RESEARCH EXPERIENCE AND INTERESTS
IN GREECE, University of Athens, Athens (present)
Research post and interest with University of Athens
Since 2006, I work as a full time post-doc researcher (since Sep 2011 as a full time Senior Researcher) with the University of Athens, academic sector of Maternal and Childhood Health, for the Endocrine Unit of the Second Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (Ass Prof G Mastorakos ) Areteeion University Hospital. My main research interest is the maternal metabolism during pregnancy and its associations with maternal metabolism, fetal growth, fetal metabolism, birthweight and neonatal metabolism. I consider this research project of importance since it will give us the opportunity to get answers about the factors that play a role in the endometrial environment for fetal growth and future adulthood metabolism. Secondary research targets that I have been asked to supervise are Metabolic implications of PCOS and exercise induced metabolic changes in obesity in different age groups.
As a result I am responsible for the supervision of the research of postgraduate students participating in the two year course organised by the University of Athens with topic: Research in Gynecologic Endocrinology and Reproduction. My responsibility is A) to guide the postgraduate students to successfully finish their research project and pass their viva in the areas of 1) maternal obesity and fetal growth 2)PCOS and metabolic complications 3)exercise and adipose tissue metabolism B) to further proceed with successful projects (that ended to a publication) to a PhD thesis helping the candidate to build up his initial hypothesis. Since Sep 2011 I guided 3 students to move to a PhD thesis.
Research in the UK (present)
Visiting Associate Clinical Professor (since April 2010), Dept of Diabetes, Metabolism and Endocrinology (Prof Sudhesh Kumar), Clinical Sciences Research Institute, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick.
As part of the above commitments my responsibilities are 1) to organize my research in the field of Metabolism and apply for grants in Europe on behalf of Warwick University. Present research plan is to organise a multinational FP7 research proposal on early biomarkers in GDM together with the Athens University. 2) as part of my appointment with UoW I recently submitted a NIHR research proposal with Title: “The one year effect of two different dietary approaches into the complex interaction of gut-pancreas-bone-fat-brain metabolic system, appetite, basic metabolic rate and body composition change in obese male subjects with and without diabetes mellitus type 2”. In collaboration with the Clinical Sciences Research Institute (CSRI) and Department for Diabetes Endocrinology and Metabolism, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick. Awaiting for the process from the Dept.
Background of my present research
Recently, research has focused on some potentially new factors of insulin resistance like cytokines that are produced from adipose tissue (adiponectin, visfatin, leptin, TNF-a, IL-6). In parallel the role of a multiorgan Hypothalamus-adipose-gut-adrenal axis in metabolism regains focus with new parameters centrally and in the periphery like IGF-1, cortisol, CBG, CRH, leptin, GLP-1, amylin and ghrelin. Insulin resistance during pregnancy influences the maternal and fetal adipose tissue distribution.
Maternal fat distribution and metabolism should influence embryo’s metabolism and body composition. Anthropometry used during pregnancy is able to assess maternal fat deposition and redistribution and Ultrasound during pregnancy can assess the effects these have to embryo’s anthropometry.
Recently also research focuses on mother’s personality and events that happen during her pregnancy and which could affect fat metabolic parameters and the HPA axis hormones. For this reason a structured personality assessment and stress questionnaire each trimester of pregnancy together with diet assessment and an internationally recognized depression questionnaire could recognize events that affect the embryo metabolism and the mechanisms involved. As placenta is an important part of Endocrinology of pregnancy is mandatory to collect placenta samples at birth together with cord blood samples and to assess directly embryo’s metabolic parameters and hormone receptor expressions in placenta showing their action to the fetus.
The endometrial metabolic environment defines to an extent the future metabolism and adipose tissue distribution of the child.
A) The pathophysiological study of insulin resistance in pregnancy and relationship with maternal anthropometric, gut-brain-adrenal hormonal, cytokinic and placental factors. (2 original papers)
B) The correlation of new potential insulin resistance factors during pregnancy with fetal and neonatal adipose tissue distribution and the neonatal metabolic parameters of cord blood. (2 submitted papers)
C) The follow up after birth of neonate’s growth, metabolism and somatometry during childhood and relation to insulin resistance and metabolic factors in utero. (data in collection)
Research work for Hellenic Diabetes Association
I participate in the “Diabetes and heart disease” group of the Greek-Hellenic Diabetes Association our aims are first to inform the public about the cardiovascular risk of type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and so we organize lectures and clinical courses for doctors in all over Greece. Second we organize epidemiological research studies regarding the cardiovascular risk of type 2 Diabetes Mellitus aiming to assess the extent of the risk and to develop effective ways to prevent it in the greek population. Third our aim is to collaborate with the EASD group for Diabetes and Heart disease participating in research programs and funds.
I participated in the joint Greek Diabetes and Cardiology Associations committee that issued the evidence based clinical guidelines for the blood glucose care of the inpatient with ischaemic heart disease in ICU.
Research work for Hellenic Endocrine Society
I am a member of the board for the submitted research protocols for funding
Research work for the Hellenic Medical Association for the Study of Obesity
Analysed the data of the greek arm of the European COSI Study looking at the effects of income into the prevalence of childhood obesity in Greece