News at the Laboratory of Human Genome Variation at MBG DUTH

Our study on a unique neurodegenerative phenotype to appear in "Neurobiology of Aging"  

March 15, 2016
In collaboration with Prof. Kovacs from the Medical University of Vienna, we present a whole exome sequencing study of a  family with a unique neurodegenerative phenotype. (Familial early-onset dementia with complex neuropathological phenotype and genomic background. John Alexander; Ognian  Kalev; Shima  Mehrabian; Latchezar Mirjam  I Lutz;  Latchezar Traykov; Margariata  Raycheva; Dimitrios  Kanakis; Petros  Drineas; Thomas  Ströbel; Thomas Penz; Michael  Schuster; Christoph  Bock; Isidro Ferrer; Peristera  Paschou: Gabor Kovacs, Neurobiology of Aging, in press).

Hands-on Genetic Epidemiology Workshop organised by the Paschou lab 

October 27, 2015
Symposium and hands-on training workshop organised by the Paschou lab: Population Genetic Structure and Genomewide Association Studies. Dr Eleftheria Zeggini from the Sanger Institute joins us as keynote speaker to introduce us to "Next generation association studies". The full programme is available here.

The first farmers were also sailors! 

June 9, 2014
Our study on a "Maritime route of colonization of Europe" appears in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).  We show for the first time that a prominent route of Neolithic expansion into Europe was through island-hoping from the Anatolian coast. Up until now, a hypothesis of migration by land through the Balkans had mostly been favoured. Our data suggest that Crete and the islands of the Aegean acted as a bridge connecting Anatolia to Southeastern Europe. 

Dr. Paschou receives EXCELLENCE Award (ARISTEIA II) to study the genetic structure of the Greek populations and hellenic diaspora

January 3, 2014

Coordinated by Dr. Peristera Paschou, the proposal entitled «GENOMAP.GR: A genomic reference map of Greece. Studying the structure and history of Greek sub-populations and the Hellenic diaspora» was recently funded under the “ARISTEIA II” programme (EXCELLENCE AWARD). The programme “ARISTEIA II” is co-financed by the European Social Fund and National Funds in the framework of the Operational Programme “Education and Lifelong Learning”.  

The structure and demographic history of the Greek population is very complex depicting a mosaic of historical events and including Greek sub-groups that maintain distinct traditions and private dialects. This rich history must have contributed to substantial heterogeneity, which remains until now unexplored and is the focus of this study. In collaboration with Dr. George Stamatoyannopoulos, Professor of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington, and Dr. Petros Drineas, Associate Professor of Computer Science at Rensselaer University, Dr. Paschou will coordinate the creation of a detailed genomic reference map of Greek sub-populations. Analyzing genomewide data,  this study will help document and preserve the history of self-defined Hellenic sub-groups, that are culturally and linguistically unique, but are being lost due to panmixia and population movements. Furthermore, results will have great importance for understanding the history of human migrations into Europe, while the biobank that will be established will prove an invaluable resource for the study of the genetic etiology of complex human disorders in Greece with a potential major impact on public health.  

Our study of ancient DNA sheds light into the origin of the Minoans

May 14, 2013
Dr. Paschou played a central role in a study which appeared today in Nature Communications. Comparing more than 14,000 mitochondrial DNA sequences of 135 ancient and modern populations to ancient samples from the Minoan era (5,000 years before present) the team showed that the Minoans are most closely related to Europeans and not African populations. Dr. Paschou, who led statistical analysis in collaboration with Dr. Petros Drineas at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, underlines: "The fact that modern day inhabitants of Crete still carry the maternal genetic signature of the Minoans is quite striking." and continues "This study is an excellent example of the power of interdisciplinarity for the study of population genetics." The study was led by Prof. George Stamatoyannopoulos of the University of Washingthon. 

Dr. Peristera Paschou joins the Editorial Board of PLOS ONE

July 1, 2012
Dr. Peristera Paschou just joined the Editorial Board of PLOS ONE as Academic Editor. PLOS ONE is an international, peer-reviewed journal that pioneered open-access and online scientific publications. It welcomes reports on primary research from any scientific discipline, providing they contribute significantly to the base of science. From the position of Academic Editor, Dr. Paschou would like to invite you to submit your original work and enjoy fast publication times, and a broad audience.

TS-EUROTRAIN: Our proposal for a Marie Curie Initial Traning Network for Tourette Syndrome is successful! 

June 16, 2012
Dr. Peristera Paschou is the coordinator of TS-EUROTRAIN: A Marie Curie Initial Training Network for Tourette Syndrome which was just awarded EU support of 3,000,000 EurosThere is a striking lack in structured and standardized training infrastructure for neurodevelopmental disorders across Europe. Such training will be fundamental to promoting standards of care across Europe and will ultimately lead to strategies for the promotion of childhood mental health. Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome (TS), an inherited neuropsychiatric disorder that provides an excellent paradigm for the study and training needs for neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood onset. We will establish a comprehensive interdisciplinary and intersectorial training program in the field of TS and related disorders, that will deliver the next generation of young researchers who will shape the field in Europe and around the world.

