Cancer Genetics, Genomics & Systems Biology group

apostolos

Apostolos Zaravinos

Group Leader ​
Associate Professor, Cancer Genetics
Coordinator of BSc Biological Sciences
Department of Life Sciences
European University Cyprus

Short Bio:

Dr. Apostolos Zaravinos is an Associate Professor of Cancer Genetics and coordinator of the program “BSc in Biological Sciences” in the Department of Life Sciences at the European University Cyprus. He is also the group leader of the “Cancer Genetics, Genomics & Systems Biology” group of the Basic and Translational Cancer Research Center (BTCRC). He received his B.Sc. in Biology from the Department of Biology, University of Crete, and his Ph.D. in Medicine from the Medical School of the same University. He worked as Research Scientist at the Harris Birthright Research Center for Fetal Medicine, King’s College Hospital, and performed postdoctoral research in Cancer Genetics at the Molecular Medicine Research Center, University of Cyprus. He completed his postdoctoral training in Immunogenetics and Cancer Genetics at the Department of Laboratory Medicine, Karolinska Institute. He also worked as Associate Professor in Genetics in the Department of Basic Medical Science, at the College of Medicine, Qatar University. Dr. Zaravinos holds two Specialisations: one in “Systems Biology” from the Systems Biology Center at Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai, and another in “Genomic Data Science” from the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins University. He has worked as a Guest Editor for several Special Issues in scientific journals and as an Associate Faculty Member of the F1000Prime. In 2020 and 2021, he was included in the list of the top 2% of the world’s most-cited and influential in their main subfield discipline scholars, on a global list compiled by Stanford University. He is the recipient of the Science Award from the Youth Board of Cyprus, and the first Young Investigator Award from the Bank of Cyprus Oncology Centre. He is a member of the EACR, AACR, FEBS and an elected member of the Society of Biological Sciences in Cyprus (SBSCy) board. He has published >100 papers in refereed journals and 7 book chapters (h-index, 33; 3000 citations; source, Scopus). His research work aims toward the advanced understanding of carcinogenesis through the investigation of interactions across genes, the discovery of therapeutic targets, and the examination of the immune landscape in inflamed tumors.

Research focus:

Our research group is focusing on the advanced understanding of carcinogenesis through the investigation of interactions across genes. Current major interests include the discovery of therapeutic targets in cancer using next-generation sequencing approaches and the investigation of how gene expression is regulated in cancer. We are also interested in the examination of the immune landscape in inflamed tumors, aiming to find out how this relates to various aspects of their biology. We are especially interested in identifying new links between distinct genomic events, such as kataegis and chromothripsis, and the activation of an antitumor immune response in cancer. We are also keen on elucidating the fractions of different immune cells and cancer neoantigens, and predicting patient responsiveness to immune checkpoint inhibitors. The aim of our research is to produce new knowledge that can be used to provide better therapeutic guidance to cancer patients.

Current Group Members

Loiy Obeidat

Loiy Obeidat

MSc student
His main research interests include the investigation of primary immunodeficiencies in Jordanian families using NGS.
Aggeliki Hadjiantoniou

Aggeliki Hadjiantoniou

BSc student
Her main research interests include the study of molecular signatures and transcriptional regulators of the common deregulated genes in lung cancer.
Ioanna Ladi

Ioanna Ladi

BSc student
Her main interests include the use of targeted therapies in colorectal cancer.
Christina Stylianou

Christina Stylianou

BSc student
Her main interests include the investigation of NK cells in the pathogenesis of skin melanoma and immunotherapy.

Past Group Members

Rebecca Emily Hill

MSc (2020-2021)
MSc Thesis title: Identification of the deregulated microRNAs in paediatric medulloblastoma (co-supervised by Dr. Maria Braoudaki, University of Hertfordshire).

Ioanna Ioannou

BSc (2020-2021)
BSc Thesis title: Study of the molecular signatures and transcriptional regulators of the common deregulated genes in renal cancer.

Maria Paraskevopoulou

BSc (2019-2020)
BSc Thesis title: In vitro study of the effect of UV-processed donkey milk, in the release of nitric oxide and cytokines from healthy PBMCs. Current position: Studies “Cancer Biology, MSc” at the European University Cyprus.

Eleni Epaminonda

BSc (2019-2020)
BSc Thesis title: Current immunotherapeutic approaches against cancer.

Andria Zoppi & Zacharo Zacharia

BSc (2019-2020)
BSc Thesis title: Combination of anti-CTLA-4 and anti-PD-1 antibodies in cancer treatment.

Anna Georgiou

BSc (2019-2020)
BSc Thesis title: RNA-editing in cancer. Current position: Studies “Cancer Biology, MSc” at the European University Cyprus and works at Pavlides Laboratory, Diagnostic Center, Limassol.

