Dr Zacharoula (Hara) Nikolakopoulou is a Research Associate at the centre for Haematology, Department of Immunology and Inflammation, at Imperial College. She is investigating somatic mutations in chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) by next generation sequencing, which could be used as biomarkers for patients’ response to tyrosine kinase inhibitors therapy (Prof J. Apperley’s group).
She previously studied migration of early lung cancer cells, developing a new migration assay with time-lapse microscopy to track the movement of primary human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs) and understand the factors and signalling pathways that influence it (UCL). She has also investigated inflammation after cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass (Imperial College), focusing on pattern recognition receptors and changes in their expression on inflammatory cells with age (inflammaging, immunosenescence). Additionally, she worked on a novel autologous endothelial cell:PBMC co-culture bioassay to detect cytokine storm responses to biologics, which involved the isolation of blood outgrowth endothelial cells (BOECs) and also blood outgrowth smooth muscle cells (BO-SMCs) (Imperial College). She also previously worked on telomerase function in keratinocytes (QMUL) and on the treatment of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) with PI3 kinase inhibitors (PIramed Ltd-UCL).
Dr Nikolakopoulou has a BSc in Biology (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) and an MSc in Immunology (Imperial College). Her PhD was on the potential of the omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) as therapeutic and chemopreventive tools in head and neck and skin squamous cell carcinoma and uncovered a new mechanism of their action (QMUL). She received several awards for this work including a Top New Investigator Award at the ISSFAL meeting (Vancouver, 2012), an Early Career Award at the ISNN meeting (Gold Coast, 2014) and a Queen Mary Innovation grant (2011). She also actively facilitated the dissemination of her research through press releases and interviews with press organisations internationally.
Dr Nikolakopoulou has also several years of experience in teaching, supervising and tutoring MSc, BSc and PhD students and she is a recipient of the Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA).
et al., 2020, A bioassay system of autologous human endothelial, smooth muscle cells and leucocytes for use in drug discovery, phenotyping and tissue engineering, The Faseb Journal, Vol:34, ISSN:0892-6638, Pages:1745-1754
et al., 2019, Somatic variants in epigenetic modifiers can predict failure of response to imatinib but not to second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors, Haematologica, Vol:104, ISSN:0390-6078, Pages:2400-2409
et al., 2019, Plasma S100A8/A9 heterodimer is an early prognostic marker of acute kidney injury associated with cardiac surgery, Biomarkers in Medicine, Vol:13, ISSN:1752-0363, Pages:205-218
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et al., 2016, PLASMA SYNDECAN-1 LEVEL AS A PREDICTIVE MARKER OF VASOPLEGIA ASSOCIATED WITH SURGERY REQUIRING CARDIOPULMONARY BYPASS AND POSSIBLE INVOLVEMENT OF OXIDATIVE STRESS, British Thoracic Society Winter Meeting 2016, BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, Pages:A9-A9, ISSN:0040-6376