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Dimitris Lagos joined the Centre for Immunology and Infection as a Lecturer in Immunology in January 2011. He obtained his BSc in Chemical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens (Greece) and his PhD in Immunology from the University of Sheffield (UK). During his PhD, which was part of a Training and Mobility for young Researchers (TMR) European Union Programme, he worked in AstraZeneca (UK) and the Biochemical Institute in the University of Zurich (Switzerland). After his PhD, he joined as a post-doctoral fellow the Cancer Research UK Viral Oncology Group at the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research in University College London. In 2008, he became a co-principal investigator and moved with the rest of the Group to UCL Cancer Institute where he developed a strong interest in the complex mechanisms that govern gene expression and the emerging field of non-coding RNAs.
Our laboratory investigates fundamental molecular mechanisms underlying cellular responses to infectious, oncogenic, and differentiation stimuli, focussing on microRNAs, a class of small non-coding RNAs, which predominantly suppress expression of protein-coding genes. Studying the role of microRNAs holds great promise with regards to discovering novel therapeutics and diagnostics for the treatment of infectious diseases, immunopathologies and cancer.
The common theme between the above-mentioned responses is the induction of a dynamic, temporally regulated gene expression programme that is controlled at multiple levels resulting in the formation of complex networks. Our overarching hypothesis is that microRNAs and their associated RNA-binding proteins are essential components of these regulatory networks.
To achieve our goals, we follow an approach that combines the use of human primary cell culture models with studies in experimental disease models. In particular, we use the endothelial cell as our archetypical cellular system, making our findings relevant to a wide range of diseases characterised by aberrant function of the lymphatic and/or vascular system, such as cancer and chronic inflammatory conditions. Our experimental portfolio encompasses hypothesis-driven functional genomic screens, in-depth molecular and cellular biology mechanistic studies, and computational biology approaches (see York Computational Immunology Lab).