Understanding the mechanisms by which insects (agricultural pests and mosquitoes) develop resistance to insecticides, aiming to develop new means of managing and overcoming this resistance. Exploring biotechnology based approaches for insect control and discovery of novel insecticide targets.
I obtained a BSc in Agronomy from the Agricultural University of Athens (AUA) (1992), a DSPU (master) in Horticultural Sciences from the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute Chania (MAICh, CIHEAM) (1993) and a PhD in Insect Genetics from AUA (1997). A NATO and a Marie Curie fellowships took me to School of Biosciences at Cardiff University, UK as a Research Fellow for three years, and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM). This was followed by a Return Marie Curie and an ENTER (GSRT) Fellowships, which took me to the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB-FORTH) in Crete (2002-2004). I was appointed as a Lecturer at AUA in 2005, as an Associate Professor at the University of Crete in 2009 and as a Director of the Applied Biology and Biotechnology Division from 2010 to 2012. I spent a brief period at the LSTM again from 2012 to 2013 working for IVCC and then returned to AUA as Professor and Director of the Laboratory of Pesticide Science since 2014. I am also Group Leader of the Molecular Entomology group at IMBB since 2014.
Pesticide Science; Economic, Medical and Molecular Entomology; Biotechnology (undergraduate and postgraduate courses at the Agricultural University of Athens and the Department of Biology, University of Crete)
We investigate the mechanisms by which insects (agricultural pests and mosquitoes - major vectors of diseases) develop resistance to insecticides and xenobiotics. Our approaches include classical bioassay, to identify resistance phenotypes and biotechnology-based approaches for the identification and validation of resistance mechanisms. The latter include recombinant enzyme-based techniques, which allow the study of in vitro interactions between detoxification enzymes and xenobiotics, as well as in vivo functional approaches, using Drosophila as a model, to analyse the contribution of specific mutations (using targeted mutagenesis CRISPR/Cas9) alone or in combination with ectopically overexpressed detoxification genes, in the resistance phenotype, and their interplay. We also look at the specific expression of enzymes involved in resistance by immunolocalisation techniques, aiming to identify the major attrition points in delivery of insecticide to the target site.
Molecular diagnostics are being developed and used to study resistance dynamics and evolution of resistance in major disease vectors and agricultural pests, in order to inform Insecticide Resistance Management strategies.
Tools for in vitro (such as recombinant detoxification enzymes) and in vivo (such as insect lines with defined resistance mutations and mechanisms) screening of novel insecticides and synergists (additives) are also developed.
Holistic biotechnology based approaches using state-of the-art technologies (transcriptomics, proteomics, functional and cell based assays) are applied to enable the identification of potential molecular targets in insect pests and mosquitoes. Current efforts focus on the guts of major agricultural pests and the legs of Anopheles mosquitoes
Technician - Lab Manager: Proteomics, cell cultures, firstname.lastname@example.org
PhD Student - The role of ABC transporters in the ability of small insecticidal molecules to cross gut epithelium, email@example.com
PhD Student - CRISPR: advanced systems for evaluating resistance mutations in drosophila and cell based assays for insecticide targets discovery, firstname.lastname@example.org
PhD Student - Analysis of acaricide resistance in the parasitic mite of honey bees Varroa destructor and the poultry red mite Dermanyssus gallinae ,