Laboratory of Molecular Genetics

& Pharmacogenomics-Toxicogenomics


Director: Dr. Sotiria Boukouvala, Associate Professor


Democritus University of Thrace, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics,

Building 10, University Campus, Alexandroupolis 68100, Greece.

Tel./Fax.: +30-25510-30632, email:

More info: and 


Scientific interests

The group undertakes comparative genomic and functional investigations of enzymes that modulate the effects of chemicals (drugs, carcinogens, pollutants, toxic agents etc.) on living organisms. Projects have investigated a family of xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes, called arylamine N-acetyltransferases (NATs), which serve diverse metabolic functions in prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms of medical and/or biotechnological interest. In humans, the highly polymorphic NAT genes have been landmark examples of how genetic variability may determine individual susceptibility to chemical carcinogenesis and drug induced toxicity.

The group has maintained a strong biomedical-biotechnological orientation, building on the director's previous experience in the diagnostics and the pharmaceutical industry. Previous research ventures have included a cross-border collaboration with Bulgaria on molecular diagnosis of sexually transmitted viral infections, an industry-academia collaboration exploring nanotechnologies for targeted delivery of anti-cancer drugs and a project integrating sophisticated technologies to enable prediction of drug-resistance mutations in cancer pharmaceutical targets.

More recently, the lab is pursuing ambitious drug discovery research, aiming to characterize and activate microbial biosynthetic gene clusters responsible for the production of antimicrobials and other natural products of potential pharmaceutical utility.

Expertise and infrastructure

The laboratory shares its infrastructure with the Laboratory of Human Genetics & Model Organisms and is fully equipped to support methodologies ranging from in silico genomic surveys to advanced molecular genetic and biochemical applications. Current expertise includes high-throughput PCR and real-time PCR, cloning, protein expression and purification, western blot, various spectrophotometric, chemiluminescent and fluorescent assays, differential scanning fluorimetry, pulse field gel electrophoresis, cell culture, microbiology, Nanopore sequencing technology, etc.

Available equipment includes a DNA 4x96 Engine Tetrad for PCR (MJ), a TECAN M1000 reader for high-throughput colorimetric, chemiluminescent or fluorescent in vitro/cell-based assays, a BioScreen apparatus for fully-automated microbial growth monitoring, a BioRad ChemiDoc XRS+ Imaging System for gels and chemiluminsescent blots, a Nanodrop spectrophotometer (Thermo), a BioRad Experion Automated System for chip-based electrophoresis and qualitative/quantitative analysis of RNA/DNA and protein, various specialized electrophoresis instruments (e.g. for PFGE, E-gels etc.), electroporator, sonicator, various incubators, -80°C freezer, etc.

The laboratory has three dedicated areas, one for PCR (with sterile hood), a second for microbiology (equipped with a BL2 hood, incubator and microscopes) and a third for cell culture (equipped with a BL2-Cytotoxic hood, inverted microscope, CO2 incubator and accessory instruments). State-of-the-art facilities are also accessible on campus.

International Collaborations

·  Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford and Department of Science, Computing and Engineering, Kingston University London (UK)

·  Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, Eötvos Loránd University of Budapest (Hungary)

·  Toxicology & Mycotoxin Research Unit, Agricultural Research Service, US Department of Agriculture (Athens, GA, USA)

·  Université Paris-Décartes and Paul Sabatier-Toulouse (France)

·  Department of Genetics and Evolution, Université de Genève (Switzerland)

·  School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Queensland (Australia)

·  Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, University of Louisville (KY, USA)

·  Oswaldo Cruz Institute, Fiocruz (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

·  Participation in pharmacogenomics networks coordinated by the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the PharmacoGenomics KnowledgeBase and the Pharmacogene Variation Consortium.


Post doctoral position available immediately (deadline for applications: Friday 9 September 2022, at 15:00)

HFRI project titled: «Genomic investigation and engineering of microbial biosynthetic gene clusters with potential biotechnological interest»

Click here for more info

Click here for Call and guidelines for applicants