TS-EUROTRAIN is coordinated by Dr. Peristera Paschou at the Dept. of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Democritus University of Thrace and the interdisciplinary team includes academic experts from the University of Ulm, the Hannover Medical School, Utrecht University, University Medical Center Groningen, Semmelweis University, and the Kennedy Center. Building bridges between academia and industry, the participation of three partners from the private sector who are leading experts in their fields, will be instrumental in the training that the Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) will receive, providing the insight of the private sector to our ITN (deCODE Genetics, SENSA BV, and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG.

The European Society for the Srudy of TS and COST Action BM0905 host a Tourette Syndrome Awareness Week in Catania, Italy

June 6, 2012
ESSTS and COST Action BM0905, both chaired by Dr. Peristera Paschou, welcome you at a TS Awareness week in the beautiful city of Catania in Sicily, kindly hosted by Prof. Renata Rizzo and the University of Catania. Join us for a Traning School on TS Clinical Instruments, the 2012 ESSTS Annual Meeting and COST International Conference for TS, highlighting the most recent scientific developments in the field of TS. This year, our meetings are open to TS patient groups and the 1st International Meeting of TS Support and Advocacy Groups, is also taking place on Saturday, June 9, bringing together 10 patient groups from across Europe in order to coordinate outreach activities for TS and raise public awareness.

The GR-DIAGENES Consortium receives funding by the EU and Greek programme "Thalis" 

October 20, 2011
Dr. Peristera Paschou will coordinate the GR-DIAGENES consortium, supported by the programme THALIS (ESPA and EU funding).  The title of the project is "The Genetic Architecture of Type 2 Diabetes in the Greek Population" and the study will aim to establish a large biobank of T2DM as well as a national database for the disorder. The team will aim to elucidate the genetic basis of T2DM susceptibility as well as personalized management and prognosis. Participating insititutions include, the Democritus University of Thrace, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the University of Patras, as well as the Rensselaer Polytechnick Institute and McGill University.

Our work on replicating SLITRK1 association with Tourette Syndrome to appear in Molecular Psychiatry 

October 13, 2011
This large scale study represents the collaborative effort of the TSGeneSEE consortium as well as collaborators from Germany and Canada. We find significant association with a SLITRK1 haplotype in a sample of 376 trios with TS (Karagiannidis et al in press). Molecular Psychachiatry is the top journal in the field of Psychiatry and number 4 in Neurosciences. 

Peristera Paschou is elected the new Chair of the European Society for the Study of Tourette Syndrome

May 14, 2011
At the 2011 Annual Meeting of ESSTS in London (May 13-14), Peristera Paschou was elected Chair of the Society for the next three years. Our sincere thanks to the previous Chair, Hugh Rickards, for his important contributions in bringing the field forward during his presidency.   

EMTICS proposal funded by FP7 HEALTH

May 10, 2011
In this largescale multinational effort, which was funded with 6,000,000 Euros, and is coordinated by Pieter Hoekstra from Groningen University, Peristera Paschou will be Head of the Genetics Work Package. She will be leading the efforts to elucidate the genetic background and environmental interactions that lead to the onset of Tourette Syndrome.

Peristera Paschou on sabbatical at the National Institutes of Health

April 10, 2011

Dr. Paschou will hold a position as an Adjunct Inverstigator at the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development from April 1 to September 30 2011. Hosted by the NICHD Director, Dr. Constantine Stratakis, she will undertake the analysis of data generated by next generation sequencing technologies, encompassing the whole genome of studied individuals. 

Transferring our algorithms beyond human genetics. Lewis et al. paper appears in PLoS ONE

April 7, 2011
Our algorithms for the identification of population structure informative markers through PCA have received considerable attention from the economically important field of genetics applied on livestock production. In this PLoS ONE paper, Lewis et al. show how our methods can be applied on the bovine HapMap genomewide data in order to select ancestry informative markers. These markers can inform the design of breeding programs and efforts to conserve biodiversity. Furthermore, the SNPs that we have identified can provide a reliable solution for the traceability of breed-specific branded products.

European clinical guidelines for the diagnosis, assessment and management of Tourette Syndrome published at ECAP

March 29, 2011
As a result of a multinational collaboration, fostered by the European Society for the Study of Tourette Syndrome and the COST Action "European Network for the Study of GTS", this series of four papers that appeared in the Journal of European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, are an important first step towards the standardization and harmonization of clinical practices for Tourette Syndrome across Europe.

Peristera Paschou receives award for best platform presentation at the 61st Annual Meeting of the Hellenic Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

October 17, 2010
At the 61st Annual Meeting of HSBMB held in Alexandroupoli on October 15-17, Dr. Paschou received an award for best platfotm presentation, for presenting our results on the genetic structure of the Greek population in relation to the HapMap European reference samples.