Staff Catalogue

Yiorgos Apidianakis

Department of Biological Sciences
FST 02 - Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences, FST02, B160
University Campus
- academic positions
2020-     Associate Professor of Genetics, University of Cyprus, Cyprus
2012-19 Assistant Professor of Genetics, University of Cyprus, Cyprus
2008-12 Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
2008-12 Assistant in Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, USA
2008-12 Research Staff, Shriners Hospital for Children, Boston,USA
2002-08 Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School, USA
- education
B.S. 1994 Biology, University of Crete, Greece
M.S. 1996 Molecular Genetics, University of Crete, Greece
Ph.D. 2001 Molecular Genetics, University of Crete, Greece

- web research profiles
Drosophila Biomedical Research Unit (DBRU) - Cyprus Intestinal Health Study (CIHS)

Our goal is to establish HOST-MICROBE-METABOLITE interactions that break homeostasis and predispose to intestinal disease. The work of our team aims towards a deeper understanding of critical aspects of the intestinal environment explaining cancer development and progression. We study Drosophila and human genes, cells, microbiota and metabolites via histopathological, physiological and multi-omics analysis identifying host genes, cellular processes, microbes and dietary factors that predispose to cancer. Studying disease development in Drosophila at DBRU and disease prevention in humans via the CIHS consortium provides novel concepts and combinatorial biomarkers of intestinal tumorigenesis.

