Biomedical Research Foundation Academy Of AthensAcademy Of Athens
Scientific Personnel

Ioannis Ioannis Serafimidis, PhD
Researcher C'

Telephone : +30 210 6597 439
e-mail :

Center :

Basic Research

Lab Site :

Serafimidis Lab

Brief Bio

Dr. Ioannis Serafimidis holds a 1st class honours B.Sc. degree in Biochemistry from King’s College London (2000), and a Ph.D. in Molecular and Developmental biology from the University of Cambridge (2004). His Ph.D. work was conducted in Dr. R. Kay’s lab at the MRC-Laboratory of Molecular Biology, with an MRC scholarship, and involved studies on the effects of small signaling molecules in the development and differentiation of D. discoideum.
Dr Serafimidis’ education in the UK spanned over 8 years, including an internship at ICRF (now Cancer Research UK), and postdoctoral work at MRC-LMB supported by an MRC fellowship (2003- 2004). After fulfilling his military obligations (2005) and following a short post-doc in Prof. G. Diallinas’ lab at the Biology department of the University of Athens (2006), he joined the group of Dr A. Gavalas at BRFAA initially as a post-doctoral fellow (2006-2012) and then as an independent investigator affiliated to BRFAA (2013-2020), to work on endocrine pancreas development and function. In 2020, Dr Serafimidis received formal faculty status at BRFAA by appointment as Investigator C’ (Assistant Professor level).

Dr Serafimidis has more than 20 years of laboratory experience, has worked with several model organisms (Dictyostelium, Aspergilus, Mouse and Zebrafish) and has acquired expertise in a number of diverse experimental techniques. In recent years he has specialized in the culture, engineering and differentiation of embryonic stem cells of both mouse and human origin, as well as in cell biology techniques related to pancreatic development and function. Consequently, he has extensive expertise in the study of pancreatic β cells and their role in islet regeneration, and he is currently exploring the potential use of various methods of β cell replenishment in the fight against diabetes. Lately, he has extended his expertise to the study of adult tissue stem cells and their role in regeneration and cancer. In this context, he is currently exploring the potential use of pancreatic cancer organoids as a platform for anti-cancer drug screening.

During the course of his research career, Dr Serafimidis has participated in studies that have been published in high quality peer-reviewed journals and has attracted competitive funding from national and international sources. In addition to designing research projects, supervising young researchers, drafting manuscripts for publication and applying for competitive grants, Dr Serafimidis is still actively working at the bench.

Selected Publications

Mameishvili E, Serafimidis I, Iwaszkiewicz S, Lesche M, Reinhardt S, Bölick N, Büttner M, Stellas D, Papadimitropoulou A, Szabolcs M, Anastassiadis K, Dahl A, Theis F, Efstratiadis A, Gavalas A. Aldh1b1 expression defines progenitor cells in the adult pancreas and is required for Kras-induced pancreatic cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Oct 8;116(41):20679-20688.

Giannios I, Serafimidis I, Anastasiou V, Pezzolla D, Lesche M, Andree C, Bickle M, Gavalas A. Protein Methyltransferase Inhibition Decreases Endocrine Specification Through the Upregulation of Aldh1b1 Expression. Stem Cells. 2019 May;37(5):640-651.

Billiard F, Karaliota S, Wang B, Stellas D, Serafimidis I, Manousopoulou A, Koutmani Y, Ninou E, Golubov J, DaNave A, Tsakanikas P, Xin Y, Zhang W, Sleeman M, Yancopoulos GD, Murphy AJ, Garbis SD, Karalis K, Skokos D. Delta-like Ligand-4-Notch Signaling Inhibition Regulates Pancreatic Islet Function and Insulin Secretion. Cell Rep. 2018 Jan 23;22(4):895-904.

Serafimidis I, Rodriguez-Aznar E, Lesche M, Yoshioka K, Takuwa Y, Dahl A, Pan D, Gavalas A. Pancreas lineage allocation and specification are regulated by sphingosine-1-phosphate signalling. PLoS Biol. 2017 Mar 1;15(3):e2000949.

Pallaki P, Georganta EM, Serafimidis I, Papakonstantinou MP, Papanikolaou V, Koutloglou S, Papadimitriou E, Agalou A, Tserga A, Simeonof A, Thomaidou D, Gaitanou M, Georgoussi Z. A novel regulatory role of RGS4 in STAT5B activation, neurite outgrowth and neuronal differentiation. Neuropharmacology. 2017 May 1;117:408-421.

Anastasiou V, Ninou E, Alexopoulou D, Stertmann J, Müller A, Dahl A, Solimena M, Speier S, Serafimidis I*, Gavalas A*. Aldehyde dehydrogenase activity is necessary for beta cell development and functionality in mice. Diabetologia. 2016 Jan;59(1):139-150.
*corresponding authors

Ioannou M, Serafimidis I, Arnes L, Sussel L, Singh S, Vasiliou V, Gavalas A. ALDH1B1 is a potential stem/progenitor marker for multiple pancreas progenitor pools. Dev Biol. 2013 Feb 1;374(1):153-63.

Serafimidis I, Heximer S, Beis D, Gavalas A. G protein-coupled receptor signaling and sphingosine-1-phosphate play a phylogenetically conserved role in endocrine pancreas morphogenesis. Mol Cell Biol. 2011 Nov;31(22):4442-53.

Kapasa M, Serafimidis I, Gavalas A, Kossida S. Identification of phylogenetically conserved enhancer elements implicated in pancreas development in the WISP1 and CTGF orthologs. Genomics. 2008 Nov;92(5):301-8.

Serafimidis I, Rakatzi I, Episkopou V, Gouti M, Gavalas A. Novel effectors of directed and Ngn3-mediated differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells into endocrine pancreas progenitors. Stem Cells. 2008 Jan;26(1):3-16.


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