Biomedical Research Foundation Academy Of AthensAcademy Of Athens
Scientific Personnel

Georgina Georgina Xanthou-Tsigkoglou, PhD
Researcher B'

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 B' (Associate 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

Morianos I, Papadopoulou G, Semitekolou M, Xanthou G. Activin-A in the regulation of immunity in health and disease. J Autoimmun. 2019 doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2019.102314.

Semitekolou M and Xanthou G. Activated Leukocyte Cell Adhesion Molecule: A Novel Regulator of Allergic Inflammation in the Airways. Am J Respir Crit Care Med.2018 15;197 (8):973-975.

Konstantinos Samitas, Alison Carter, Harsha H. Kariyawasam and Georgina Xanthou.  Upper and lower airway remodelling mechanisms in allergic rhinitis, chronic rhinosinusitis and asthma: the one airway concept revisited. Allergy 2018;73(5):993-1002.

S.Tousa, M.Semitekolou, I. Morianos, A. Banos, A. Trochoutsou, T. Brodie, N. Poulos, K. Samitas, M. Kapasa, D. Konstantopoulos, G. Paraskevopoulos, M. Gaga, C.M. Hawrylowicz, F. Sallusto and G. Xanthou. Activin-A co-opts IRF4 and AhR-signaling to induce human regulatory T cells that restrain asthmatic responses. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2017;114(14): E2891-E2900

M. Semitekolou, I. Morianos, A. Banos, D. Konstantopoulos, M. Adamou-Tzani, T. Sparwasser and G. Xanthou. Dendritic cells conditioned by activin-A-induced regulatory T cells exhibit enhanced tolerogenic properties and protect against experimental asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2017; S0091-6749(17)30839-4

Samitas K, Poulos N, Semitekolou M, Morianos I, Tousa S, Economidou E, Robinson DS, Kariyawasam HH, Zervas E, Corrigan CJ, Ying S, Gaga M, Xanthou G. Activin-A is overexpressed in severe asthma and is implicated in angiogenic processes. European Respiratory Journal 2016 Mar;47(3):769-82.

Tsoumakidou M, Tousa S, Semitekolou M, Panagiotou P, Panagiotou A, Morianos I, Litsiou E, Trochoutsou AI, Konstantinou M, Potaris K, Footitt J, Mallia P, Zakynthinos S, Johnston SL, Xanthou G. “Tolerogenic signaling by pulmonary CD1c(+) dendritic cells induces regulatory T cells in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by IL-27/IL-10/inducible costimulator ligand”. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2014, 134:944-954.


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