Laboratory of Genome Variation and Genetic Epidemiology
Population Genetics and Population Structure
Towards the first goal, of studying human genetic variation around the world, we have been interested both in answering questions pertaining to human evolution and the migration patterns of the human population across the globe, as well as applications of population genetics in medical genetics. Based on the strong belief that inter-disciplinary approaches are necessary in order to produce and analyze modern genetic data that are complex in nature and massive in size, and in collaboration with computer scientists and mathematicians, we have transferred algorithms and techniques from the fields of computer science and applied mathematics, and we have worked to translate theory to applications in the field of genetics. Through such collaborations we are developing and implementing novel methods for genotype imputation from tagging SNPs as well as novel algorithms for the identification of ancestry informative markers, leveraging a powerful dimensionality reduction technique, the so-called Principal Components Analysis (PCA). Using such algorithms we have studied the variation of human populations with a particular focus on the detection of and correction for population stratification biases in genetic association studies.
Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome
Supported by the Tourette Syndrome Association, we have coordinated the establishment of a scientific network of investigators from seven countries from Southern and Eastern Europe, with a goal to promote the study of TS genomics and educate both the public and professionals about the disorder (TSGeneSEE - Tourette Syndrome Genetics. The Southern and Eastern Europe Initiative). Countries that currently participate include Greece, Albania, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Ukraine and Russia. Our initiative has now turned pan-European, receiving support from the COST intergovernmental framework for European Cooperation in Science and Technology. The COST Action entitled "European network for the study of Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome" aims to unify national projects across Europe towards a common goal of understanding the etiology of Tourette Syndrome and improving the standards of care and quality of life for affected individuals.
In collaboration with the Medical Schools of Democritus University of Thrace, and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, we are currently studying the genetic basis of Type 2 Diabetes and its complications (THALIS programme GR-DIAGENES). The establishment of a large biobank of samples for the study of T2DM and diabetic nephropathy is currently underway.