Irene Sargiannidou

Assistant Professor

Current Position

Associate Scientist, Neuroscience Department

Assistant Professor

The Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics


Research Interests

• Gap junction function in Charcot-Marie-Tooth, multiple sclerosis pathological mechanisms and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis animal model
• Gene replacement therapies for inherited neuropathies


Dr. Irene Sargiannidou was born in Veria, Greece. She completed her studies in the United States of America where she obtained her BSc degree in Biology from Plymouth State University, NH (1994) and her PhD degree in Molecular Pathobiology from Drexel University, Philadelphia, (2003). She has been employed by the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics since 2005, as a post doctoral fellow in the Neuroscience Lab. She worked on generating transgenic mouse models that express Cx32 mutations in both Schwann cells and oligodendrocytes. She analysed both CNS and PNS myelination defects in mouse models of inherited neuropathy. Her current research focus is the development of gene therapy approaches for inherited neuropathies. Besides her productive research work, she is currently supervising 3 PhD and 2 MSc students.

Selected Publications

1. Sargiannidou I, Kagiava A, Bashiardes S, Richter J, Christodoulou C, Scherer SS, Kleopa KA. Intraneural GJB1 gene delivery improves nerve pathology in a model of X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Ann Neurol. (2015) May 23 doi: 10.1002/ana.24441. [Epub ahead of print]
2. Kastriti ME, Sargiannidou I, Kleopa KA, Karagogeos D. Differential modulation of the juxtaparanodal complex in Multiple Sclerosis. Mol Cell Neurosci. (2015) Jun 10; 67:93-103.
3. Sargiannidou I, Kim GH, Kyriakoudi S, Eun BL, Kleopa KA. A start codon CMT1X mutation associated with transient encephalomyelitis causes complete loss of Cx32. Neurogenetics, (2015) Jul;16(3):193-200.
4. Schiza N, Sargiannidou I, Kagiava A, Karaiskos C, Nearchou M, Kleopa KA. Transgenic replacement of Cx32 in gap junction deficient oligodendrocytes rescues the phenotype of a hypomyelinating leukodystrophy model, Hum Mol Genet (2015) Apr 1; 24(7):2049-64.
5. Kagiava A, Sargiannidou I, Bashiardes S, Richter J, Schiza N, Christodoulou C, Gritti A, Kleopa KA. Gene delivery targeted to oligodendrocytes using a lentiviral vector. J Gene Med. (2014) Nov; 16 (11-12):364-73.
6. Markoullis K, Sargiannidou I, Schiza N, Roncaroli F, Reynolds R, Kleopa KA. Oligodendrocyte gap junction loss and disconnection from reactive astrocytes in multiple sclerosis grey matter.  J Neuropathol Exp Neurol, (2014) 73(9):865-79.
7. Markoullis K*, Sargiannidou I*, Schiza N, Hadjisavvas A, Roncaroli F, Reynolds R, Kleopa KA. Gap junction pathology in multiple sclerosis lesions and normal appearing white matter. Acta Neuropathol. (2012) 123(6):873-86 (*equal contribution).
8. Markoullis K, Sargiannidou I, Gardner C, Hadjisavvas A, Reynolds R, Kleopa KA. Disruption of oligodendrocyte gap junctions in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Glia (2012) 60(7):1053-66.
9. Vavlitou N*, Sargiannidou I*, Markoullis K, Kyriacou K, Scherer SS, Kleopa KA. Axonal pathology precedes demyelination in a mouse model of X-linked demyelinating/Type I Charcot-Marie Tooth neuropathy. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. (2010) 69(9): 945-958 (*equal contribution).
10. Sargiannidou I, Vavlitou N, Aristodemou S, Hadjisavvas A, Kyriacou K, Scherer SS, Kleopa KA. Connexin32 mutations cause loss of function in Schwann cells and oligodendrocytes leading to PNS and CNS myelination defects. J Neurosci (2009).  29:4748-4761.

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