Biomedical Research Foundation Academy Of AthensAcademy Of Athens
Scientific Personnel

Themis Themis Alissafi, PhD
University Faculty, Affiliated Investigator

Telephone : +30 210 6597 185
e-mail :

Center :

Basic Research

Lab Site :

Alissafi Lab

Brief Bio

Dr. Alissafi pursued her BSc and MSc at Chemistry from the University of Crete. Her PhD thesis in Dr. Panoutsakopoulou’s lab at BRFAA focused on immunology. She performed postdoctoral research on immunology receiving fellowships from ERS and EAACI in Prof. BN. Lambrecht’s lab at Gent University and following her repatriation in Prof. Boumpas and Dr. Verginis labs at IMBB and BRFAA, as an IKY fellow. She currently holds the position of assistant professor in biology at Medical School of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) and she is the group leader of the Immune Regulation lab at the center for Basic Research of BRFAA. Dr. Alissafi had the honor to receive many prestigious international (ERS, EAACI, EWRR) and national (IKY, HELANI, F.Kafatos) awards.

Her research that focuses on investigation of the mechanisms of immune regulation in autoimmunity and cancer with a special focus on immune metabolism, has been funded by European (ERC STG 2020) and Greek (IKY, HFRI) organizations and has been published in top international journals (Νature Medicine, Cell Metabolism, Cancer Immunology Research, Journal of Clinical Investigation, PNAS, etc).

Dr. Alissafi’s laboratory utilizes a variety of animal models of autoimmunity, and cancer and employs a wide-range of cutting-edge single-cell technologies and immunological techniques. The access to well-established patient cohorts through her long-lasting collaborations with expert clinicians in the fields of autoimmunity and oncology, allows the translation of the findings to the context of immune mediated human diseases, with the goal to develop biomarkers and design novel therapeutic approaches.



Selected Publications

Dimitra Kerdidani, Nikos E. Papaioannou, Evangelia Nakou and Themis Alissafi. Rebooting Regulatory T Cell and Dendritic Cell Function in Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Diseases: Biomarker and Therapy Discovery under a Multi-Omics Lens. Biomedicines 2022, 10(9), 2140; doi:10.3390/biomedicines10092140

Alissafi T*, Kalafati L, Lazari M, Filia A, Kloukina I, Manifava M, Lim JH, Alexaki VI, Ktistakis NT, Doskas T, Garinis GA, Chavakis T, Boumpas DT, Verginis P*. Mitochodrial Oxidative Damage Underlies Regulatory T cells Defects in Autoimmunity
Cell Metab. 2020 Oct 6;32(4):591-604.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2020.07.001. (*equal correspondence)

Grigoriou Μ., Banos Α., Hatzioannou Α., Kloetgen Α., Kouzis P., Aggouraki D., Zakopoulou R., Bamias G., Kassi E., Mavroudis D., Bamias A., Boumpas D.T., Tsirigos A., Gogas H., Alissafi T*, Verginis P*. Regulatory T cell transcriptomic reprogramming denominates adverse events induced by checkpoint inhibitors in solid tumors., Cancer Immunology Research, 2021 (* equal last and correspondence)
Aikaterini Hatziioannou, Athina Boumpas, Miranta Papadopoulou, Iosif Papafragkos, Athina Varveri, Themis Alissafi and Panayotis Verginis. Regulatory T Cells in Autoimmunity and Cancer: A Duplicitous Lifestyle.
Front Immunol 2021 Sep 3;12:731947. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.731947.

Alissafi T, Hatzioannou A, Mintzas K, Barouni RM, Banos A, Sormendi S, Polyzos A, Xilouri M, Wielockx B, Gogas H, Verginis P. Autophagy orchestrates the regulatory program of tumor-associated myeloid-derived suppressor cells.
J Clin Invest. 2018 Aug 31; 128(9):3840-3852.
doi: 10.1172/JCI120888.

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 30; 127(7):2789-2804. doi: 10.1172/JCI92079.
Themis Alissafi, Aikaterini Hatzioannou, Marianna Ioannou, Tim Sparwasser, Joachim R Grun, Andreas Grutzkau, Panayotis Verginis. De novo-induced self-antigen-specific Foxp3+ regulatory T cells impair the accumulation of inflammatory dendritic cells in draining lymph nodes. J Immunol 2015 Jun 15;194(12):5812-24. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1500111.

T Alissafi, A Hatziioannou, A.I. Legaki, A Varveri, Panayotis Verginis. Balancing cancer immunotherapy and immune related adverse events: The emerging role of regulatory T cells.
J Autoimmun 2019 Nov;104:102310. doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2019.102310.

Alissafi T, Kourepini E, Simoes D, Paschalidis N, Aggelakopoulou M, Sparwasser T, Boon L, Hammad H, Lambrecht B.N and Panoutsakopoulou V. Osteopontin promotes protective antigenic tolerance against experimental allergic airway disease. J Immunol. 2018 Feb 15;200(4):1270-1282.

Xanthou G, Alissafi T, Semitekolou M, Simoes DC, Economidou E, Gaga M, Lambrecht BN, Lloyd CM, Panoutsakopoulou V. Osteopontin has a crucial role in allergic airway disease through regulation of dendritic cell subsets. Nat Med. 2007 May;13(5):570-8. Epub 2007 Apr 15.


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