Difference between revisions of "Kafatos:Vlachou, Dina"

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==[http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/portal/page?_pageid=61,491607&_dad=portallive&_schema=PORTALLIVE&_pageid=61,491607 Publications]==
==[http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/portal/page?_pageid=61,491607&_dad=portallive&_schema=PORTALLIVE&_pageid=61,491607 Publications]==
#In-Press Bushell E. S., Schlegelmilch T., Ecker A., Goulding D., Sinden R. E., Christophides G. K., Kafatos F. C., Vlachou D. (2009) Paternal Effect of the Nuclear Formin-like Protein MISFIT on Plasmodium Development in the Mosquito Vector. PLoS Pathogens.
#baum2009 pmid=19380379
#baum2009 pmid=19380379
#mendes2008 pmid=18483558
#mendes2008 pmid=18483558

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Dina Vlachou

Division of Cell and Molecular Biology
Faculty of Natural Sciences
Imperial College London
Sir Alexander Fleming Building
South Kensington Campus
United Kingdom

Tel.: +44 20 759 42031
Fax: +44 20 759 41759
Email: d.vlachou@imperial.ac.uk

Senior Research Scientist at Imperial College, London

1997: Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Evolution, University of Athens, Greece

Professional profile

1990-1991: Research assistant, Division of Genetic and Biotechnology, Department of Biology, University of Athens, Greece. Postgraduate research in insect molecular biology.
1991-1997: PhD studies, Division of Genetic and Biotechnology, Department of Biology, University of Athens, Greece. Research Area: Functional and evolutionary analysis of chorion genes in Diptera.
1997-2000: Post-doctoral fellow, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology/Foundation for Research and Technology (IMBB/FORTH), Crete, Greece. Research Area: Identification of Anopheles gambiae midgut proteins putatively interacting with Plasmodium surface proteins.
2000-2001: RTN Post-doctoral fellow, Department of Parasitology, University of Leiden (LUMC), Leiden, The Netherlands. Research Area: Genetic manipulation of Plasmodium berghei and development of alternative tools for conditional knockout and transient expression of genes in the parasite mosquito stages.
2001-2003: Marie Curie Research Fellow, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Heidelberg, Germany. Research Area: Molecular and cellular dissection of mosquito midgut invasion, and mosquito immune responses.
2003-2005: Senior Research Associate, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Heidelberg, Germany. Research Area: Molecular and cellular dissection of mosquito midgut invasion, and mosquito immune responses.
2005-present: Senior Research Scientist, Division of Cell and Molecular Biology, Imperial College London, United Kingdom. Research Area: Functional genomics of mosquito/parasite interactions.

Research Interests

My scientific interests lie in the field of infectious diseases, especially malaria, a leading parasitic disease transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes. It affects half of the global population and kills 1-3 million people every year, the vast majority children aged below 5 in sub-Saharan Africa. My research focuses on the understanding of molecular and cellular interactions between Anopheles mosquitoes and malaria parasites, Plasmodium, using functional genomics and emphasizing on mosquito midgut infection, the most critical stage in the malaria transmission cycle. It utilizes both laboratory model transmission systems, i.e. Anopheles mosquitoes and rodent parasites Plasmodium berghei, and naturally interacting populations of Anopheles gambiae and human parasites Plasmodium falciparum. Detail understanding of parasite/mosquito interactions may guide development of novel control strategies to control the disease.

Current research projects:
Functional genomic dissection of the Anopheles gambiae tissue responses to Plasmodium developmental stages
Comparative genomic analysis of the mosquito responses to the rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei and the human parasite Plasmodium falciparum in natural transmission conditions in Africa
Molecular and cell biological analysis of Plasmodium migration through the mosquito midgut
Monitoring of the sporogonic developmental transcriptome of Plasmodium berghei and its interaction with the mosquito transcriptome

Distinctions and Awards

• PhD individual fellowship by Academy of Athens, Greece (1993-1996)
• Marie-Curie Individual Research Fellowship, European Commission, Fifth Framework Program (2001-2003)

International profile

• Invited speaker at Host Response to Cell Invasion Workshop, The 11th Annual and International Congress of Parasitology (ICOPA XI), hosted by the British Society for Parasitology, Glasgow, 6-11 August 2006
• Invited speaker at 17th International Biology of Disease Vectors Course, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, England U.K, 16-28 July 2006
• Invited speaker at 2nd Annual International BioMalPar Conference, Heidelberg, Germany, May 2006

National and international collaborations include Prof Robert E. Sinden (Imperial College), Dr Chris Janse (University of Leiden), Dr Isabelle Morlais (Institute of Research and Development(IRD)/OCEAC, Cameroon), Dr Anna Cohuet (IRD, Montpellier), Dr Didier Fontenille (IRD, Montpellier) and Dr Herwig Schüler (Karolinska University).

