Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Faculty Profiles
Athanasios  Vasilopoulos, PhD

Athanasios Vasilopoulos, PhD

Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology

Focus of Work

Bio

One of the fundamental observations in oncology is that increasing age is the strongest statistic variable that predicts for carcinogenesis. A fact that has emerged over the last several years is that aging is a complex process that appears to be regulated, at least in part, by sirtuins, a relatively new gene family that was initially identified in S. cerevisiae and C. elegans. In this regard, it has been found that they can both increase life span and decrease spontaneous tumor development sugg...[Read full text]One of the fundamental observations in oncology is that increasing age is the strongest statistic variable that predicts for carcinogenesis. A fact that has emerged over the last several years is that aging is a complex process that appears to be regulated, at least in part, by sirtuins, a relatively new gene family that was initially identified in S. cerevisiae and C. elegans. In this regard, it has been found that they can both increase life span and decrease spontaneous tumor development suggesting that they may regulate both processes. They appear to function as fidelity proteins and loss or decrease of function, which may occur during aging, creates a cell environment permissive for several age-related illnesses, including cancer. The significant role played by sirtuins can be explained by accumulating evidence establishing their pivotal role in regulating post-translational modifications (PTMs) in both histone and non-histone proteins involved in diverse cellular processes. Despite increasing scientific interest, there is still scarcity regarding the context-dependent functions regulated by sirtuins. By blending classic molecular/ cellular biology, biochemistry, mouse genetics and state of the art novel technologies including high throughput screens and large-scale proteomics, our ultimate research goal is to elucidate how sirtuins regulate cellular homeostasis and explore the potential implications of these findings in preclinical studies. Given the multifaceted functions of sirtuins, our research is aimed at filling current knowledge gaps in the field which will provide the basis for developing novel strategies to prevent and/or cure cancer.[Shorten text]

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Education and Certification

  • PhD: University of Athens, Animal Physiology (2005)

Contact

Robert H Lurie Medical Research Center Room 5-113
303 E Superior
Chicago IL 60611