Ioanna Kousiappa

Academic Staff

Current Position

Associate Scientist, Neurophysiology Department

The Cyprus Institute of Neurology & Genetics


PhD in Molecular Biology, Dep. of Biological Sciences, University of Cyprus, 2010 

MSc in Molecular Biology, Dep. of Biological Sciences, University of Cyprus, 2006     

BSc in Biological Sciences, University of Patra, Greece, 2004         

Research Interests

  • Investigation of Epilepsy and/or Migraine Genetics
  • Connexins expression in Alzheimer’s disease mouse models
  • The effect of probiotics in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease in humans
  • Electrophysiology in the CNS of Alzheimer’s disease mouse models


Dr Ioanna Kousiappa received her Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Biological Sciences at University of Patras in 2004. In her BSc thesis she studied the interactions of dopaminergic system with adenosinergic and GABAergic systems at the level of cAMP synthesis in the striatum of weaver mouse model. In 2006 she received her Master of Science (MSc) and in 2010 her PhD degree in the field of Molecular Epidemiology of HIV-1 strains from the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Cyprus. She worked as a post-doctoral fellow for two years (2009-2011) at the Molecular Virology and Biotechnology lab in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Cyprus, and from 2013 until 2014 as a researcher in the Molecular Genetics Thalassaemia Department of CING. Since 2015 Dr Kousiappa is a post-doctoral fellow at the Neurobiology department of CING.  Her current research interests mainly focus on the genetics of epilepsy, on clinical research related to Alzheimer’s or Epilepsy disease and on neuroscience studies in Alzheimer’s mouse models. Along with the research work, she is supervising PhD and MSc students of the CING School.


Selected Publications:

1.    Schwarz N, Seiffert S, Pendziwiat M, Kousiappa I, Papacostas, SS, Weber Y et al., “Spectrum of Phenotypic, Genetic, and Functional Characteristics in Epilepsy Patients With KCNC2 Pathogenic Variants.” Neurology 2022 Mar 21;10, doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000200660.
2.    Epi25 Collaborative (Cyprus consortia: Kousiappa I, Tanteles GA, Christou YP and Papacostas SS). “Sub-genic intolerance, ClinVar, and the epilepsies: A whole-exome sequencing study of 29,165 individuals.” Am J Hum Genet. 2021 Oct 7;108(10):2024. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.08.008.
3.    Neocleous V, Fanis P, Toumba M, Gorka B, Kousiappa I, Tanteles GA, Iasonides M, Nicolaides NC, Christou YP, Michailidou K, Nicolaou S, Papacostas SS, Christoforidis A, Kyriakou A, Vlachakis D, Skordis N, Phylactou LA. “Pathogenic and Low-Frequency Variants in Children With Central Precocious Puberty.” Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2021 Sep 24;12:745048. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2021.745048. 
4.    Angeli S, Kousiappa I, Stavrou M, Sargiannidou I, Georgiou E, Papacostas SS, Kleopa AK. “Altered Expression of Glial Gap Junction Proteins Cx43, Cx30, and Cx47 in the 5XFAD Model of Alzheimer’s Disease.” Front Neurosci. 2020 Oct 07;14,  
5.    Stefani S, Kousiappa I, Nicolaou N, Papathanasiou ES, Oulas A, Fanis P, Neocleous V, Phylactou LA, Spyrou GM, Papacostas SS. ‘‘Neurophysiological and Genetic Findings in Patients With Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy.” Front Integr Neurosci. 2020 Aug 20;14:45.  
6.    Niestroj LM, Perez-Palma E, Howrigan DP, Zhou Y, Cheng F, Saarentaus E, Nürnberg P, Stevelink R, Daly MJ, Palotie A, Lal D; Epi25 Collaborative (Cyprus consortia: Kousiappa I, Tanteles GA and Papacostas SS). “Epilepsy subtype-specific copy number burden observed in a genome-wide study of 17 458 subjects.” Brain. 2020 Jul 1;143(7):2106-2118. 
7.    Leu C, Stevelink R, Smith AW, Goleva SB, Kanai M, Ferguson L, Campbell C, Kamatani Y, Okada Y, Sisodiya SM, Cavalleri GL, Koeleman BPC, Lerche H, Jehi L, Davis LK, Najm IM, Palotie A, Daly MJ, Busch RM; Epi25 Consortium (Cyprus consortia: Kousiappa I, Tanteles GA and Papacostas SS), Lal D. ‘‘Polygenic burden in focal and generalized epilepsies.’’ Brain. 2019 Nov 1;142(11):3473-3481.
8.    Epi25 Collaborative (Cyprus consortia: Kousiappa I, Tanteles GA and Papacostas SS). ‘‘Ultra-Rare Genetic Variation in the Epilepsies: A Whole-Exome Sequencing Study of 17,606 Individuals.’’ The American Journal of Human Genetics, 2019 Aug 1st, 105 (1–16).
9.    Fanis P, Kousiappa I, Phylactides M, Kyrri A, Hadjigavriel M, Christou S, Sitarou M and Kleanthous M. ‘‘A novel mutation in the erythroid transcription factor KLF1 is likely responsible for ameliorating β-thalassemia major.’’, Human Mutation, 2019 Oct;40(10):1768-1780, doi: 10.1002/humu.23817. Epub 2019 Jun 24.
10.    Kountouris P, Kousiappa I, Papasavva T, Christopoulos G, Pavlou E, Petrou M, Feleki X, Karitzie E, Phylactides M, Fanis P, Lederer CW, Kyrri AR, Kalogerou E, Makariou C, Ioannou C, Kythreotis L, Hadjilambi G, Andreou N, Pangalou E, Savvidou I, Angastiniotis M, Hadjigavriel M, Sitarou M, Kolnagou A, Kleanthous M and Christou S. ‘‘The molecular spectrum and distribution of haemoglobinopathies in Cyprus: a 20-year retrospective study.’’ Sci Rep., 2016, 6,26371. 
11.    Fanis P#, Kousiappa I#, Phylactides M and Kleanthous M: ‘‘Genotyping of BCL11A and HBS1L-MYB SNPs associated with fetal haemoglobin levels: a SNaPshot minisequencing approach.’’, BMC 
12.    Kousiappa I, Van de Vijver DAMC, Kostrikis LG. Near Full-Length Genetic Analysis of HIV Sequences Derived from Cyprus: Evidence of a Highly Polyphyletic and Evolving Infection. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 2009, 25, (8): 727-40. 


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