Biomedical Research Foundation Academy Of AthensAcademy Of Athens
Scientific Personnel

Ioanna Ioanna Galani, PhD
Researcher C'

Telephone : +30 210 6597 338
e-mail :

Center :

Basic Research

Brief Bio

Dr Ioanna Galani is Principal Investigator – Assistant Professor level at the Centre for Basic Research of the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens (BRFAA). She studied Biology at the University of Athens, and received her PhD in Immunology from the University of Heidelberg in Germany, having performed her experimental work at the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ) funded by a Marie Curie Excellence Grant. She returned to Greece as a postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Evangelos Andreakos lab at the BRFAA, being funded by numerous prestigious scholarships and grants, such as from Bodossaki Foundation, Marie Curie European Reintegration Grant, and HFRI.

Her research during the last years focuses on the role of innate immune mechanisms to combat respiratory viral infections, such as flu and COVID-19. She has made major contributions in this field by deciphering the unique role of type III interferons or lambda interferons in the respiratory tract, discovering that this family of cytokines are produced first during viral infections to mediate anti-viral protection without activating inflammation, in opposition to type I interferons (Galani et al. Immunity, 2017). She further showed that impaired interferon production during Covid-19 is directly linked with the severity of the disease (Galani et al. Nature Immunology, 2021). Major contributors of the innate anti-viral response are neutrophils that can have both protective, as well as detrimental effects, if they are uncontrollably activated (Galani et al. J Leukoc Biol, 2015). Dr. Galani ‘s lab is analysing immune cells, with a focus on neutrophils, that infiltrate the lung during viral infections in both human samples, as well as animal models of respiratory infections, in order to elucidate pathways that lead to their deregulated activation at sites of respiratory infection, and that can be associated with worst prognosis. To this end, cutting-edge technologies, such as multi-colour flow and mass cytometry, multi-plex cytokine analysis, transcriptome analysis by bulk and single-cell RNA sequencing, are employed. Evaluation of our findings is performed in preclinical animal models.

Dr Galani has published several papers and reviews in high-impact scientific journals, such as Immunity, Nature Immunology, Am J Respir Crit Care Med., Blood, and has participated in many international conferences, while she is giving immunology lectures in postgraduate studies programmes at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She acts as a reviewer in several peer-reviewed scientific journals. In 2018, she was awarded the Award of Excellence in Biology ‘Fotis Kafatos’ by the Panhellenic Union of Bioscientists (PEV).

Selected Publications

Kumova OK, Galani IE, Rao A, Johnson H, Triantafyllia V, Matt SM, Pascasio J, Gaskill PJ, Andreakos E, Katsikis PD, Carey AJ. (2022) Severity of neonatal influenza infection is driven by type I interferon and oxidative stress. Mucosal Immunol. 15(6):1309-1320. doi: 10.1038/s41385-022-00576-x.

Galani IE, Triantafyllia V, Eleminiadou EE, Andreakos E. Protocol for influenza A virus infection of mice and viral load determination. (2022) STAR Protoc. 3(1):101151. doi: 10.1016/j.xpro.2022.

Galani IE, Andreakos E. Impaired innate antiviral defenses in COVID-19: Causes, consequences and therapeutic opportunities. (2021) Semin Immunol. 55:101522. doi: 10.1016/j.smim.2021.101522.

Galani IE, Rovina N, Lampropoulou V, Triantafyllia V, Manioudaki M, Pavlos E, Koukaki E, Fragkou PC, Panou V, Rapti V, Koltsida O, Mentis A, Koulouris N, Tsiodras S, Koutsoukou A, Andreakos E. (2021) Untuned antiviral immunity in COVID-19 revealed by temporal type I/III interferon patterns and flu comparison. Nat Immunol. 22(1):32-40. doi: 10.1038/s41590-020-00840-x.

Galani IE, Klechevsky E, Andreakos E. Human and translational immunology in the third millennium: progress, challenges and opportunities. (2019) Nat Immunol. 20(12):1568-1573. doi: 10.1038/s41590-019-0543-6.

Andreakos E, Zanoni I, Galani IE. Lambda interferons come to light: dual function cytokines mediating antiviral immunity and damage control. (2019) Curr Opin Immunol. 56:67-75. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2018.10.007.

Andreakos E, Salagianni M, Galani IE, Koltsida O. Interferon-λs: Front-Line Guardians of Immunity and Homeostasis in the Respiratory Tract. (2017) Front Immunol. 8:1232. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.01232.

Galani IE, Triantafyllia V, Eleminiadou EE, Koltsida O, Stavropoulos A, Manioudaki M, Thanos D, Doyle SE, Kotenko SV, Thanopoulou K, Andreakos E. (2017) Interferon-λ Mediates Non-redundant Front-Line Antiviral Protection against Influenza Virus Infection without Compromising Host Fitness. Immunity. 46(5):875-890.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2017.04.025.

Galani IE, Koltsida O, Andreakos E. Type III interferons (IFNs): Emerging Master Regulators of Immunity. (2015) Adv Exp Med Biol. 850:1-15. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-15774-0_1.

Galani IE, Andreakos E. Neutrophils in viral infections: Current concepts and caveats. (2015) J Leukoc Biol. 98(4):557-64. doi: 10.1189/jlb.4VMR1114-555R.


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