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Vasiliki Machairaki, M.Sc., Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Vasiliki Machairaki, M.Sc., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Neurology

Background

As a pathologist in the Division of Neuropathology, Dr. Machairaki uses a wide range of molecular biology and stem cell biology techniques to investigate neurodegenerative disease. Along with her team, she has successfully developed a simplified, efficient system allowing for the controlled conversion of human ES cells to the neural lineage using adherent monolayer conditions. This approach enabled the generation of human ES cell-derived neural precursors that show substantial promise with respect to neuronal differentiation after grafting in the adult rat brain. To optimize the process of neuronal differentiation and dendrite/axon formation in vitro, Dr. Machairiki and her colleagues have employed an approach combining nanobiotechnology with stem cell methodologies, and I have successfully shown robust neuronal differentiation along biocompatible synthetic nanofibrous scaffolds. Her main research focus in recent years has been the reprogramming of differentiated cell types, such as human fibroblasts, into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and the application of this technology to studies of the nervous system and the diseases that affect it. She has been working on the generation of iPSCs from familial Alzheimer disease (FAD) patients using recent developments in reprogramming strategies such as non-integrating episomal vectors to produce virus-free, clinically safe cells. My research goal is to generate isogenic iPSC lines and develop in vitro models of Alzhemeir's disease based on induced pluripotent stem cells. The group's work can make a significant contribution to the understanding of mechanisms and the developing of new therapeutics for AD and related neurodegenerative diseases.

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Titles

  • Assistant Professor of Neurology

Education

Degrees

  • M.Sc., University of Patras (Greece) (1996)
  • Ph.D., University of Crete (Greece) (2003)
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