Electron Microscopy and Molecular Pathology Department

Research

Departmental research focuses on cancer genetics and molecular epidemiology. The main interest  is breast cancer and  one of the main aims to advance the current understanding, of the molecular pathogenesis of this disease. Improved understating will contribute to more effective prevention strategies as well as lead to the early the diagnosis of this disease. Already characteristic mutations have been identified in Cypriot families in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 predisposition genes and this knowledge is being applied for improving the management of patients and their families. At the same time cutting edge research methodologies are being used to improve our understanding of breast cancer development as well as the functional roles of BRCA1 and BRCA2 proteins.

Recently the department has established a core facility which enables the application of proteomics and metabolomics research and these have successfully been applied to breast cancer. 

  

Epidemiology of breast cancer


The department is currently the National co-ordinating centre for executing molecular epidemiological and genetic studies on breast cancer in Cyprus. A case control study, that identified risk factors for breast cancer in Cypriot women in ongoing and currently the impact of the Mediterranean diet on reducing breast cancer risk is being evaluated. Data have been collected on breast cancer risk factors, as well as DNA, from 1100 breast cancer patients and 1100 healthy women (controls) making this the biggest epidemiological study ever performed in Cyprus on anyone disease.

  

Functional studies on breast cancer – Role of the BRCA genes


The department has accumulated a bank of breast cancer tissues from patients operated for breast cancer since 1992. Immunohistochemistry, immunoelectron microscopy, western-blot analysis and mRNA methodologies, are being used to investigate the expression of BRCA1 protein in breast cancer tissues. Recently the department has been awarded a research grant which will enable the expression and functional evaluation of BRCA Cypriot variants, in cell cultures and animal models.

 

Proteomics of cancer


As a result of competitive funding a state of the art proteomics/metabolomics facility has been established in the department, which is the first of its kind in Cyprus. This facility is being used to identify novel proteins and other molecules that may be involved in the molecular pathogenesis of many diseases including breast cancer. 


Mitochondrial myopathies


In collaboration with the department of Neuropathology, the department has built up considerable expertise in the morphological diagnosis of mitochondrial myopathies. A number of articles related to the morphological diagnosis of mitochondrial diseases have been published and the department is becoming a reference centre in the region for diagnosis/research in mitochondrial myopathies. In addition the morphological diagnostic procedures are being supplemented with the introduction of molecular techniques for analyzing the mitochondrial DNA. It is noted that mitochondrial DNA analysis is only available in very few specialized Neurology Centres abroad so this will give CING the diagnostic edge in mitochondrial myopathies in the region.

 

Publications

Publications (since 2014) Christou, C.M., Hadjisavvas, A., Kyratzi, M., Flouri, C., Neophytou, I., Anastasiadou, V., Loizidou, M.A. & Kyriacou, K. ...

Proteomics and functional genomics of cancer

Project title: Proteomics and functional genomics of cancer. Funding organization: Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation. (New Infrastructure) Project ...

EU-Europe Aid Project UICC Cancer Declaration

Title of the Project: Epidemiology of cancer in Cyprus Project No. CRIS/2009/223-507 Supported by: EU-Europaid programme for the Cyprus Civil Society

FP7 Funded Project - Linked2Safety

Linked2Safety is an FP7 project funded by the European Commission under the area of ICT for health. CING is a partner.

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