Biomedical Research Foundation Academy Of AthensAcademy Of Athens
Scientific Personnel

Georgina Georgina Xanthou-Tsigkoglou, PhD
Investigator - Assistant Professor Level

Telephone : +30 210 6597 336
Fax : +30 210 6597 336
e-mail :

Center :

Basic Research

Lab Site :

Xanthou Lab

Brief Bio

Georgina Xanthou completed her studies at the Department of Biology of the University of Athens and received her PhD in Immunology, at the Medical School of the University of Athens. Her PhD studies demonstrated a critical role for dendritic cells and salivary gland epithelial cells in the activation of T cells in the organ-specific autoimmune disease, Sjogren's syndrome. Dr. Xanthou’s studies also revealed that dendritic cells are involved, through the production of chemokines, in the formation of ‘tertiary lymphoid tissues’ at the autoimmune tissue site. Georgina Xanthou performed her postdoctoral studies at the Leukocyte Biology Section in Imperial College, UK, wherein she studied the functional crosstalk between chemokine receptors during T helper type 1 (Th1) and Th2 cell-mediated responses. Her data revealed a novel mechanism through which Th1 cell-associated chemokines and their receptor, CXCR3, regulate Th2 cell-mediated allergic responses.  Dr. Xanthou’s studies also contributed to the identification of a novel chemokine receptor, CXCR3B, expressed by activated human Th lymphocytes.

In 2003, Georgina Xanthou was awarded an EMBO fellow award through which she studied the in vivo role of the TGF-β superfamily members in allergic airway inflammation and remodeling at Dr. Clare Lloyd’s lab, in Imperial College. She now holds the position of Researcher C' (Assistant Professor level) at the Laboratory of Cellular Immunology in the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens. Her studies have contributed to the delineation of the effects of the cytokine osteopontin in the regulation of dendritic cell recruitment in the context of allergic airway inflammation. In addition, her group has uncovered the role of the TGF-β superfamily member, activin-A, as a novel inducer of CD4+Foxp3-IL-10-producing regulatory T cells that suppress T helper type -2-driven allergic responses and linked experimental asthma. Her research efforts are currently focused on elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the generation and the suppressive functions of activin-A-induced regulatory T cells and in investigating the roles these cells play in the maintenance of respiratory tolerance. Her recent line of research also involves investigating the role of activin-A in the induction of functional human regulatory T cell subsets.

For her scientific achievements, Georgina Xanthou has received several international awards, among which are the Allergopharma Award (2008), the UNESCO-L’Oreal Award for “Best Young Female Scientist in Greece” (2009), the “Romain Pauwels Research Excellence Award” (2009) from the European Respiratory Society, the ‘John S. Latsis’ Public Benefit Foundation Award (2011) and the European Federation of Immunological Societies Award (2012). In addition, she serves as an evaluator of grant proposals for the Greek General Secreteriat for Research and Technology and as a reviewer for international scientific journals. She is a member of the American Thoracic Society, the European Respiratory Society and the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology.

Selected Publications

Harsha Kariyawasam, Maria Semitekolou, Douglas S. Robinson and Georgina Xanthou. Activin-A in the regulation of allergic asthma. Clin Exp Allergy, 41:1505-14, 2011

Maria Semitekolou, Themis Alissafi, Maria Aggelakopoulou, Evangelia Kourepini, Harsha H. Kariyawasam, A. Barry Kay, Douglas S. Robinson, Clare M. Lloyd, Vily Panoutsakopoulou, Georgina Xanthou. Activin-A induces regulatory T cells which suppress T helper responses and protect from allergic airway disease. Journal of Experimental Medicine, 206: 1769-1785, 2009. 

Kariyawasam HH, Pegorier S, Barkans J, Xanthou G, Aizen M, Ying S, Kay AB, Lloyd CM, Robinson DS. Activin and transforming growth factor-beta signaling pathways are activated after allergen challenge in mild asthma. J Allergy and Clin Immunol, 124: 454-462, 2009.

Georgina Xanthou, Davina C. M. Simoes, Kalomira Petrochilou, Vily Panoutsakopoulou, Charis Roussos and Christina Gratziou. Osteopontin deficiency protects from airway remodelling and hyperresponsiveness in chronic asthma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 179:894-902, 2009. 

Kariyawasam HH, Xanthou G, Barkans J, Aizen M, Kay AB, Robinson DS. Basal expression of bone morphogenetic protein receptor is reduced in mild asthma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med., 177(10):1074-81, 2008.

Xanthou Georgina, Alissafi Themis, Semitekolou Maria, Simoes Davina C.M., Gaga Mina, Lloyd Clare M., Panoutsakopoulou Vily. Osteopontin involvement in T helper type 2 allergic airway disease: regulation of plasmacytoid and myeloid dendritic cell subsets.  Nature Medicine, 13:570-578, 2007.

Sarah J.Mc Millan, Georgina Xanthou and Clare M. Lloyd. Manipulation of allergen-induced airway remodelling by treatment with anti-TGF-β: effects on Smad signalling pathways. Journal of Immunology, 174(9):5774-80, 2005. 

A. Humbles, C.M. Lloyd, S.J. McMillan, D.S. Friend, G. Xanthou, E.E. McKenna, S. Ghiran, N.P. Gerard, C.Yu, S.H. Orkin, C. Gerard. A critical role for eosinophils in allergic airways remodelling. Science 17; 305(5691):1776-9, 2004. 

Xanthou G, Williams T. and Pease J. Molecular characterisation of CXCR3: evidence for the involvement of distinct extracellular domains in a multi-step model of ligand binding and receptor activation. Eur J Immunol, 33:2927, 2003.

Xanthou G, Duchesnes C,  Williams T,  Pease J. CCR3 functional responses are regulated by both CXCR3 and its ligands CXCL9, CXCL10 and CXCL11. Eur J Immunol, 33: 2241-50, 2003. 

Xanthou G., Polihronis M, Tzioufas A.G., et. al. Lymphoid chemokine messenger RNA expression by epithelial cells in the chronic inflammatory lesion of the salivary glands of Sjogren’s syndrome patients-Possible participation in lymphoid structure formation. Arthritis Rheum, 44: 408-18, 2001. 

Xanthou G, Tapinos N, Polihronis M, Nezis Y, et. al. CD-4 cytotoxic and dendritic cells in the immunopathologic lesion of salivary glands of patients with Sjogrens syndrome. Clin Exp Immunol, 118: 154-163, 1999.


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