Saturday, May 26, 2018

Tuesday, 9 October Athens

George Vassilopoulos

MD PhD, Professor of Hematology, University of Thessaly Medical School, Head, Division of Hematology Larisa University Hospital, Affiliate Investigator, Group Leader Cell and Gene Therapy Lab BRFAA, Athens

George Vassilopoulos
George Vassilopoulos

Dr Vassilopoulos is a Professor of Hematology (U of Thessaly Medical School) and an Affiliate member of BRFAA (Group Leader, Genetics and Gene Therapy Lab). He has earned his MD and PhD degrees from the University of Athens Medical School and a MSc degree in Hematology from the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, UCL.

His research interest is on genetic interventions on Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) for the correction of inherited disorders. In his PhD years and later as a post-doctoral fellow in the US (Div. of Medical Genetics, UW), he studied globin gene regulation and HSC biology.

For HSC marking experiments, he focused on the development of Foamy Virus (FV) vectors and showed that the vectors can transduce murine and human HSC; he then used the FV technology to dissect the mechanism of HSC plasticity i.e. the HSC potential to derive non-hematopoietic tissues. His work culminated in the description of cell-fusion as the mechanism underlying the change of fates observed in HSC development.

In the BRFAA lab, he developed therapeutic FV vectors b-thalassemia and chronic granulomatous disease; in addition he developed vectors capable of delivering siRNA, vectors expressing two cDNA in a coordinated fashion and vectors for iPSCs production. As a clinical scientist, he has focused in the dissection of tumor-initiating cells in leukemia and neuroblastoma. We have studied the role of the Wnt signaling in the development of leukemia and the role of CD44 in neurobalstoma.

Another area of research invloves the dissection of the role of MyD88, in lymphoma development; we have found a strong association between MyD88 haplotypes and risk of Hodgkin’s lymphoma while in a collaborative study, a strong association has emerged between sarcoidosis and TB with certain MyD88 haplotypes. Currently, we have focused in the developemnt of FV vectors harboring CARs for the initial production of anti-CD19 CAR-T cells.

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