Biomedical Research Foundation Academy Of AthensAcademy Of Athens
Scientific Personnel

Irini Irini Skaliora, Ph.D.
University Faculty, Affiliated Investigator

Telephone : +30 210 6597 439
Fax : +30 210 6597 545
e-mail :

Center :

Basic Research

Lab Site :

Skaliora Lab

Brief Bio

Irini Skaliora is a neuroscientist with a long-standing interest in the development and plasticity of the central nervous system. She received her PhD in Neurobiology from the University of California, Davis, under the supervision of Leo Chalupa. She then worked at the University of Oxford, in the groups of Colin Blakemore and Andrew King, before moving back to Greece to set up her own lab at the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens (in 2007). She has had extensive training in cellular neurophysiology since the time of her PhD, where she was the first to study the development of excitability in retinal ganglion cells during the period of activity-dependent refinement of neuronal projections. In further work she examined the development of connections between thalamus and cortex and the role of semaphorins in growth cone guidance. To that end, Dr. Skaliora developed the first in-vitro preparation for live imaging of individual thalamocortical axons as they grow towards their target structures in the cortex. More recently her research focused on the maturation of local connections in the multisensory structures of the midbrain. These studies documented the presence of direct topographically organized inputs converging from visual and auditory areas, and showed that the two inputs are spatially and temporally independent of each other, thus setting the stage for further examining the alignment of sensory maps during development.

Taken together, these studies had the common goal of examining the mechanisms that underlie cellular and synaptic plasticity during critical developmental periods. Current work is aimed at extending these previous studies to functional deficits that result from exposure to adverse early experience, as well as those observed during normal aging and neurodegeneration.  A major goal is to develop appropriate methods for assessing the functional state of the cerebral cortex in vitro, which can be used to evaluate the intrinsic connectivity during development and in pathological conditions. Dr. Skaliora’s group is using a wide spectrum of experimental techniques, ranging from animal behaviour to electrophysiology and high-resolution confocal imaging for the 3D analysis of neuronal morphology, in order to identify structure-function relationships in the maintenance and breakdown of homeostasis as markers of brain pathophysiology.  Dr Skaliora is the co-author of papers in peer-reviewed international journals, three book chapters, as well as several publications on the historical and theoretical framework of neuroscience. She is a member of the governing Councils of the Hellenic Society for Neuroscience and the Hellenic Society for Cognitive Science. She is a full member of the DANA Alliance for the Brain and has given many public lectures on neuroscience topics. Her work is funded by grants from the European Union and the General Secretariat of Research and Technology.

Selected Publications

Rigas P, Sigalas C, Tsakanikas P, Adamos D, Laskaris N and Skaliora I (2015) Spontaneous Up states: a single metric index of the functional maturation and regional differentiation of the mouse cerebral cortex. Front Neural Circuits Oct 13;9:59. link to paper

Sigalas C, Rigas P, Tsakanikas P and Skaliora I (2015) High-affinity nicotinic receptors modulate spontaneous cortical up states in vitro. J Neurosci 35:11196-11208. link to paper

Konsolaki E and Skaliora I (2015) Motor vs. cognitive elements of apparent “hyperlocomotion”: a conceptual and experimental clarification. PNAS 112 (1) E3-E4. link to paper

Konsolaki E and Skaliora I (2015) Premature aging phenotype in mice lacking high affinity nicotinic receptors: region specific changes in layer V pyramidal cell morphology. Cerebral Cortex 25:2138-48. link to paper

Σκαλιόρα Ε (2014) «Νευροεπιστήμη και Ελλάδα: άκαιρη πολυτέλεια ή εφαλτήριο για ανάπτυξη;» Σύγχρονα Θέματα, 124: 99-101. link to paper

Σκαλιόρα Ε (2006) «Η Χαρτογράφηση του Εγκεφάλου και του Νου: Από τον Gall στο Γονιδίωμα», Σύναψις, τεύχος 3, pp 64-76. link to paper

Skaliora I, Doubell TP, Holmes NP, Nodal FR and King AJ (2004) Functional topography of converging visual and auditory inputs to neurons in the rat superior colliculus. J Neurophysiol 92: 2933-46. link to paper

Doubell TP, Skaliora I, Baron J and King AJ (2003) Functional connectivity between the superficial and deeper layers of the superior colliculus: an anatomical substrate for sensorimotor integration. J Neurosci 23: 6596-6607.   link to paper

Skaliora I, Adams R and Blakemore C (2000) Morphology and growth patterns of developing thalamocortical axons. J Neurosci 20: 3650-3662. link to paper

Skaliora I, Singer W, Betz H and Püschel AW (1998) Differential patterns of semaphorin expression in the developing rat brain. Eur J Neurosci 10: 1215-29. link to paper

Skaliora I, Robinson DW, Scobey RP and Chalupa LM (1995) Properties of K+ conductances in cat retinal ganglion cells during the period of activity-mediated refinements in retinofugal pathways. Eur J Neurosci 7: 1558-1568. link to paper

Skaliora I, Scobey RP and Chalupa LM (1993) Prenatal development of excitability in cat retinal ganglion cells: Action potentials and sodium currents. J Neurosci 13: 313-323. link to paper


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