Following a 4-year degree in Biology, with an emphasis on Human Genetics, from the University of Athens, Vassiliki obtained a PhD in Biology from the University of Barcelona, with funding from a European Union Marie Curie postgraduate fellowship. Her work involved the generation and characterization of a knockout mouse model for Dyrk1a. This gene encodes a protein kinase which is overexpressed in Down syndrome patients. Vassiliki’s work showed that Dyrk1ahaploinsufficiency leads to microcephaly and abnormal cognitive behavior in mice. A similar phenotype has recently been described in patients with mutations in the human DYRK1A gene.
After her PhD, Vassiliki focused her research career in understanding how the mammalian central nervous system develops. She moved to the University of Edinburgh where she worked as a postdoctoral research fellow studying how transcription factors and signaling molecules affect the patterning, cell proliferation and cell death of the mouse forebrain.
In 2012, Vassiliki achieved independent funding from the Medical Research Council (UK) as a Principal Investigator, allowing her to establish her own research team. The focus of her work aimed at understanding the molecular and cellular events that happen during embryonic development, leading to a fully formed eye.
In parallel with her research, Vassiliki mentored and supervised more than 15 undergraduate and postgraduate students and directed the thesis of two PhD students.
Recently, she transitioned to a role in science and medical writing, working as the Scientific and Medical Education Specialist in Myeloma UK where she developed a strong interest in Medical Writing and Medical Communications. In July 2018, Vassiliki joined Scientific Education Support as a Medical Writer.
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