Dimitris Kardassis, PhD
Professor of Biochemistry
Department of Basic Sciences –
University of Crete Medical School
Affiliated member, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology - FORTH
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in Western societies. Genetic defects in key genes of lipoprotein metabolism and pathological conditions such as chronic inflammation, diabetes, obesity and the metabolic syndrome contribute to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, which is the underlying cause of CVD.
The focus of our research is on the genetic basis and the molecular mechanisms of atherosclerosis.
More specifically, we are interested in:
a) Understanding the mechanisms that control the expression of key genes of High Density Lipoproteins (HDL) metabolism in the liver, epithelial cells and macrophages under basal or inflammatory conditions.
b) Understanding how the structure and the functions of HDL are affected by inflammation using animal models of arthritis and IBD
c) Identifying novel genes of HDL metabolism and novel HDL-based biomarkers
d) Developing novel humanized mouse models of dyslipidemias
e) Characterizing natural mutations in the coding regions and the promoters of HDL genes in patients with increased risk for ischemia and myocardial infarction
f) Studying the molecular and genetic basis of the metabolic syndrome using systems biology approaches
Our research is funded by the EU fp7 HEALTH program and the Ministries of Education and Development of Hellas