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Andrea Kakouri

Andrea Kakouri
Position: PhD student

Andrea completed her BSc in Biological Sciences at the University of Leicester (UK) in 2014 and her MSc in Cell and Gene Therapy at the University College London (UK), in 2015. Her BSc experimental project with title "Testing for Transmission Distortion (TD) at a Human Hotspot” aimed to study human meiotic recombination, for identification of possible deviation from the 50:50 transmission ratio of alleles at a human hotspot, by characterizing de novo recombinants within the region. Her experimental project at UCL with title “Immune complex uptake by expanded gamma delta T-cells”, was focusing on the expansion of γδT-cells by E.coli stimulation, as the basis for the development of a new immunotherapeutic approach against cancer.

She is currently supervised by Dr Kyproula Christodoulou & Dr Christina Votsi of the Neurogenetics Department along with Dr George Spyrou of the Bioinformatics Group. Her PhD project title is "Discovery of GBA2 gene associated spastic ataxia pathways", a project which aims to functionally investigate GBA2 mutations in cell culture models to describe their pathophysiological role in spastic ataxia diseases. Spastic ataxias is a group of diseases, characterised by balance abnormalities and increased tone in the limbs sometimes with pronounced limb spasticity. Her project will include whole genome expression profiling studies (RNA-Seq), investigation of protein-protein interactions (Co-IP/MS) accompanied by network and pathway analysis. It will involve laboratory techniques and will be enriched by the use of bioinformatics tools, thus enabling more targeted functional studies.