bioinformatics: Evolution, comparative genomics, microbial evolution, text mining of biological literature, bibliometrics, computational biology. Role of transcription factors in central nervous system developement.