Konstantina Ismini Tsezou
PhD student at PharmaGnose, Greece
Konstantina is a PhD student in the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) in the School of Medicine and the School of Pharmacy. After completing the European Baccalaureate in the European School of Frankfurt, she moved to London to study Biomedical Sciences at King’s College (KCL), selecting modules such as Immunology, Pharmacology, Molecular Biology, Pathophysiology and Endocrinology. Her dissertation took place at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of King’s College Hospital (Denmark Hill) and focused on predicting the extubation outcome in neonates that required ventilatory support immediately postpartum, using the neuroventilatory efficiency. Fascinated by transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, Konstantina went on to study Reproductive and Developmental Biology at Imperial College London, which covered themes such as the male and female reproductive system, gametogenesis, assisted conception, gestation, as well as organogenesis. Her thesis took place at the Institute of Reproductive Biology and Hammersmith hospital, and aimed to detect differences in endocrine enzymes protein and gene expression in granulosa cells from women with Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), undergoing assisted conception. The latter experience acquainted her with important laboratory skills. Konstantina’s PhD is a pharmacometabolomic study of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis using Mass Spectrometry (MS) and NMR spectroscopy, supervised by Prof. Emmanuel Mikros (PharmaGnose S.A., School of Pharmacy, NKUA) and Prof. Panayiotis Vlachoyannopoulos (School of Medicine, NKUA). PharmaGnose focuses its efforts on chemical profiling and metabolic fingerprinting of natural extracts, but also biomarker identification and quantitation, using state-of-the-art equipment (http://pharmagnose.com/). For ArthritisHeal, PharmaGnose collaborates with the Medical School of Athens (NKUA), which provides samples from patients with OA and RA. Konstantina will be conducting metabolic profiling of RA and OA patients using plasma and urine by MS and NMR to define molecular diagnostic markers (biomarkers) in response to treatment, specifically in the treatments with biologics. Blood samples of RA and OA patients’ cohorts will be followed during their therapeutic treatment with conventional and biological factors. Differences between responders and non-responders will be rationalised through the analysis of patient metabolome. Lastly, it will include population comparison with cohorts between different countries.