[Click to see press release]

Academic profile

Teaching assistantship of pre-graduated students at the Departments of Biology and Pharmacology, University of Athens, Greece (1991-1996)
Invited lecturer at postgraduate student course in Bioinformatics, University of Athens, Greece (May 2005)
Invited lecturer at 17th International Annual Biology of Disease Vectors Course (BDV), University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK (16-28 July 2006)
Project leader and Thesis supervisor of Imperial College PhD candidates Timm Schlegelmilch, Ellen Bushell and Karolina Akinosoglou
Project leader and Thesis supervisor of BioMalPar International PhD Programme fellow Antonio Mendes
Thesis advisor of PhD candidate Caroline Harris (University of Montpellier, France)
Supervisor of final year project of Imperial College pre-graduate students (2007)
Examiner of final year project vivas of Imperial College pre-graduate students (2006, 2007)


  1. Bushell E. S., Schlegelmilch T., Ecker A., Goulding D., Sinden R. E., Christophides G. K., Kafatos F. C., Vlachou D. (2009) Paternal Effect of the Nuclear Formin-like Protein MISFIT on Plasmodium Development in the Mosquito Vector. PLoS Pathogens. [In-Press]
  2. Baum J, Papenfuss AT, Mair GR, Janse CJ, Vlachou D, Waters AP, Cowman AF, Crabb BS, and de Koning-Ward TF. Molecular genetics and comparative genomics reveal RNAi is not functional in malaria parasites. Nucleic Acids Res. 2009 Jun;37(11):3788-98. DOI:10.1093/nar/gkp239 | PubMed ID:19380379 | HubMed [baum2009]
  3. Mendes AM, Schlegelmilch T, Cohuet A, Awono-Ambene P, De Iorio M, Fontenille D, Morlais I, Christophides GK, Kafatos FC, and Vlachou D. Conserved mosquito/parasite interactions affect development of Plasmodium falciparum in Africa. PLoS Pathog. 2008 May 16;4(5):e1000069. DOI:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000069 | PubMed ID:18483558 | HubMed [mendes2008]
  4. Waterhouse RM, Kriventseva EV, Meister S, Xi Z, Alvarez KS, Bartholomay LC, Barillas-Mury C, Bian G, Blandin S, Christensen BM, Dong Y, Jiang H, Kanost MR, Koutsos AC, Levashina EA, Li J, Ligoxygakis P, Maccallum RM, Mayhew GF, Mendes A, Michel K, Osta MA, Paskewitz S, Shin SW, Vlachou D, Wang L, Wei W, Zheng L, Zou Z, Severson DW, Raikhel AS, Kafatos FC, Dimopoulos G, Zdobnov EM, and Christophides GK. Evolutionary dynamics of immune-related genes and pathways in disease-vector mosquitoes. Science. 2007 Jun 22;316(5832):1738-43. DOI:10.1126/science.1139862 | PubMed ID:17588928 | HubMed [waterhouse2007]
  5. Vlachou D, Schlegelmilch T, Runn E, Mendes A, and Kafatos FC. The developmental migration of Plasmodium in mosquitoes. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2006 Aug;16(4):384-91. DOI:10.1016/j.gde.2006.06.012 | PubMed ID:16793259 | HubMed [vlachou2006]
  6. Vlachou D, Schlegelmilch T, Christophides GK, and Kafatos FC. Functional genomic analysis of midgut epithelial responses in Anopheles during Plasmodium invasion. Curr Biol. 2005 Jul 12;15(13):1185-95. DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2005.06.044 | PubMed ID:16005290 | HubMed [vlachou2005]
  7. Vlachou D and Kafatos FC. The complex interplay between mosquito positive and negative regulators of Plasmodium development. Curr Opin Microbiol. 2005 Aug;8(4):415-21. DOI:10.1016/j.mib.2005.06.013 | PubMed ID:15996894 | HubMed [vlachou2005b]