Key Funding & Licensing
Loss of cell Differentiation as the trigger for Dysplasia and Tumorigenesis in the aging Drosophila midgut
Research & Innovation Foundation (Nicosia, Cyprus)
2022/02 to 2024/01| Grant to YA
Grant number: EXCELLENCE 0421/0323
Notch signaling deregulation as a causal agent for spontaneous intestinal dysplasia during aging
Fondation Sante (Athens, Greece)
2020/03 to 2022/07 | Grant to YA
Grant number: YA-Sante3
A personalized risk assessment tool for Colorectal Cancer prevention through 3-prime mRNA sequencing of normalappearing mucosa in the Cypriot population
Research Promotion Foundation (Nicosia, Cyprus)
2019/07 to 2022/06| Grant to the Cyprus Intestinal Health Study
Grant number: EXCELLENCE 1216/0523
Biomarker assessment using Fecal, Blood and Colon Biopsy samples for Colon Cancer prevention in Cyprus
National Bioethics Committee (Nicosia, Cyprus)
2019/06 | Licenced to YA and colleagues
Protocol number: EEBK/ΕΠ/2019/23
Bacteria - mouse interactions during acute infection or colonization
Cyprus Veterinary Services (Nicosia, Cyprus)
2018/11 to 2023/10 | Licenced to YA and colleagues
Protocol number: CY/EXP/PR.L6/2018
Biomarker assessment in Fecal, Blood and Colon Biopsy samples for improved diagnosis and prognosis of Colon Cancer in the Cypriot Population
National Bioethics Committee (Nicosia, Cyprus)
2016/07 to 2019/06 | Licenced to YA and colleagues
Protocol number: EEBK/ΕΠ/2015/38
Dietary and pharmacological intervention for preventing intestinal tumorigenesis
Fondation Sante (Athens, Greece)
2017/03 to 2019/02 | Grant to YA
Grant number: YA-Sante2
Bacterial interactions that establish a low inflammatory state in the Drosophila and mouse intestine
Fondation Sante (Athens, Greece)
2013/01 to 2014/12 | Grant to YA
Grant number: YA-Sante
Identifying host and microbial factors that promote intestinal inflammation and cancer using Drosophila
European Commission (Brussels, Belgium)
2012/05 to 2016/04 | Award to YA
Award number: Marie Curie CIG# 303586
Identification of Human Intestinal Bacteria that Promote or Inhibit Inflammation
U.S. Department of Defense (DC, DC, United States)
2011/08 to 2012/07 | Award to YA
Award number: PR100240
Current Lab Members
Anastasia Thoma (Postdoctoral Researcher)
Izel Ungor (PhD Student)
Owolabi Sokefun (PhD Student)
Constantina Neophitou (Postdoctoral Researcher)
Kelly Katsaounou (PhD Student)
Savvas Telonis (PhD Student)
Maria Koumouri (PhD Student)
Chariclea Paraskeva  (PhD thesis)
Styliani Lau (BSc thesis, 2022; MSc Student)
Antreas Makris (MSc Student)
Eleni Papadopoulou (BSc Student)
Maria Christou (BSc Student)
Katerina Kotronarou (MSc thesis, 2022)
Sergio Valerde (Postdoctoral Researcher, 2021-2022)
Zafeiro Hadjigeorgiou (BSc thesis, 2022)
Maria Pettemeridi (BSc thesis, 2022)
Keisi Prifti (BSc thesis, 2021)
Evangelos Grivoyiannis (MSc thesis, 2021)
Panayoitis Kouis (BSc thesis, 2021)
Maria Platani (BSc thesis, 2021)
Myrofora Panagi (PhD, 2014-2020)
Gavriela Sianiou (BSc thesis, 2018; MSc thesis, 2020)
Panagiota Gianni (BSc thesis 2018; MSc thesis, 2020)
Stavria Panagidou (PhD, 2012-2019)
Eleni Kamilari (PhD Student, 2015-2019)
Antri Demetriou (MSc thesis, 2019)
Christina Michail (BSc thesis, 2016; MSc thesis 2019)
Androniki Giakoumi (BSc thesis, 2019)
Olympiada Georgiou (BSc thesis, 2019)
Popi Georgiades (Postdoctoral Researcher, 2016-2018)
Theodoulakis Christofi (PhD, 2012-2018)
Amalia Evangelou (BSc thesis, 2016; MSc thesis, 2018)
Sofia Kalanidou (BSc thesis, 2016; MSc 2018)
Soteroulla Ellina (BSc thesis, 2017)
Rafaella Athanasiou (BSc thesis, 2017)
Irene Dieronitou (BSc thesis, 2014; MSc thesis, 2016)
Stella Irakleus (BSc thesis, 2016)
Styliani Polydorou (BSc thesis, 2016)
Alexandros Patapiou (BSc thesis, 2015)
Maria Glykenou (BSc thesis, 2015)
Maria Michail (BSc thesis, 2015)
Kalodoti Avgousti (BSc thesis, 2014)
Stelios Theofilou (BSc thesis, 2014)
Maria Dimosthenous (BSc thesis, 2014)
Panayiota Markou (internship, 2013)
Eleni Ioannidou (BSc thesis, 2013)
Ilias Tzelepis (BSc thesis, 2013)
Stefania Kapsetaki (BSc thesis, 2013)
Current Teaching
Genetics BIO-201 (Spring semester mandatory course, 2013-present)
Quantitative Human Genetics BIO-851 (Spring semester graduate course, 2022)
Health, Intelligence, Behaviour & Progress BIO-002 (Spring semester undergarduate course, 2023)
Immunology BIO-471 (Fall semester mandatory course, 2013-present)
Past Teaching
Bacterial Pathogenesis BIO-372 (full semester elective course, 2014-2017)
Genes, Microbes & Intestinal Environment BIO-768 (full semester graduate course, 2018-2020)
  1. Katsaounou K, Yiannakou D, Nikolaou E, Brown C, Vogazianos P, Aristodimou A, Chi J, Costeas P, Agapiou A, Frangou E,...Apidianakis Y. Fecal Microbiota and Associated Volatile Organic Compounds Distinguishing No-Adenoma from High-Risk Colon Adenoma Adults. Metabolites. 2023; 13(7):819.
  2. Shianiou G, Teloni S, Apidianakis Y. Intestinal Immune Deficiency and Juvenile Hormone Signaling Mediate a Metabolic Trade-off in Adult Drosophila Females. Metabolites. 2023 Feb 24;13(3):340. doi: 10.3390/metabo13030340
  3. Kotronarou K, Charalambous A, Evangelou A, Georgiou O, Demetriou A, Apidianakis Y. Dietary Stimuli, Intestinal Bacteria and Peptide Hormones Regulate Female DrosophilaDefecation Rate. Metabolites. 2023 Feb 12;13(2):264. doi: 10.3390/metabo13020264
