Ioannis P. Nezis
Professor and Chairman
Department of Bioinformatics and Biosystems Technology
UNION OF INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATIONS (UIA)
EDUCATION AND WORK EXPERIENCE - Associate Professor of Eukaryotic Cell Biology (School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick), 2012-present – Researcher, Cell Biology, (University of Oslo, Norway), 2007-2012 – Researcher, Cell Biology, (University of Athens, Greece), 2004-2007, – Ph.D. in Cell Biology (University of Athens), 2002 – B. Sc. in Biology -4 years- (University of Athens), 1997 - TEACHING ACTIVITY “Cell biology” and “Electron Microscopy” (Biology degree, University of Athens) ‘Molecular Biology of Cancer’ (University of Warwick)- RESEARCH ACTIVITY - Research topics addressed: Cellular and developmental autophagy, Cell death - Author of 38 papers in peer-reviewed international journals with impact factor (citations > 950, h index: 18) - 46 communications/poster presentations in national and international congresses EDITORIAL ACTIVITY – Editor in Chief: World Research Journal of Cell Biology, Member of Editorial Board: Psyche: A Journal of Entomology ; Chinese Journal of Biology - Reviewer for 16 peer-reviewed international journals
In my group we are interested in the role of autophagy in health and disease. Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved catabolic process that involves the degradation of cytoplasmic material through the lysosomal pathway. Autophagy is a cellular response in nutrient starvation but it is also responsible for the removal of aggregated proteins, damaged organelles and developmental remodeling. Recent studies have shown that dysfunction in autophagy has been implicated in an increasing number of diseases from bacterial and viral infections to cancer and more recently in neurodegeneration and other ageing-related diseases. Interestingly, it has been shown that induction of autophagy can increase longevity in multiple animal species. Although it was initially believed that autophagy occurs randomly inside the cell, during the last years there is growing evidence that sequestration and degradation of cytoplasmic material by autophagy can be selective through receptor and adaptor proteins. It is therefore important to identify the proteins required for recognition and targeting of the various autophagic cargo for degradation and to elucidate the role of selective autophagy in normal and pathological conditions, especially at the organismal level. We are using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, as a genetically modifiable model organism to investigate the mechanisms of autophagy in the context of the physiology of the cell, the system and the living organism. We have developed several molecular markers for monitoring autophagy in vivo.