Division of Internal Medicine - (Research Activities)


(N. Tzanakis, S. Schiza, K. Αntoniou)
Post graduate students: 10, Technicians: 4
The Department has published approximately 200 peer-reviewed papers on respiratory physiology and mechanics, diseases of the pleura, interstitial diseases, pharmacological clinical trials, quality of life, and molecular lung biology. Currently we are working on the following research projects: Somatic acquired mutations [instability of the microsatellite DNA, and/or loss of heterozygosity] in sputum cells of patients with COPD & Asthma. Our working hypothesis is that chronic airway inflammation and increased oxidative burden which are present in COPD & Severe Asthma have the potential to result in genetic alterations due to inactivation of the DNA mismatch Repair system (MMR). B) Apoptosis and genetic instability in COPD. Recent data suggest that abnormal apoptotic events subvert cellular homeostasis and may play a primary role in the destruction of lung tissue, leading to emphysema. Cigarette smoking is the primary cause for this vicious cascade of events through weakening all protective-defensive mechanisms of the cell leading to DNA damage of various extensions. In smokers who develop COPD there is an activation of adaptive immunity, with an infiltration of CD4 and primarily CD8 cells which are cytotoxic to epithelial cells through the release of granzymes and perforin, which can further induce apoptosis of alveolar cells. The objective of this project is to evaluate the expression levels of certain apoptotic markers in COPD and their association with genomic instability. C) Pathophysiology of Obstructive Sleep Apneea Hypopnea Syndrome (OSAHS) and Cardiological consequences. OSAHS is a systemic rather than a local disease with familial predisposition and severe cardiological consequences. We currently focus our research to polyparametric analysis of OSAHS familial predisposition, studying several genes polymorphisms. In parallel inflammatory biomarkers evaluation is carried out related to vascular remodelling. D) Investigation of angiogenetic mechanisms in IPF, sarcoidosis and connective tissue disorders with interstitial lung involvement. The aim of this study is to evaluate the expression of cardinal growth factors (TGF-β1, CTGF, VEGF), chemokines (CXC angiogenic/ angiostatic), in order to identify alterations that maybe implicated in the pathogenesis of fibrotic lung disorders.


Dermatology LABORATORY

(K. Krasagakis, S. Krüger-Krasagakis)
PhD Students=7, Researcher=1, Biologist=1
Study of the action mechanism of biologicals in inflammatory diseases of the skin. Study of photobiology processes, and of mechanisms that contribute to the carcinogenesis of cutaneous tumors. In the LABORATORY seven (7) PhD students from medicine and basic sciences are trained, five (5) of them by Androniki Tosca, Professor in Dermatology and Venereology, one (1) by Konstantin Krasagakis, Associate Professor in Dermatology and Venereology, and one (1) by Sabine-Krüger-Krasagakis, Assistant Professor in Dermatology and Venereology.



(E. Dafnis)
In the nephrology laboratory are conducted the following projects: Study of protein expression of slit diaphragm proteins in experimental model of SEL nephritis and the effect on them the treatment with different therapeutical protocols. Study of podocyte injury in experimental model of membranous nephropathy and the effect of treatment with rapamycinand interferon β1α on it. Study of the mechanisms of rapamycin nephrotoxicity in mice. Study of physical properties of the arteries in patients with chronic kidney disease.



(E. Kouroumalis, Ι. Mouzas, Ι. Koutroubakis)
- Website: http://gastroenterology.med.uoc.gr/
The purpose of the Gastroenterology & Hepatology Research Laboratory is to conduct translational research in mucosal and liver immunology, taking part in global efforts towards personalized medicine.



(P. Sidiropoulos, G. Bertsias)
- Website: http://www.rheumatology-uoc.gr/
The Laboratory of Rheumatology, Autoimmunity and Inflammation together with the Affiliated Clinical Research Unit at the University Hospital, represent an interdisciplinary group of physician scientists, bio-scientists, clinicians and nurses that invesatigates medical inflammation in the context of autoinflammatory-autoimmune rheumatic diseases (rheumatoid arthritis [RA]), systemic lupus erythematosus [SLE], familial Mediterranean fever.



(H. Papadaki, Ch. Pontikoglou)
- Website: https://honos.admin.uoc.gr/haemopoiesis/
Haemopoiesis LABORATORY: [PhD students = 5, Research Associates = 2, Post Doc = 2] which is focused on: (a) the pathophysiology of chronic idiopathic neutropenia at cellular and molecular level with an emphasis on the role of T-cell system, (b) the study of haemopoietic stem cells and their interactions with the bone marrow microenvironment in patients with T-cell mediated bone marrow failure syndromes, (c) the study of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells in autoimmune and haematologic diseases with special interest in the investigation of their number, the molecular and functional characteristics and their immunoregulatory properties.

Haematology Clinical LABORATORY: [PhD students = 5, Post Doc = 1] which is focused on (a) the effect of flavinoids in the differentiation and secretion of inducers from leukaemic mastocytes and basophils, (b) the study of angiogenesis in patients with multiple myeloma, myelodysplastic syndromes, Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, B- and T- skin lymphomas.



(D. Mavroudis, S. Aggelaki, J. Souglakos)
Post-doctoral investigators (5), Biologists (7), Biochemists (2), Post-graduate students (3), Pre-graduate students (4), Technicians (5), Secretaries (2)
Operates as lab of “Tumor Cell Biology” and its research activities include the following: detection and characterization of micrometastatic tumor cells in the blood and the bone marrow of patients with breast, lung and colon cancer. Monitoring of the immune responses and anti-tumoral activity following immunization with a telomerase-derived vaccine using optimized cryptic peptides in patients with chemotherapy-resistant tumors. Tumor pharmacogenomics by gene expression and mutational analysis of genes associated with resistance or sensitivity to chemotherapy and biological agents. Signal transduction through growth factor receptors in lung and breast cancer cell lines. Effect of growth factor receptor inhibitors in intracellular signalling, proliferation rate, cell cycle and survival of cancer cells.



(F. Parthenakis, E. Simantirakis, G. Kochiadakis, Em. Skalides)
- Website: Molecular Cardiology Laboratory
Postgraduate students=5, Technicians=2, Postdoctoral researchers=2
Pathophysiology and treatment of atrial fibrillation with emphasis on the evaluation of changes in the electrophysiological properties of atrial myocardium after the cardioversion of chronic atrial fibrillation. Pathophysiology and treatment of ventricular extrasystoles with modern systems for electro-anatomical mapping. Study of cardiac arrhythmias in patients with sleep apnoea syndrome and the role of cardiac pacing in the treatment of the syndrome. Effect of intracoronary stents on growth factors and indexes of inflammation. Study of endothelial function in the manifestation and progression of coronary artery disease, the physiology of collateral circulation in patients with coronary artery disease, the physiology of reperfusion of atrial myocardium, and the effect of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation on reperfusion of the atria. The biophysical properties of the proximal aorta in specific population groups are studied ultrasonographically using a pioneering method. In addition, exercise capacity, neurohormonal load and coronary reserve are studied in patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. Also, the genetic basis of cardiovascular diseases is studied in collaboration with molecular cardiology centres in Europe and America. Furthermore, we have established the Molecular Cardiology Laboratory, where gene expression analysis and progenitor cell studies are performed, in order to approach the pathophysiology of cardiovascular diseases by an interdisciplinary manner.