  4. Platani M, Sokefun O, Bassil E, Apidianakis Y. Genetic engineering and genome editing in plants, animals and humans: Facts and myths. Gene. 2023 Mar 10;856:147141. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2022.147141
  5. Charalambous, A.; Grivogiannis, E.; Dieronitou, I.; Michael, C.; Rahme, L.; Apidianakis, Y. Proteobacteria and Firmicutes Secreted Factors Exert Distinct Effects on Pseudomonas aeruginosa Infection under Normoxia or Mild Hypoxia. Metabolites (2022), 12, 449.
  6. Panayidou S, Georgiades K, Christofi T, Tamana S, Promponas VJ, Apidianakis Y. Pseudomonas aeruginosa core metabolism exerts a widespread growth-independent control on virulence. Sci Rep 10, 9595 (2020)
  7. Tamamouna V, Panagi M, Theophanous A, Demosthenous M, Michail M, Papadopoulou M, Teloni S, Pitsouli C, Apidianakis Y. Evidence of two types of balance between stem cell mitosis and enterocyte nucleus growth in the Drosophila midgut. Development. 147, dev189472 (2020)
  8. Christofi, T., Panayidou, S., Dieronitou, I., Michael, C. and Apidianakis Y. Metabolic output defines Escherichia coli as a health-promoting microbe against intestinal Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Sci Rep 9, 14463 (2019)
  9. Evangelou A, Ignatiou A, Antoniou C, Kalanidou S, Chatzimatthaiou S, Shianiou G, Ellina S, Athanasiou R, Panagi M, Apidianakis Y, Pitsouli C. Unpredictable Effects of the Genetic Background of Transgenic Lines in Physiological Quantitative Traits. G3 (Bethesda). 2019 Nov 5;9(11):3877-3890.
  10. Panagi M, Georgila K, Eliopoulos AG, Apidianakis Y. Constructing personalized longitudinal holo'omes of colon cancer-prone humans and their modeling in flies and mice. Oncotarget. 2019 Jun 25; 10(41): 4224–4246.
  11. Apidianakis Y, Tamamouna V, Teloni S and Pitsouli P. Intestinal Stem Cells: a decade of intensive research in Drosophila and the road ahead. Elsevier 2017 Advances in Insect Physiology Volume 52: Insect Immunity – Chapter Five. pp139–178
  12. Apidianakis Y, Eliopoulos AG. A holo'ome approach in colon cancer: we change as we age. EMBO Rep. 2015 Oct;16(10):1239-40. doi: 10.15252/embr.201541224.
  13. Kapsetaki, S-E., Tzelepis I, Avgousti K, Ioannis Livadaras, Garantonakis N, Varikou K & Apidianakis Y.The bacterial metabolite 2-aminoacetophenone promotes association of pathogenic bacteria with flies. Nat. Commun. (2014) 5:4401 doi: 10.1038/ncomms5401.
  14. Panayidou S, Ioannidou E & Apidianakis Y. Human pathogenic bacteria, fungi and viruses in Drosophila: disease modeling, lessons and shortcomings. Virulence 2014 Jan 7;5(2).
  15. Markou P & Apidianakis Y. Pathogenesis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection in patients with cancer. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2014 Jan 7;3:115.
  16. Tzelepis I, Kapsetaki SE, Panayidou S & Apidianakis Y. Drosophila melanogaster: a first step and a stepping-stone to anti-infectives. Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2013 Oct;13(5):763-8.
  17. Christofi T & Apidianakis Y. Drosophila and the Hallmarks of Cancer. Adv Biochem Eng Biotechnol. 2013 Apr 25. PMID: 23615878
  18. Christofi T & Apidianakis Y. (2013) Drosophila immune priming against Pseudomonas aeruginosa is short-lasting and depends on cellular and humoral immunity. F1000Research 2013, 2:76
  19. Panayidou S & Apidianakis Y. Regenerative Inflammation: Lessons from Drosophila Intestinal Epithelium in Health and Disease. Pathogens. 2013; 2(2):209-231.
  20. Christofi T & Apidianakis Y. Ras-oncogenic Drosophila hindgut but not midgut cells use an inflammation-like program to disseminate to distant sites. Gut Microbes 2013 Jan-Feb;4(1):54-9.
  21. Bangi E, Pitsouli C, Rahme L, Cagan R & Apidianakis Y. Immune response to bacteria induces dissemination of Ras-activated Drosophila hindgut cells. EMBO Rep. 2012 Jun 1;13(6):569-76.
  22. Apidianakis Y & Rahme L. Drosophila as a model for human intestinal infection and pathology. Dis Model Mech. 2011 Jan;4(1):21-30.
  23. Apidianakis Y, Pitsouli C, Perrimon N & Rahme LG. Synergy between Bacterial Infection and Genetic Predisposition in Intestinal Dysplasia. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2009 Dec; 106(49):20883-8.
  24. Apidianakis Y & Rahme LG. Drosophila melanogaster as a model host for studying Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection. Nature Protocols 2009 Aug 13; 4:1285-1294.
  25. Apidianakis Y, Mindrinos MN, Xiao W, Lau GW, Baldini RL, Davis RW, Rahme LG. Profiling early infection responses: Pseudomonas aeruginosa eludes host defenses by suppressing antimicrobial peptide gene expression. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2005 Feb;102(7):2573-8.
1. Apidianakis, Yiorgos (January 2023). Disentangling Humans: Genetics and Environment as the basis of
explaining the self and society. Armida Publications, Nicosia. ISBN 978-9925-601-26-4.
2. Model organisms in inflammation and cancer. Frontiers Research Topics. Editors Yiorgos Apidianakis, Dominique Ferrandon. Publisher Frontiers E-books, 2014. 83 pages. ISBN 2889193705, 9782889193707.