University of Patras
The University of Patras (UPAT) was founded in the city of Patras in 1964 and it is the third largest University in Greece concerning the size of students’ potential, the faculty members, administrative personnel, number of departments, and accredited students titles. The UPAT includes 22 Departments, with a great range of disciplines, which operate 112 laboratories and 14 clinics fully equipped. The UPAT has >23,000 under- and 3,260 post- graduate students, 754 faculty members, 238 teaching staff, and 481 administrative personnel. Besides its distinguished path in education, the UPAT has made excellence in the fields of basic and applied research.
The UPAT has acquired international prominence for pioneering and wide ranging research in areas such as Environment, Health, Biotechnology, Mechanics, Electronics, Informatics and basic science. Additionally, the research activities of the group that participates at H2020-MARISURF project encompass the study of the structure and dynamics of biomolecules and their complexes, involved in signaling pathways, proteolysis and ion/metal transfer, both in silico and in vitro. To this framework the group applies protocols and methods for (a) Protein expression, purification and labeling for biophysical, conformational dynamics and functional studies of biomolecules, (b) NMR spectroscopy for the structure, dynamics and interaction of proteins, and Molecular modelling and biomolecular simulations in structure-based drug design. The two labs are well equipped with state-of-the-art S&T equipment including, bioreactors, small molecule and protein Purification/isolation systems (HPLC/FPLC), centrifuges, UV-vis, and a high-definition, high-field 700MHZ NMR, equipped with four channels and a cryoprobe that delivers a really high-sensitivity for NMR measurements of low concentration samples of organic compounds and biomolecules.
Profile of staff engaged in the Project:
Georgios A. Spyroulias (PhD in Chemistry, Professor)
is a Faculty member of University of Patras (UPAT), since 2003 (Department of Pharmacy). He is a recipient of Marie-Curie Grant (twice, 1997, Center of Magnetic Resonance, U of Florence, IT & 2000, Department of Pharmacy, UPAT) and EMBO Short-term Grant (twice, 2003 & 2004, CERM, U of Florence, IT). His research interests focus on the conformational analysis of biomolecules and biomolecular complexes. Since 2003, he organized a computational biology lab to study the structure, dynamics and interaction of biomolecules through molecular simulations and NMR Spectroscopy, a wet biology lab for the high-yield expression, isolation/purification and characterization or recombinant, uniformly or selectively labeled (in 2H, 13C, 15N) polypeptides and a NMR lab (through an EU FP project, namely SEEDRUG) with a High-Definition, 700MHz NMR, equipped with a latest technology cryoprobe for enhanced sensitivity. He is the authors in >80 articles in peer-reviewing journals, 20 and 19 depositions in PDB and BMRB data banks, respectively. He is the Greek National Effective Member in European Peptide Society and the coordinator of the FP7-REGPOT “SEEDRUG” project (no 285950), while he has participated or participates in 8 FP5/FP6/FP7 & H2020 funded projects.
Dr. Aikaterini Zompra
holds a post doc position at Department of Pharmacy, of University of Patras. She got a degree in chemistry at the University of Ioannina in 1999 and her MSc in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Patras, in 2001. She completed her PhD in 2006 with a thesis on Design & Development of New Synthetic Analogues of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient Leuprolide. In 2008, she worked as a postdoctoral fellow at IRB Barcelona with Prof. Fernando Albericio. Later, she worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow for the CONCO (FP6-2005-LIFESCHEALTH), Thales and Synergasia projects at laboratory of Pharmacognosy and Chemistry of Natural Products, in the department of pharmacy. She has 12 publications in scientific journals, 30 publications in proceedings and active participation in more than 40 scientific conferences and 6 presentations). Her major research interests cover practically all aspects of peptide chemistry (isolation, purification, synthesis of peptides) and synthesis of small molecules with therapeutic activity.
Maria Birkou, (BSc & MSc in Biology)
is a PhD student of Department of Pharmacy, of University of Patras, since 2012. During her Diploma and Master Thesis she worked on the field of microbial biotechnology and gained significant experience on the single cell oil, microbial lipids biosynthesis and large scale fermentation process. Currently, she is involved in high-yield production using standard and non-standard molecular biology approaches, for the high-yield production and isolation of recombinant, labeled protein, produced by bacterial cell cultures in flask or through fermentation process. Her research activities encompasses the structural studies and functional assays of a wide range of biomolecules, including metalloproteins, domains of viral proteins, along with the NMR studies of protein- protein interactions and specificity of protein-protein/substrate assembly.
Aikaterini I. Argyriou (BSc, MSc)
is a Pharmacist and a PhD candidate at the Department of Pharmacy of the University of Patras, since 2012. Her research focuses on the synthetic and biosynthetic high-yield production of peptides and polypeptides, respectively. Her current research interests focus on the NMR study of proteins with various biological roles such as receptors, RNA-binding proteins and other proteins involved in biological pathways. She has developed expertise on the application of molecular biology techniques for the studies of high molecular weight proteins and their complexes, such as selective and segmental labeling. She has long-term experience in analytical techniques involving ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy and different types of chromatography for separation of small organic molecules and large protein molecules (such as HPLC, FPLC). She has also significant experience in many techniques of bacterial cell cultures using the classical methods or fermentation processes.
Marousis Konstantinos, (BSc & MSc in Physics)
is a PhD student of the Department of Pharmacy, of University of Patras, since 2012. His MSc. thesis was focused on the application of X-ray diffraction methods and in the electrical and stoichiometric characterization of MIS devices. He obtained unique experience by following the set-up of the 700 MHz Avance HD III NMR spectrometer, and he became familiar with the application of simple or sophisticated NMR experiments for the characterization of small molecules, large biomolecules and NMR metabolomics applications. He is the NMR manager of the lab and he supervises the every-day function of the equipment resolving any software/hardware issue. In parallel, he carries out his PhD in the conformational dynamics studies of protein and other biomolecules, while he acquired experience on the production of labelled proteins for NMR studies.