Biomedical Research Foundation Academy Of AthensAcademy Of Athens
Position Opportunities : Announcement for expression of interest for a research program of SYNERGASIA II

Ref: 1842 /27 -9-2012

In the context of a newly funded research program in SYNERGASIA II (Title: “Pancreatic beta cells functionality and regeneration: the role of liraglutide”  Principal Investigator: G. Chrousos, Co-Principal Investigator: A. Charonis)  several positions will be available after November 2012 (1-3 postdoctoral fellows, 2-4 graduate students, 1-2 technicians) for this project. Knowledge of the English language is mandatory. Experience in basic cellular and molecular biology techniques is also required. Additional experience is required depending on the Work Package to be involved.  This announcement refers to the following Work Packages:

  • WP2, the role of ERp46 in beta cell function, where scientific coordinator is Dr. A. Charonis  (,
  • WP3, endoplasmic reticulum stress and diabetes: the role of ERdj5, a novel ER chaperone protein where scientific coordinator is Dr. Giannis Spyrou  (  and
  • WP4, towards the generation of functional β-cells from human pluripotent stem cells where scientific coordinator is Dr. A. Gavalas (

A very brief description of each project follows.

Those interested are requested to send a letter expressing their interest in the project, where they should state in which WP/WPs are interested. A C.V. as well as telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of two scientists able to provide recommendation letters should also be included. This material should be sent to the Secretariat of Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens (Soranou Efessiou 4, 115 27, Athens, Greece, Attention of Personnel Department) by November 30, 2012. For more information, please contact Dr. A. Charonis at

Diabetes is one of the most severe threats to the health of all societies in the 21st century. It is estimated that by the year 2025 about 300 million diabetics will exist. Diabetes leads to several adverse socio-economic problems for the individual patient, his/her family and the society as a whole. Therefore, a major emphasis is put on the optimization of therapeutic interventions. Central to most of these interventions is the prospect of rescuing, retaining and optimizing the function of insulin producing beta cells of the pancreas.

Recent advancements in basic research on beta cell function have resulted in several important pathways and mechanisms that are crucial for beta cell survival, functional integrity and regeneration from undifferentiated precursors. Selected aspects of these pathways and macromolecules are the focus of Work Packages 2, 3 and 4 of the proposal.

In WP2, the role of ERp46 in beta cell function will be examined. More specifically, ffhow hyperglycemia affects the expression of ERp46 in β-cells and insulin production, in culture systems and animal models. Furthermore, whether ERp46 alterations can be detected in samples from diabetic patients  

In WP3, the role of ERdj5, a novel (ER) chaperone protein will be examined, in the overall context of endoplasmic reticulum stress. The role of ERdj5in survival/apoptosis and insulin biosynthesis in β-cells will be examined. Culture systems and animal models of diabetes and ERdj5 knockout will be used for these studies.

In WP4, the research will focus on the generation of functional β-cells from human pluripotent stem cells. The importance of novel receptors in the generation and maturation of pancreas progenitor cells will be investigated using genetically engineered mice and directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells.

In all the above processes, the effect of liraglutide, a GLP-1 analog, will also be examined.



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