  8. Osta MA, Christophides GK, Vlachou D, and Kafatos FC. Innate immunity in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae: comparative and functional genomics. J Exp Biol. 2004 Jul;207(Pt 15):2551-63. DOI:10.1242/jeb.01066 | PubMed ID:15201288 | HubMed [osta2004]
  9. Christophides GK, Vlachou D, and Kafatos FC. Comparative and functional genomics of the innate immune system in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae. Immunol Rev. 2004 Apr;198:127-48. PubMed ID:15199960 | HubMed [christophides2004]
  10. Vlachou D, Zimmermann T, Cantera R, Janse CJ, Waters AP, and Kafatos FC. Real-time, in vivo analysis of malaria ookinete locomotion and mosquito midgut invasion. Cell Microbiol. 2004 Jul;6(7):671-85. DOI:10.1111/j.1462-5822.2004.00394.x | PubMed ID:15186403 | HubMed [vlachou2004]
  11. Dessens JT, Sidén-Kiamos I, Mendoza J, Mahairaki V, Khater E, Vlachou D, Xu XJ, Kafatos FC, Louis C, Dimopoulos G, and Sinden RE. SOAP, a novel malaria ookinete protein involved in mosquito midgut invasion and oocyst development. Mol Microbiol. 2003 Jul;49(2):319-29. PubMed ID:12828632 | HubMed [dessens2003]
  12. Christophides GK, Zdobnov E, Barillas-Mury C, Birney E, Blandin S, Blass C, Brey PT, Collins FH, Danielli A, Dimopoulos G, Hetru C, Hoa NT, Hoffmann JA, Kanzok SM, Letunic I, Levashina EA, Loukeris TG, Lycett G, Meister S, Michel K, Moita LF, Müller HM, Osta MA, Paskewitz SM, Reichhart JM, Rzhetsky A, Troxler L, Vernick KD, Vlachou D, Volz J, von Mering C, Xu J, Zheng L, Bork P, and Kafatos FC. Immunity-related genes and gene families in Anopheles gambiae. Science. 2002 Oct 4;298(5591):159-65. DOI:10.1126/science.1077136 | PubMed ID:12364793 | HubMed [christophides2002]
  13. Vlachou D and Komitopoulou K. The chorion genes of the medfly. II. DNA sequence evolution of the autosomal chorion genes s18, s15, s19 and s16 in Diptera. Gene. 2001 May 30;270(1-2):41-52. PubMed ID:11404001 | HubMed [vlachou2001]
  14. Vlachou D, Lycett G, Sidén-Kiamos I, Blass C, Sinden RE, and Louis C. Anopheles gambiae laminin interacts with the P25 surface protein of Plasmodium berghei ookinetes. Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2001 Feb;112(2):229-37. PubMed ID:11223130 | HubMed [vlachou2001b]
  15. Margos G, Sidén-Kiamos I, Fowler RE, Gillman TR, Spaccapelo R, Lycett G, Vlachou D, Papagiannakis G, Eling WM, Mitchell GH, and Louis C. Myosin A expressions in sporogonic stages of Plasmodium. Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2000 Dec;111(2):465-9. PubMed ID:11163454 | HubMed [margos2000]
  16. Sidén-Kiamos I, Vlachou D, Margos G, Beetsma A, Waters AP, Sinden RE, and Louis C. Distinct roles for pbs21 and pbs25 in the in vitro ookinete to oocyst transformation of Plasmodium berghei. J Cell Sci. 2000 Oct;113 Pt 19:3419-26. PubMed ID:10984433 | HubMed [sinden-kiamos]
  17. Vlachou D, Konsolaki M, Tolias PP, Kafatos FC, and Komitopoulou K. The autosomal chorion locus of the medfly Ceratitis capitata. I. Conserved synteny, amplification and tissue specificity but sequence divergence and altered temporal regulation. Genetics. 1997 Dec;147(4):1829-42. PubMed ID:9409839 | HubMed [vlachou1997]
All Medline abstracts: PubMed | HubMed