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Dr Anastasis Stephanou
Medical Molecular Biology Unit, Institute of Child Health
UCL, 30 Guildford St
Tel: 0207 905 2216
  • Reader in Molecular and Cell Biology
  • ICH Genetics & Genomic Medicine Prog
  • Institute of Child Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences
Research Summary
On going research of my group involve studies into the role of STAT1 and STAT3 in the heart exposed to I/R injury and to identify novel binding partners that may be important in modulating the activity of STAT1 or STAT1. I am also now investigating the impact of STAT1 and STAT3 in human cancer.

We have recently generating a C-terminal STAT1 knock out animal (Ozgene Ltd) to further characterise the role of STAT1 in vivo. These animal models will enable us to understand further the death pathways that are initiated during ischaemia/reperfusion injury and therefore ultimately lead to identification of therapeutic targets for the prevention of cell death in the ischaemic myocardium.

Our previous published studies have thus suggested STAT1 as a therapeutic target in attempt to protect against cell death / damage in the myocardium following I/R injury. The recent report that epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG, a polyphenolic agent and major constituent of green tea) is a potent inhibitor of STAT1 in non cardiac cells led us to demonstrate that EGCG is also able to protect the isolated intact heart ex-vivo exposed to I/R injury. We will also like to analyse target genes that are modulated by EGCG by DNA gene chip array and a proteomic approach.

Other continuing research in the cancer field include our recent published work showing that STAT1 enhances the functional activity of p53 in non cardiac cells and examining this role further in double knock-out mice lacking STAT1 and p53. The p53/STAT1 double knock-out mice are more susceptible for tumour formation and at a much earlier frequency than the p53 deficient mice (unpublished data). A recent grant funded by the Leukemia Research Fund with Dr P. Townsend (University of |Southampton) will investigate further the mechanism of how p53 and p73 (a related family member of p53) are able to collaborate in their tumour suppressor function. We have also started to assess the role of STAT1 and STAT3 in the cell cycle checkpoint pathways following DNA damage. Studies are underway to identity novel interacting protein partners for STAT1 or STAT3 that may explain their opposing actions in cell death pathways or the cell cycle regulation. Using an antibody protein array approach we have data that STAT1 is able to interact with several important cell cycle regulators and may suggest that STAT1 may have roles that are independent of its known role as a transcriptional regulator.
Teaching Summary
MSc teaching on the Biomaterial and tissue engineering module in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, UCL.

Also supervision of numerous PhD students within our department (primary and secondary supervisor). Also External examiner for Board meetings at the University of Westminster for the MSc courses in Biomedical Sciences. Have also been both an Internal and External Examiner for numerous PhD oral examinations
Academic Background
1992 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Neuro-Immunology University of London
1988 MSc Master of Science Birkbeck College
1985 BSc Bachelor of Science – Applied Biology North East London Polytechnic
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