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POPOTAS Alexandros


Laboratory of Pediatric Research

The Laboratory of Pediatric Research's primary activity is in newborn screening: systematic identification of newborns suffering from serious metabolic and endocrinological diseases, not yet clinically detectable at birth. Secondly, the laboratory carries out analyses central to the diagnosis and follow-up of metabolic diseases. The laboratory is continuously looking to develop novel techniques in this context.Newborn screening allows the detection of numerous rare, congenital diseases, undetectable at birth, that may have serious consequences for the infants concerned if not detected and treated in a timely fashion.Thanks to neonatal screening, the newborns inflicted with these disorders may be treated so that no symptoms appear and no irreversible damage occurs.


Cellular and molecular basis of the sexual dimorphism on the immune inflammatory response in infectious and non-infectious inflammatory diseases

The morbidity and mortality associated with a number of infectious or non-infectious inflammatory diseases is variable according to the gender. While males are in general more susceptible to infection-induced acute inflammatory diseases, females are more vulnerable to chronic inflammatory diseases. This cannot be fully attributed to sexual hormones as this sexually dimorphic susceptibility is observed in pre-pubertal infants as well. We have reported a number of pediatric investigations showing that in chronic diseases such as cystic fibrosis and asthma, the inflammatory symptoms were more severe in girls than in boys. The objective of our research is to depict the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the sexual dimorphism of the immune inflammatory response with the aim to define a new molecular markers hat could be used in diagnosis and prognosis and also to pave the way for potential gender based therapy. To achieve our goal, we perform comparative studies in males and females suffering from acute or chronic inflammatory diseases by looking at i) biomarkers and cellular signaling involved in the inflammatory process in innate cells like neutrophils, monocytes and endothelial cells ii) X chromosome-linked molecular signatures such as genes involved in immunity and microRNAs that potentially regulate the inflammation. To test our hypothesis, we perform also in vitro and in vivo studies in animal models of infection and inflammation