Georgios Georgoulias

BSc (2019-2020)
BSc Thesis title: Multi-omics analysis of immune-checkpoint genes in colorectal cancer. Current position: Studies “MSc in Applications of Biology in Medicine” at the Department of Biology of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

Anastasia Kalamata

BSc (2019-2020)
BSc Thesis title: In vitro study of the effect of UV-processed donkey milk, in cytokine release from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Current position: Studies “Application of Genetics in Precision Nutrition” at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

Stavroulla Kalamata

BSc (2019-2020)
BSc Thesis title: In vitro study of the effect of UV-processed donkey milk, in the differentiation and maturation of dendritic cells. Current position: Studies “Application of Genetics in Precision Nutrition” at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

Maria Kyprianou

BSc (2019-2020)
BSc Thesis title: Study on the effect of a vegetarian diet in the gut microbiome. Current position: Works at UNILAB Clinical Laboratory, Nicosia.

Milda Grigaliūnaitė

MSc (2019)
Research thesis project title: Genomic and transcriptomic data analysis using various computational tools. Current position: Studies Applied Mathematics at the Faculty of Mathematics and Science, Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania.

Kyriaki Georgiou

BSc (2018-2019)
BSc Thesis title: Detection of microsatellite instability in colorectal cancer.

George Panagiotopoulos

BSc (2018-2019)
BSc Thesis title: Super-enhancers in cancer and other genetic diseases. Current position: Works at the diagnostic laboratory Iatriki Epivlepsi, Athens.

Georgia Georgiou

BSc (2018-2019)
BSc Thesis title: Next-generation sequencing technologies in cancer diagnosis and therapy.

Mara Kitsou

BSc (2018-2019)
BSc Thesis title: Correlation of the expression of immune checkpoints with the presence of tumor-infiltrated lymphocytes in cancer and with the survival of colorectal cancer patients. Current position: Studies “MSc in Research Methodology in Medicine and Health Sciences” at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Dr. Beatriz de Lucas Moreno

PhD (2017-2018)
PhD Thesis project: Study of the migration of mesenchymal precursors. Strategy for the improvement of their migratory properties (co-supervision with Prof. Beatriz González Gálvez, European University Madrid). Current position: Works at PRBB - Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona.

Anestis Makris

BSc (2017-2018)
BSc Thesis title: Cytolytic activity in colorectal cancer. Current position: Studied “Clinical Biochemistry - Molecular Diagnostics (MSc)” at the Medical School of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, and currently pursues a PhD at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

Natalia Mastrogamvraki

BSc (2017-2018)
BSc Thesis title: Co-deregulated genes and their transcriptional regulators in colorectal cancer. Current position: Studies MSc, Neoplastic Disease in Human at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

Antonia Achilleos

BSc (2017-2018)
BSc Thesis title: The role of the gene circuitry NF-kB/Snail/YY1/RKIP/PTEN in the regulation of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in cancer. Current position: Studies MSc in Molecular Medicine at the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics.

Constantinos Roufas

MSc (2016-2018)
MSc Thesis title: Investigation of the immune cytolytic activity (CYT) across various tumor types - A TCGA-based approach. Current position: Works as Data Scientist - Business Intelligence officer in HotForex Cyprus.

George Kortas

MSc (2016-2017)
MSc Thesis title: Transcriptomic analysis of TCGA-extracted cancer data. Current position: Works as Associate of MEP Lefteris Christoforou.

Petros Makris

BSc (2016-2017)
BSc Thesis title: The role of miRNAs in EMT. Current position: Works at Vioiatriki Lemesou Ltd Clinical Laboratory.

Angeliki Foteinou

BSc (2016-2017)
BSc Thesis title: PD-L1 expression in colorectal cancer and its association with clinicopathological characteristics of the patients. Current position: Studies Medicine at the European University Cyprus.

Research Grants

Ongoing

Research & Innovation Foundation’s Program, (EXCELLENCE 0421/0179, 01/03/2021 – 28/02/2023), Role: Partner, Title: “Targeting the desmoplastic tumor microenvironment to improve the efficacy of pancreatic cancer immunotherapy”.

Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation, (EXCELLENCE/1216/0417), Role: Partner, Title: “Genetic modifiers in Alport syndrome and thin basement membrane nephropathy”.

Completed

Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation, (ENTERPRISES/0916/0083), Role: Partner, Title: “Donkey Milk Bioactive Powder”.

Research Promotion Foundation’s Program – Co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus, (POST-DOC/0916/0154). Role: Project Coordinator. Title: “Investigation of RNA editing in microRNA targeting in cancer” (gracefully turned down).

Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation, (EXCELLENCE 1216/0036, 01/09/2018 – 31/08/2021), Role: Partner, Title: “Functional and therapeutic implications of histone N-terminal acetyltransferase Naa40 in colorectal oncogenesis”.

Karolinska Institutet’s 2014 Research Foundation Grant (Karolinska Institutets Forskningsstiftelser 2014). Project title: RNA sequencing of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (2014fobi41242).

Selected Publications

Full list of publications

Collaborators

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