Biomedical Research Foundation Academy Of AthensAcademy Of Athens
Scientific Personnel

Panayotis Panayotis Verginis, PhD
University Faculty, Affiliated Investigator

Telephone : +30 210 6597 336
Fax : +30 210 6597 545
e-mail :

Center :

Clinical, Experimental Surgery & Translational Research

Brief Bio

Panos Verginis received his Ph.D. in Immunology from Memorial University of Newfoundland (St. John’s, Canada) and he then moved to USA for post-doctoral training in Dr. Harald von Boehmer laboratory at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School (Boston, Massachussetts, U.S.A.). He then repatriated in Greece in 2008 as a research associate at the laboratory of Autoimmunity and Inflammation (Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Heraklion, Crete, Greece) where he led the Immunoregulation group. In 2012, he joined the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens.

His primary research interests are in the area of immune regulation with emphasis on the maintenance and re-establishment of immunological tolerance. While in USA, he pioneered the establishment of antigen-specific regulatory T cells whereas in Crete, he delineated novel regulatory cellular subsets (i.e myeloid-derived suppressor cells – MDSCs) in the regulation of autoimmune diseases.

The laboratory uses a variety of animal models of autoimmunity, transplantation and cancer and employs a wide-range of state-of-the-art immunological techniques. Through collaborations with groups with well-established patient cohorts, he explores the relevance of the findings in the context of immune mediated human diseases.

Research Programs


TITLE: “Development of an innovative prognostic method for treatment with hypomethylotic agents in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome”

The aging of the population is a challenge for care systems. Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a heterogeneous group of diseases with an increased incidence in older populations, with increased morbidity and high mortality. Patients with MDS have an increased risk of developing myeloid leukemia. In patients with severe disease, azacytidine is the appropriate treatment. However, a large proportion of patients show no response to the treatment, resulting in an unfavorable prognosis. The current proposal aims to develop prognostic tools that will answer the question, which patients are expected to benefit from this treatment. Dr. Verginis group is responsible for the investigation of the immunophenotype and T cell signaling by mass cytometry, CyTOF and flow cytometry before, in the course and after the treatment, aiming at  the delineation of the role of adaptive immunity in the response to the treatment. Based on our results and the results of bead array, proteomic and transcriptomic analysis of the samples effectuated by our collaborators at the Democritus University of Thrace, G. Papanikolaou General Hospital of Thessaloniki and the company of P. Zafeiropoulos, innovative diagnostic and prognostic product for the response of patients ti azacytidine will be developed.

Selected Publications

Alissafi T, Banos A, Boon L, Sparwasser T, Ghigo A, Wing K, Vassilopoulos D, Boumpas D, Chavakis T, Cadwell K, Verginis P. Tregs restrain dendritic cell autophagy to ameliorate autoimmunity. J Clin Invest. 2017 Jun 5. pii: 92079. doi: 10.1172/JCI92079.

Ioannou M., Alissafi T., Lazaridis I., Deraos G., Matsoukas J., Gravanis A., MastorodemosV., Plaitakis A., Sharpe A., Boumpas D. and Verginis P. Crucial role of granulocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells in the regulation of central nervous system autoimmune disease.  The Journal of Immunology, 2012. 188: 1136-1146

Iliopoulos D., Kavousanaki M., Ioannou M., Boumpas D., Verginis P. The negative co-stimulatory molecule PD-1 modulates the balance between immunity and tolerance via miR-21. The European Journal of Immunology, 2011, 41:1754-1763

Kavousanaki M, Makrigiannakis A, Boumpas D, Verginis P.  Novel role of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) in humans: pDCs induce Tr1 regulatory T cells in rheumatoid arthritis patients responding to therapy. Arthritis and Rheumatism 2010, 62(1): 53-63

Apostolou I, Verginis P, Kretschmer K, Polansky J, Hühn J, von Boehmer H. Peripherally Induced Treg: Mode, Stability, and Role in Specific Tolerance. J Clin Immunol. 2008, 28(6): 619

Verginis P., McLaughlin KA., Wucherpfennig KW., Von Boehmer H., Apostolou I. Induction and visualization of antigen-specific regulatory T cells in wild-type mice: implications for transplantation tolerance. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2008 105 (9), 3479-3484

Verginis P., Li S.H., Carayanniotis G. Tolerogenic semi-mature dendritic cells suppress experimental autoimmune thyroiditis by activation of thyroglobulin-specific CD4+CD25+ T cells. The Journal of Immunology, 2005, Jun 1; 174(11): 7433-7439

Verginis P., Stanford M.M., and Carayanniotis G. Delineation of five thyroglobulin T cell epitopes with pathogenic potential in experimental autoimmune thyroiditis. The Journal of Immunology, 2002, 160: 5332-5337


PubMed Link