Biomedical Research Foundation Academy Of AthensAcademy Of Athens
Scientific Personnel

Giannis Giannis Vatsellas, PhD
Staff Research Scientist B'

Telephone : +30 210 6597 055, 361
e-mail :

Center :

Systems Biology

Brief Bio

Giannis Vatsellas is the lab scientific manager of the Greek Genome Center of BRFAA. He is a molecular biologist, graduate of the Department of Biology of the University of Crete and holds a PhD in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. As an undergraduate he worked on the genetics of the malaria mosquito in the pest & disease control laboratory of Dr. Christos Louis at IMBB-FORTH. As a doctoral fellow he joined Dr. Dimitris Thanos lab initially at BSRC “Alexander Fleming” and subsequently at the BRFAA, where he studied mechanisms by which human genes respond to environmental stimuli during development and cellular differentiation. Upon accomplishing his Ph.D. thesis, he joined Dr. Yassemi Capetanaki lab at BRFAA, where his post-doctoral research focused on the genetic analysis of cardiovascular disease with NGS technology. In 2017 he re-joined Dr. Thanos lab, taking over the management of the Greek Genome Center of BRFAA. Apart from his post-doctoral research on the application of genomics technologies in understanding human disease, he has also designed, performed and analysed numerous genomics projects in collaboration with researchers and physicians in Greece and abroad, with a vast variety of different genomics technologies. He is an integral member of several Hellenic and European initiatives (Hellenic Precision Medicine Networks in Cancer, Cardiovascular disease, Neurodegenerative disease, Hellenic Network for Genomic Surveillance of SARS-CoV2 variants, CORBEL and others). Under his management the Greek Genome Center has performed the overwhelming majority of SARS-CoV2 virome sequencing in Greece, thus constantly improving our ability to better understand and address the SARS-CoV2 pandemic.

• Ph.D., Molecular biology and genetics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, 2011
• B.S., Biology, University of Crete, Department of Biology, 2004

Postdoctoral Positions
• Postdoctoral Fellow, Application of Genomics technologies in understanding human disease, BRFAA, Greek Genome Center, 2017-2023
• Postdoctoral Fellow, Genetics of Cardiovascular Disease, BRFAA, Center of Basic Research, Cell Biology lab, 2012-2017

Faculty Positions
• Research Scientist, Associate Professor level, BRFAA, Systems biology center, Greek Genome Center, 2023 –

Expertise/Research activities
• Genomics, transcriptomics, metagenomics, epigenomics
• molecular diagnostics, cancer, cardiovascular diseases,
• single-cell genomics

Selected Publications

Siatra P, Vatsellas G, Chatzianastasiou A, Balafas E, Manolakou T, Papapetropoulos A, Agapaki A, Mouchtouri ET, Ruchaya PJ, Korovesi AG, Mavroidis M, Thanos D, Beis D, Kokkinopoulos I. Return of the Tbx5; lineage-tracing reveals ventricular cardiomyocyte-like precursors in the injured adult mammalian heart. NPJ Regen Med. 2023 Mar 3;8(1):13. doi: 10.1038/s41536-023-00280-9. PMID: 36869039; PMCID: PMC9984483.

Bousali M, Pogka V, Vatsellas G, Loupis T, Athanasiadis EI, Zoi K, Thanos D, Paraskevis D, Mentis A, Karamitros T. Tracing the First Days of the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic in Greece and the Role of the First Imported Group of Travelers. Microbiol Spectr. 2022 Dec 21;10(6):e0213422. doi: 10.1128/spectrum.02134-22. Epub 2022 Nov 21. PMID: 36409093; PMCID: PMC9769540.

Madè A, Greco S, Vausort M, Miliotis M, Schordan E, Baksi S, Zhang L, Baryshnikova E, Ranucci M, Cardani R, Fagherazzi G, Ollert M, Tastsoglou S, Vatsellas G, Hatzigeorgiou A, Firat H, Devaux Y, Martelli F. Association of miR-144 levels in the peripheral blood with COVID-19 severity and mortality. Sci Rep. 2022 Nov 21;12(1):20048. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-23922-2. PMID: 36414650; PMCID: PMC9681736.

Laidou S, Grigoriadis D, Papanikolaou S, Foutadakis S, Ntoufa S, Tsagiopoulou M, Vatsellas G, Anagnostopoulos A, Kouvatsi A, Stavroyianni N, Psomopoulos F, Makris AM, Agelopoulos M, Thanos D, Chatzidimitriou A, Papakonstantinou N, Stamatopoulos K. The TΑp63/BCL2 axis represents a novel mechanism of clinical aggressiveness in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Blood Adv. 2022 Apr 26;6(8):2646-2656. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2021006348. PMID: 35235952; PMCID: PMC9043946.

Morianos I, Tsitsopoulou A, Potaris K, Valakos D, Fari O, Vatsellas G, Bostantzoglou C, Photiades A, Gaga M, Xanthou G, Semitekolou M. Activin-A impedes the establishment of CD4+ T cell exhaustion and enhances anti-tumor immunity in the lung. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2021 Sep 21;40(1):295. doi: 10.1186/s13046-021-02092-5. PMID: 34548096; PMCID: PMC8454162.

Roupakia E, Chavdoula E, Karpathiou G, Vatsellas G, Chatzopoulos D, Mela A, Gillette JM, Kriegsmann K, Kriegsmann M, Batistatou A, Goussia A, Marcu KB, Karteris E, Klinakis A, Kolettas E. Canonical NF-κB Promotes Lung Epithelial Cell Tumour Growth by Downregulating the Metastasis Suppressor CD82 and Enhancing Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Cell Transition. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Aug 26;13(17):4302. doi: 10.3390/cancers13174302. PMID: 34503110; PMCID: PMC8428346.

Levante A, Lazzi C, Vatsellas G, Chatzopoulos D, Dionellis VS, Makrythanasis P, Neviani E, Folli C. Genome Sequencing of five Lacticaseibacillus Strains and Analysis of Type I and II Toxin-Antitoxin System Distribution. Microorganisms. 2021 Mar 21;9(3):648. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms9030648. PMID: 33800997; PMCID: PMC8003834.

Rocca MS, Vignoli A, Tenori L, Ghezzi M, De Rocco Ponce M, Vatsellas G, Thanos D, Padrini R, Foresta C, De Toni L. Evaluation of Serum/Urine Genomic and Metabolomic Profiles to Improve the Adherence to Sildenafil Therapy in Patients with Erectile Dysfunction. Front Pharmacol. 2020 Dec 10;11:602369. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2020.602369. PMID: 33536912; PMCID: PMC7849189.

Lavigne MD, Vatsellas G, Polyzos A, Mantouvalou E, Sianidis G, Maraziotis I, Agelopoulos M, Thanos D. Composite macroH2A/NRF-1 Nucleosomes Suppress Noise and Generate Robustness in Gene Expression. Cell Rep. 2015 May 19;11(7):1090-101. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.04.022. Epub 2015 May 7. PMID: 25959814.

Capetanaki Y, Papathanasiou S, Diokmetzidou A, Vatsellas G, Tsikitis M. Desmin related disease: a matter of cell survival failure. Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2015 Feb;32:113-20. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2015 Feb 11. PMID: 25680090; PMCID: PMC4365784.



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