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The feeling of hunger as well as the feeling of repletion after food consumption are the key elements for maintaining a person’s energy balance. Obesity and the consequent morbidity that accompanies it, take place precisely due to the disorder of energy homeostasis.

In other words, we eat much more than we need and as a result, we become overweight.

Dr. Anthonis Voutetakis’ research revealed the existence of unknown mechanisms, which start from hormones and receptors on the tongue and end up directly in hypothalamic centers, changing behavior and mood for food consumption in laboratory animals.

Researching the existence of similar mechanisms in our body is a great challenge in the battle against obesity.

Battle against obesity with gene therapy in salivary glands


The revelation of pathogenetic mechanisms and of the molecular basis of endocrine diseases, the treatment of endocrine diseases through gene therapy but also the exploration of new mechanisms and pathways through which the feeling of repletion is met suppressing, at the same time, the appetite for food, are the most important areas on which Dr. Antonis Voutetakis focuses his research.

The treatment of hormone deficiency is achieved through the frequent and often costly administering of pharmaceutical substitutes.

Thanks to gene therapy (i.e. thanks to the introduction of appropriate genes into cells) the "conversion" of the salivary glands of laboratory animals into "endocrine glands" was made possible: the salivary glands 'are programmed' to produce the hormone which is not sufficient.

In the future, it will be possible through this method, for patients to acquire the ability to produce the lacking hormone on their own, instead of receiving hormonal substitutes.


The researcher Dr. Antonis Voutetakis received in 2012, a European distinction in recognition of his scientific contribution as a young researchers in the field of Pediatric Endocrinology, taking into account the international publications and the candidates’ scientific contribution.

The year 2012 was the first in the 20 years of the institution that the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology awarded the Young Investigator Award to a candidate researcher from Greece.


Voutetakis Antonis, University Scholar in Pediatrics, First Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Athens

European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology